2019 came whether I was ready for it or not – and I was not. I scrambled to pop a bottle of champagne for my friends and I, my mom yelled “30 seconds!” from the living room, I danced around frantically – holding on to the final moments of 2018, I barely heard a countdown from another room while grabbing my phone to check the time – 12:00 – I nearly slipped on the tile in my socks from across the house to tackle my boyfriend for his first New Year’s kiss.

And it was perfect.

I danced my little heart out with my best friends in the first moments of the year, despite being unprepared and frantic… and I think that’s a good representation for how 2019 is going to be for me.

“This year is going to be a doozy for you,” a new palm-reading friend told me near the end of December. My heart sank, as if I didn’t already know that. Of course it is. My whole life is changing, whether I like it or not. I’m graduating college in May – finishing my last bit of school EVER. I’m going into the real world. I have no plan, I have no idea what to expect, and I have $20 to my name… but I have the best support system, I’m in love, I’m doing things I’m passionate about, and I’m having so much fun. I’m thankful for 2018 because it set the momentum for the year(s) to come. I learned a lot about myself, and the type of person I do or don’t aspire to be. I learned from some big mistakes. I learned about relationships and what I need from them. I learned what it felt like to be depended on. So you could say this was the year of lessons. Now I’m taking those lessons and applying them. I’m a firm believer that the world doesn’t owe you anything – 2019 will not bring you anything – you have to go get what you want. Opportunities may arise and karma may work it’s magic, but at the end of the day, the way your year goes is up to you.

So here are my resolutions for 2019:

1. Be unapologetically you.

This might be what I’m most excited to accomplish. The people I look up to are so in tune with themselves – they know who they are, and they don’t give a damn about how they should be. I’m a people pleaser, and while that could be a good thing in some situations, it’s one of my greatest weaknesses. I care way too much about what people think of me, but I’m starting to discover who I am and deciding that I’m going to embrace it.

2. Live in the moment.

While I am an avid user of my favorite social media platforms, and I love taking pictures and capturing all the amazing moments in my life… I sometimes like to miss the photo-op. Sometimes (very rarely) I leave my camera and I just go. I’d like to create a balance of living in the moment and capturing it well because these are two very important aspects to how my creativity flows.

3. Take yourself more seriously.

I’m tired of not giving myself enough credit. I see other people doing similar things to what I can do and succeeding in the field, just because they own it. They use their talent and they’re not afraid of failing. Instead of saying “I like to do photography and videography,” I’m going to start saying “I am a photographer and videographer.” Instead of doing work for free, I’m going to charge for my time and talent. My work is worthy, and maybe I’m not the best, but I’m going to keep getting better. You know what they say, find what you love, and make a living out of it.

On another note, this goes for self-awareness. I have a habit of discrediting my feelings or ideas because I don’t feel good enough, so I always stay quiet and go with the flow. I’ve learned in the past year through holding a leadership position in my sorority that my opinions matter. One of my sisters said something to me that changed the way I view myself and it will always stick with me. I told her that I’m not one to “rock the boat” and I don’t want to say anything because I feel that my say wouldn’t help or contribute. She said “that’s what we want from you.” It may have been a simple epiphany, but from then on I spoke my mind and not only did I start to take myself more seriously, but so did other people.

4. Create realistic healthy habits that work for your lifestyle.

I used to work out all the time because I was on a dance team, but then my life got busier, I got more overwhelmed with my workload, and now I can’t tell you the last time I went to the gym, let alone did something active on purpose. I used to love running. I’ve been told that yoga and meditation work wonders for you, mentally and physically. I have a bad habit of eating whatever I want, whenever I want. I am a foodie, but I need some healthy balance in my life. I’m not saying I want to be like one of those people with fit instagram accounts who track everything they put in their body and revolve their life around going to the gym – that’s not me. That’s what I mean when I say something “realistic” that applies to “your lifestyle.”

5. Take your mental health more seriously.

This is something that I’ve struggled with for years, and especially the last few. I’m used to hiding things and pretending I’m okay. I haven’t found a way of letting go of things or coping with some of my internal battles, but I’m hoping to start seeing a therapist regularly because that is completely normal, and I’m realizing more and more people do this as well. If you deal with something similar and you’re comfortable sharing recommendations, send them my way!

6. Practice self-care and self-love. The right way.

Self care doesn’t always mean sleeping all day or secluding yourself. Sometimes it means getting up, getting ready, looking your best and doing your best because that is what is going to help you in the long run. Don’t get me wrong – a regular sleep schedule and taking alone time is important, but there are differences between what’s healthy and what’s detrimental.

