Posted by: kristabella | January 3, 2008

Resolve

At this time of year, people are all about making resolutions and starting a new year fresh and resolving to be a better person by losing weight, or working out, or sending more birthday cards. I’m not one for resolutions really. I like the idea of them. I like that January 1 brings a hope among people to make themselves better or to make them happier.

What I don’t much like about them is that people aren’t realistic or give up too easy or don’t follow through and then are depressed because they failed. And that the outcome of the year depends on it. That defeats the whole purpose of the resolution. It is a good thing. Not something to make you feel like shit and make you feel like a failure. So that is why I try not to make them.

Last year I think mine was to do more and take advantage of the city I live in. Be more active or something. Did I do it? Maybe. Maybe not. But I made it something where if I succeeded, great. If I didn’t, it was OK because it wasn’t something I had to accomplish between January 1 and December 31.

I had no intentions of writing a resolutions post this year because I resolved to do more of the same. I resolved to blog and drink wine and watch trashy reality television. I resolved to keep doing the things I enjoy. But something I read made me start thinking about what I would like to change. What are the things that upset me in my life that I’d like to change because they cause me stress and anguish and for me to be a grumpy Gus. Which is no good for me.

What I realized is that I am constantly striving for perfection. I am constantly trying to be a perfect co-worker, a perfect employee, a perfect friend, a perfect sister, a perfect Auntie, a perfect blogger, a perfect daughter, basically all-around perfect. And I realized in all my striving to be so damn perfect and to give so much of myself to that, is that I’ve become completely selfless. It’s like I go out of my way to make people happy, regardless of what I really want or what stress and anxiety it is going to cause me.

I work, like most people in the world. I enjoy my weekends. Probably too much, seeing as I prefer not to leave the house and/or shower. But I more often than not sacrifice my weekends, my only days off, to give my time to spend with others. Because that’s what the perfect person does. They don’t do what they want. They constantly give.

The outcome of all this is that, especially being a single person, I get shit on a lot. Because I set precedents. And then I am constantly having to live up to this perfect image of this perfect person that everyone expects. And I can’t falter now, because with that faltering comes the disappointment. And perfect people don’t disappoint the people around them. Especially their loved ones.

On top of that, because you’ve created this perfect persona, it is an expected behavior. It is no longer viewed as a selfless act. It is the norm. So not only must you keep it up, as to not disappoint, you also don’t get the “atta boys!” and pats on the back for the things that you have done, the lengths you have gone to. Because you’ve set these lofty goals for yourself, so it takes doing something way out of the ordinary, like driving somewhere at 3 o’clock in the morning, for people to actually open their eyes to look at you in a new light and all that you do.

Don’t get me wrong. I spend a lot of quality time by myself. It’s not like I give all my free time up to others. Because otherwise I’d be locked up in a padded room somewhere. Because one, I’m too selfish for that. And two, I generally don’t like people.

But thinking back on the last few weeks, where I have had time, time to do whatever, I realize that some of the happiest times are when I’ve spent entire days in my pajamas, curled up on the couch, reading a book from cover to cover. I don’t have to answer to anyone. No one is expecting anything from me. Yes, I could be out running errands or cleaning the house, but those things aren’t running away. And while yes, to some it is a waste of a day, it is in those moments where I feel the most at ease, the most relaxed, because I’m not trying to live up to some crazy ideal person that I am supposed to be.

So I do have a resolution. I resolve to not try to be the perfect sister or perfect Auntie or perfect daughter or perfect anything. I resolve not to feel that constant pressure of always have to put others first and make them happy before myself. 

I resolve to be me. And really enjoy being me. To make sure that I do things for me that are in my best interest and things I truly enjoy, things that don’t cause me stress. I resolve to make sure people appreciate me, flaws and all. To enjoy time with others because I WANT to. Not because I feel like I HAVE to.

I resolve to enjoy MY life. Because it’s the only one I’ve got.

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Responses

  1. Wow, where the hell was this post when I needed it last April? You very eloquently wrote what I have struggled with for the last year.

    How much of yourself can you give away and still be you? I hope this year we can both find the answer to this question!!

    Good luck!

  2. It always seems like you are out enjoying yourself, whether you’re having nights out, talking about sporting events, with family, with friends — since I’m a certified homebody, you’re my idol. 😉

    Enjoy your Chicago walks.. and be happy!

  3. What a great post. That last line is exactly how I try to live my life. Raising my glass to you and wishing you much happiness!

    Did I mention this was a great post?

  4. That sounds like a pretty good resolution to me (speaking as someone else who always wants to be perfect, and does the things she’s expected to rather than the things she wants to.)

    Me, I’m resolving to still be alive at the end of the year. I like to aim low 🙂

  5. I hate to use this word, but that sounds like the “perfect” resolution. From reading your blog, it sounds like already know how to have a a good time but to actually consciously enjoy yourself and your life does take effort. Happy 2008 🙂

  6. I honestly don’t know what to say….all I want is for you to enjoy your life…YOUR life. Life itself is too short not to try to enjoy every minute of it. You are the BEST daughter anyone could ask for (I refuse to use the “P” word) and all I want is what’s best for you and what makes you happy. Always. Forever.

  7. You said ” I resolve to make sure people appreciate me, flaws and all.”

    Flaws?

    You have flaws?

    I didnt know that! LOL

    Anyway, life is easy, but we insist on making it hard. You will still stop to help others, but you should also help yourself, be happy, content, healthy.

    As long as you maintain life’s number one directive to “Learn something new every day”, then you are doing great!

  8. See, there you go! People thought I was joking when I said that was going to be more selfish in 2008. You just put it much more eloquently! 😉

  9. hell, i know you’re not perfect. why do you think we drink so much rum? look for me on tv tomorrow!

  10. Oh KJ. I hear you girl! I am much the same way – but I will share something that Schwerer told me about myself back in March/April – she said to me: we all know you are not perfect and WE LOVE YOU ANYWAY!

    So, you are not perfect – who cares. You have been a great friend through some craptastic times – drunk, puking, breaking up, booty calls, bitchieness, good times, fond memories, blah, blah, blah – that is all that matters!

    None of us is perfect – and it is a great relief to just let yourself be…I may steal your goal for this year (if you don’t mind) I could work on it too!

  11. Amen, girl. Here’s hoping that you get some more Kristabella-time in 2008. Happy New Year!

  12. That’s too funny! I saw you on a comment on Jennsylvania and I jokingly wrote to one of my friends a few weeks back that I resolve to drink more wine and eat more grilled cheese. Too funny! If you’re ever in Dallas, let me know. I take that kind of irony as a sign we should meet. Cheers!

  13. Ha, that’s awesome, dude! I only made a goal and it’s to always strive to be overdressed rather than underdressed.

  14. I am totally the same way. That sounds like a great “resolution” to me!

  15. You know, that’s a really good point — too many people are assholes. But far too many people are really, really nice folks that try far, far too hard to always and forever be nice, kind, courteous, and happy. Reality is that some days you really should be a prick for your own sake and I resolve to try to be more assertive about my own ideas, needs, and desires and less worried about all the slight missteps I might make.


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