Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014: The Year of Re

As a child, I was never allowed to compare my performance to anybody else's. It was one of my father's rules: always do your personal best. It didn't matter if the teacher was difficult, or if the majority of the class was failing, or if the other kids didn't have to practice music X hours a week, or if everybody else was going to skip school that day. The teacher, majority, other kids, and everybody else did not matter. I mattered. It was my life, my output.

Good lesson, dad.

Now, it's hard to go through life without comparing yourself to anyone at all, without pining after something (career, love life, family, money, car, etc.) someone else has. Envy wouldn't be one of the seven deadly sins if it wasn't a key human trait. But what I've come to find is that, as I get older, envy has less and less presence in my life. I am starting to finally feel like a whole person, 100% unique. In that wholeness, I look less to others in comparison. In that wholeness, I look more to me.

Generally, I am quite cynical when it comes to New Year's resolutions. I believe that many people set unrealistic goals for themselves. I believe that the majority of resolutions are made purely because that's what everybody else is doing. And because I strive to step away from what everybody else is doing, I tend to not make a New Year's resolution. Being the natural goal-setter that I am, though, this is not always easy.

I did not enter 2014 with celebration or excitement. As I was recovering from a stomach bug and on-going head cold and in the middle of a trip to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl (go Green!), I tucked myself into bed on New Year's Eve at a sweet 10:30 p.m. I did not reflect over all of 2013, I did not dream of all that was to come in the New Year. Instead I willed myself to sleep and tried to ignore the fact that I had to wake up at 5:00 a.m. the following morning.

New Year's Day was full of football and traveling. As I attended Rose Bowl and Michigan State, my Alma matter, brought home the win, it was a good day. But, to say the least, it was a tiring day. Since I've returned from Pasadena I've made a point of resting my mind and body, giving both time to repair. In this repair mode, I have had quite a lot of time to think.

I thought about 2013 - it really was a wonderful year, full of traveling, reuniting with family, self-discovery, and making dreams come true. It was a year of doing. A year of living.

2013 gave me a lot to be thankful for.

After happily reflecting on all of my adventures, growth and full living in the past year, I started turning gears into looking toward what I wanted 2014 to bring. As I mentioned earlier, I typically do not make a New Year's resolution. This year is no different--I have no concrete determination to bring anything particular into light. I am, however, entering this year with intention.

I intend 2014 to be the year of "re". I have spent the past 25 years building myself, tailoring my life to my liking. I understand that growing and change are on-going, but for now, for this upcoming year, I am going to stand still. I am going to take what I have to strengthen who I am and what I want, through the process of re.

After taking a break over the holidays, I am currently refocusing on what it is exactly that I want in life. I am restructuring my priorities, giving precedence to the top of the list. With that, I am re-branding myself, professionally and personally. More so professionally, because I am rebuilding my career. Personally...well you'll just have to wait and see. I am going to take everything that I already have, and repurpose it into something better.

I am going to take everything that I already have and repurpose it into something better.

Through refocusing, restructuring, rebranding, rebuilding, and repurposing, 2014 is going to be a year of personal bests.

Because it's my life, my output. My year of living with intention.

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