7. Be good to people, even if they don’t treat you the same.

I think a lot of people struggle with this, especially now with so many different opinions and strong views. But at the end of the day, just be good to people. As hard as it is, don’t let someone else’s negativity get to you; instead fire back with grace and positivity. It will create a force that goes a long way.

8. Bullet journal.

I dabbled in this last year but never kept it up enough to really utilize the functionality. I’ve been obsessed with notebooks and journaling for as long as I can remember, so this is something I want to take up again.

9. Create a savings plan.

As mentioned previously, my savings is quite sad at the moment. I had a solid savings about two years ago, so I know I can do it. Let me know if you have any tips or tricks on saving in the comments!

10. Take more opportunities to express your creativity – even if you fail or it didn’t turn out the way you intended, at least you learned from it.

For me, this applies to my photography and videography. I used to turn down opportunities to shoot because I feel that I wasn’t good enough. But I have been paid to do what I do, I know I can do it. Even if it’s not a paid gig – I love connecting with others and running ideas by each other and having a creativity party, which in turn, turns into a beautiful reality. I need more of that.

11. Go to all the local places on your list of “places to try.”

I have a “Restaurant/Café Bucket List” saved to the notes in my phone, but I’m finding more non-food places that I’d like to try. I’ve had this list saved for almost a year and have barely ticked anything off the list, but I want to change that. As you may or may not know, I live in Las Vegas, and this city is filled with interesting places. Later, I’m going to link here to another blog post with my “Places to Try in Vegas” with a list and keep it updated each time I try a new place.

12. De-clutter your life.

I hate clutter. I feel like my room and my phone are starting to get full of things that I just don’t need.

13. Practice hygge.

Pronounced hoo-guh, this is a Danish-originated lifestyle that I discovered a couple years ago. I might dedicate a blog post to it, going more into detail and how I have implemented it in my life. It’s really interesting and seems effective if you’d like to look more into it – there’s tons of hygge boards on Pinterest!

14. Read more books.

I remember reading books all the time as a kid. I cannot tell you the last time I actually read a book from start to finish. Maybe not since high school? I miss reading, and I have accumulated many interesting and helpful books over the years that I would love to actually read. I want to set a goal for myself – maybe one a month – but I’m not sure if that’s too ambitious… As if I don’t already have enough books in line, leave suggestions in the comments! I like adventure, I’m a sucker for a good romance, and I’m interested in those inspiring self-help books.

15. Practice playing the piano again.

I took lessons for a minute in high school. I taught myself some things over the years. But it’s never something I stuck with. I’m not limiting myself to just piano – it can be anything musical – guitar, singing, creating mashups. I’m open to it.

(Side note – it’s one of my goals to produce, shoot, and edit a music video so if anyone has any connections or ideas, let me know!)

16. Post more pictures. Not for everyone else, but because you want to.

Everyone is so caught up with social media image nowadays – myself included. It got so bad this last year that I would go weeks without posting anything, even though I was doing really cool things that I wanted to share with the world. I don’t care how many “likes” I get, I’m posting it because I want to and I like it and they are my memories.

17. Finish school strong.

Like I said, this is my last semester of college. My school career has been an interesting ride – it started out so easy. I never had to study anything, I was ahead in grade levels. I never had to try. High school became harder and I began to struggle with grades. But I didn’t know how to really fix it – I never needed to study. This struggle carried on through college and my grades suffered. However, I just earned the highest GPA in my latest semester than I have in all of college. It’s about time right? Hoping to keep that momentum and finish out strong.

18. Make your parents proud.

They’re the real reason I’m here, doing what I’m doing. I couldn’t do any of it without them. Thank you.

19. Reconnect with distant family.

I have family all over the place. It’s almost always been like that, so I’m kind of used to it. But there’s some family that I haven’t seen or even spoke to in years. I had an idea when I was in high school, and it’s become a long-term goal of mine. One day I want to travel solo around the world to visit each of my family members and stay with them, spend time, catch up, and establish a real relationship with them – not just through Facebook. Of course, I haven’t had the time or money to achieve that dream, but I’d like to plan for it one day.

As for this year, I want to start establishing that plan, to make it easier to achieve that goal in the future.

If you’ve made it this far, kudos to you. Thanks for reading my brain dump. Here’s to new beginnings. Happy New Year, world.

January 1, 2019

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