Hey! Happy 2016! I wanted to make a quick post with some things that I'd like to focus on this year. First of all, I'm making a list of "Year Songs," songs that capture ideas or feelings that I want to work on this year. Last year, I started a tradition of listening to "This Year" by The Mountain Goats ever year on New Year's Day, and when I listened to it this year, it made me think about the place that I was in at the beginning of last year, and about how much my life had changed since then. The lyrics meant something totally and completely different to me then, and it was just really cool to have that experience, and that chance to reflect. I wanted to be a little bit fancier this year, and have a few different specific songs that relate to my goals for this year. If a song specifically relates to a goal, I'll also add it under that goal and have an explanation). Here are the ones that I've chosen:
Better Than Love - Hayley Kiyoko (Love is so important, and everyone deserves it. Give it openly and freely)
Koisuru Fortune Cookie - AKB48 (so upbeat and happy! Carries a lot of themes that I want to remember this year) *
Happiness - Arashi (Happiness is a big theme for me this year)
This Year - The Mountain Goats (I AM going to make it through this year)
Freckles and Constellations - Dodie Clark (Beautiful and magical <3)
The Days- Aviici (Find the magic and enjoy everything)
Also, I wanted to write up a list of goals for the new year, because I've decided to be one of those people. I feel pretty cliche doing this, but I wanted to write down some things that I'd like to keep on my mind this year. Mine are much more "be a nice person" than they are "learn to cook well", but I'm still counting them as goals, because this is my blog, so I MAKE THE RULES. That's how it works, obviously.
If you want to make a goals list, as well, awesome! Leave me a comment with a link to yours, and I'll check it out.
1. Don't waste time on the internet.
Wasting time on the internet is one of my worst habits. I'll jump on the internet for a second to chck my email, and BAM, an hour later, I'm still scrolling down my Tumblr feed, idly muttering that I'll give myself "five more minuets". Well, no more. I'm done with this. It's a time waster, and a super bad mechanism for coping with stress.
(This ones needs a specific and written out gameplan, or it's never going to happen).
A. Don't get on the computer in the morning before class.
This is going to be crazy hard, but I need to stay off of my laptop in the mornings. This is one of my biggest time wasters. I'm going to try reading something when I first wake up, to get my brain adjusted to being awake again. And then, I'm going to do homework.
B. When you feel stressed, take a five minuet break that does not involve the internet.
Meditate, deep breathing, lying on the floor for five minuets, talking to a friend. Something like that. Do not succumb to the allure of the internet.
C. Larger break? Read a book.
(This is pretty straightforward).
D. Time your internet breaks. Get off after half an hour.
This is going to be the hardest goal, for sure.
2. Stop worrying so much. Everything will be fine.
I worry, a lot. About silly things, things that probably aren't that big of a deal. Things that really aren't important. And I want to try not to worry. I want to stay calm, and stay happy, and realize that nothing is really as big of a deal as I seem to think that it is.
Songs to listen to when you feel irrationally worried:
This is Gospel
Simple as This
Cubs in Five
Realize that nothing is as big of a deal as you think it is.
Think about what Junior year of high school Erin would have worried about. Did any of those things really matter? A lot of them really didn't.
Try to stay chill. Everything is fine.
3. Find magic in the everyday.
Earlier this semester, I walked into a building at school late at night to do some homework. For reasons that I have long forgot, I was completely barefoot (I routinely forget my shoes when walking to and from places on campus). As I felt the marbled floor, cold against my feet, I stopped and marveled for a second; at how lucky I was to be going to school where I am, to be studying what I enjoy, to be taking classes that are stimulating and interesting. Wow. I am so lucky.
I get to spend a lot of time with my friend Scout, which is lovely. A lot of the time, she'll be sitting there, reading, or writing, or talking, or even just sitting quietly and thinking, and I stop, and I look at her, and I realize, holy crap, she is so, so beautiful. I mean, I'm always thinking it, but sometimes, she's doing something, and it hits me, her beauty just completely overwhelms me. The universe did something amazing when it made her. And she's sweet, and smart, and funny, and creative, and talented, and she is someone who I can call my friend. Wow. I'm so lucky. Do you see that? Magic.
