New Year, Old Me

Unlike the rest of the world, for me the New Year is never an opportunity for renewal. I always use my birthday as the point in time where I make resolutions and plans for who I want to be in the New Year for a myriad of reasons.

For one it keeps it personal and I don’t have to compete against everyone else’s resolutions. I’m essentially wearing blinders and just running my own race. This year, my resolutions really focused on honing in on who I am. I want to be the best version of myself from August 2013 to August 2014. I want to look up and be like “The Victoria from October 2013? She was on point.” In an effort to do that, all of my resolutions this year were intangibles. Nothing that I could go out and do and hit a mile stone for, just general growth.

1. Don’t allow myself to regret not going to medical school. I made the outright conscious decision that I can not be a doctor. I don’t have a heart for it. I think God’s calling for my life is to effect the most people best way that I know how and I don’t think one on one clinicals is that. So I decided for myself not to go to medical school. Every now and again, my ego starts to regret it and I have to remind myself of my purpose and my life mission statement.

2. Have a profound musical experience. This year is the year of music for me. And while I too was riveted by Beyonce’s 12:01am release of Beyonce, that is definitely not what I am going for. You know that moment where you have heard a song fifteen times and you hear it in the car one day and there is a lyric that you have never heard before? You hear that verse and its so freaking real to where your life is or has been that you almost have to pull over (see Frank Ocean’s Bad Religion). That’s what I’m talking about. Those are the kind of profound musical experiences I’m after.

3. Find God where I am. I outright refuse to go to anymore church. Maybe that will change in the future but there was one summer where Marcus and I literally went to a different church Every. Single. Sunday. I think I was just searching and looking and pursuing and chasing after God. I felt like I just could not find him any where I looked. And you know where I found him? In the privacy of my own home; In the intimate moments that I have shared with my siblings; In the look of comprehension I find in my students’ eyes; In the hug that a woman gave me after I held her hand through her HIV test. ┬áSo this year, I am choosing to pursue God where I am through my actions, words and love for his people.

4. Be Kind. I am nice. Especially surface level but you know what? That is not enough. From anyone, really. I want to be better at being kind. I want to be more understanding of people and their life circumstances on a deeper level. And most importantly I want to be kind to myself. I am so critical of my every thought, action and move that some days I actually have to calm myself. Recently though, I have been able to look in the mirror and I look exactly the way I want to look and feel exactly the way I want to feel and that’s awesome.

5. Feel healthier. This is the only one that works toward an actual goal. And you know what that goal turned out to be? Hedonism. I was so rigid and uptight a lot all the time. I tried to be perfect in all aspects of my life so that no one would ever have a reason to yell at me. All of this tension was rapidly leading to an ulcer. So this year, I decided to loosen up a little. I eat what I want even if it has a whopping amount of calories. I say what I want, within reason. I go where I want and I sleep when I want. This year, I had a final in a class and I went to sleep the night before. No studying, just went to sleep. Woke up at 7am and studied. And you know what? Still passed with flying colors. The world did not slow to a stop because I chose not to study. Sure, I’ll have leafy greens, run and be accountable to my boss, but no longer will it be at the expense of my health. I needed to sleep, so I went to sleep.

How me and this guy spent New Year’s Eve