Other times, I see S in her element. She's planning out a big paper or project, or she's going somewhere special with M, and her heart is so happy, and I can see the joy and inspiration on her face. And I think, woah. I'm so lucky to know her, to be here, to be able to experience this moment. That moment? That moment is magic.
Sometimes, I greet C when she comes back from work. And, even on the toughest days, she is so joyful, so talkative and friendly and loving. She spreads happiness wherever she goes, and and she shares her happiness with me. She is magic, carrying joy with her, spreading it in her wake. And I get to know her.
When I walk past the Japanese embassy, or see flowers on campus, or walk into a new building at school that I haven't visited before, or find a new, special place to study, or see a new and cool part of DC, I feel it. Magic. It's everywhere. And I want to see it, to feel it, and to experience it more often.
Better Than Love - Hayley Kiyoko
Freckles and Constellations
4. Be happy.
This is a pretty simple goal, at least, it looks simple.
When I say "be happy", it means be content, be joyful, be grateful. Just be happy. I have an amazing life, and so, so much to be content about. I have wonderful and loving friends, who care about me and take care of me. I go to an amazing school, where I'm able to study a subject that I love. Everyone around me is so smart, hard-working, and well informed, I am constantly learning new things from other people. I live in such a cool place, there are always special opportunities and many things to do. I have been able to come to terms with my identity, and life in an amazingly supportive environment. I am more comfortable with who I am than I have ever been in the past. The people in my life are just so amazing, and supportive, and lovely. I am so beyond lucky to have them in my life. I can't even begin to express how grateful I am for all of them. Everyone in my life is just so fantastic <3 At AU, I am surrounded by friendliness; even people whom I barely know are kind, upbeat, and lovely. And my close friends are the most lovely, smart, loving, kind, helpful, and wonderful people in the entire world. I feel so, so happy when I'm with them. I'm so lucky to be able to spend any time with them. I look around, and I cannot believe that this is my life. I went to Japan and had such an amazing and fulfilling experience, and now I'm here. I just feel so lucky, and my heart feels so full, and I want to remember this throughout this year. I am surrounded by love, acceptance, opportunity, and an abundance of intelligent people. My heart should feel full all of the time. I'm tired of getting down over silly things. My life is so, so perfect and lovely right now -- I want to appreciate every second of it.
Koisuru Fortune Cookie
5. Wash your dishes, for God's sakes.
This is just getting out of hand. Don't leave them in your room for weeks. Your roommates are beginning to hate you.
6. Love openly and freely.
This is just a general command. Don't be stingy with love, don't worry about getting hurt or "projecting yourself" (which is dumb and doesn't work, anyway). Everyone is worthy of your love, of your friendship, of your care. Give them what they deserve.
"Better Than Love"
Koisuru Fortune Cookie
7. Give people grace.
This isn't really a goal that I need to work on, just one that I want to keep in mind. I tend to be someone who gives others grace, but I want to keep doing this, and I want to do it consistently and without slipping up. We're all a little bit broken, and we all deserve grace and love. Even the people who hurt your best friends need grace. Even that painfully self-absorbed person whom you have trouble tolerating. Especially that person. Give them grace. Everyone needs the benefit of the doubt, or a second chance. Give them these things. Show them kindness.
8. Keep working hard!
Don't lose focus. You can do this! Everything that you're working on now is so important. Make sure to keep focused and work hard!
Jan Egeland (Work hard, and you, too, can one day be the United Nations superhero man).
Also: kind of related: Hank Green did this video called "My Favourite Feelings" that I really liked, and he said something that I want to remember:
"Maybe the best feeling of all feelings that I've ever had, is opening up, and letting somebody that you love see all your broken bits, and then they're like, 'I don't mind, those are pretty cool. Here are mine, too.' And you're like, 'yeah...I like those! Those are cool! That's fine'...Knowing that, yes, this person that you love loves you back, and you can trust that, and you can know it forever."
ILY, Hank. Thanks for always being Hank.