January 1, 2018
…and reflect on the Category 12 hurricane that was 2017
Last year, I had some lofty goals for myself. I wrote down 16 (SIXTEEN!) resolutions. Sorry, ambitious, beginning-of-the-year Sarah, but your 2017 resolutions didn’t really go as planned.
The past year felt simultaneously seconds and years long. It left me with more pimples and bigger dark circles than I had the concealer for. And while it’s easy to think of all of the negative things that happened in 2017 (because yeah, there were plenty) and write off the year with one, all-encompassing, colorful word (SH*T), a lot of really friggin great stuff happened during this 12-month maelstrom. This year brought me friendships both new and restored; incredible positions with Temple Student Government, Temple Campus Recreation, Her Campus Temple, Philadelphia Magazine, and HerCampus.com; constant challenging tests of faith; deepened familial relationships; and more growth than I could ever imagine. So while I didn’t necessarily triumph over all of my resolutions, I’m still looking at the past year with fondness (and yeah, maybe a little bit of pride because I didn’t black out on my 21st birthday).
But I’m ready to move on to 2018, and despite the fact that the new year is purely a social construct, I’m coming into it with a renewed hope that maybe I’ll finally change for the better (here’s hoping, because I’m a hot mess). With that being said, I’ve curated another, significantly shorter, list of resolutions for myself. Because I have as much free time as Donald Trump’s personal Tweet-er.
1. Live and love like Christ. If you’ve been following along my blog, you know that one of my biggest personal struggles is that of my faith. In 2018, I don’t expect that to change. I’ll still be at Temple, I’ll still be 21, and I’ll still be human (unless we suddenly turn our reality into a Black Mirror episode). But this year is when people will see me as different. Set apart. Unusual. This year is when I love the difficult people in my life and stop with the ‘cool, worldly girl that talks about Jesus’ façade and actually believe and live everything I say about my faith. It’s easy to talk the talk, but now it’s time for me to walk. And it’s going to be an arduous task, given that swearing is my love language and tequila is my closest companion, so, if nothing else, at least this attempt will be entertaining to watch.
2. Understand my worth. Hoooooo boy, my friends. I have really understated my worth in the past year. I let people walk all over me in the name of “friendship,” gave my time and energy to men (read: boys) that treated me like garbage, and treated my body with the utmost disrespect. We’re talking pizza rolls every week, eating too much or not enough, not sleeping enough during the week and even less on the weekends, imbibing stomach-churning amounts of alcohol, and turning in frequently without washing my face (it’s a vital part of the self-care process, ladies and gents). All of this falls under the umbrella of how worthy you deem yourself. We are fearfully and wonderfully made; if you don’t believe me, check out Isaiah 139. I am worth more than likes on Instagram, double-takes from drunk guys in house party basements, my GPA, and my reputation. My body and soul is a temple and it’s time for me to treat it as such. So goodbye, f*ckboys, horrible eating habits, skipped workouts, fake smiles and personas, and excessive alcohol consumption–you’re staying in 2017.
3. And finally: read. I’m going to read a book each month and the news each day. Even when I don’t want to, and even when I’m “too busy.” (the quotations because I never seem too busy to check my socials). I’M SPEAKING IT INTO EXISTENCE RIGHT NOW. (GOD SAR, JUST DO IT), because reading tweets and Facebook rants will do very little for my psyche, IQ, and future as a professional journalist. Here’s my list so far:
January: East of Eden- John Steinbeck
Because The Grapes of Wrath was the bane of my high school existence and I’m proving it to myself, my former teacher, and Steinbeck himself that I can enjoy one of his books.
February: The Handmaid’s Tale- Margaret Atwood
So I can watch the Hulu show. And because utopian novels, duh.
March: Eat, Pray, Love– Elizabeth Gilbert AND How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are- Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret, Sophie Mas
I’m going to Paris, okay? Let me have my moment.
April: The Alchemist– Paulo Coehlo
Read it before and loved it, so I’m reading it again. Coehlo is a genius.
May: The Big Life– Ann Shoket
Ever since her Seventeen days, Ann has always been my role model. After meeting her and interviewing her, I’m so excited to have a tangible copy of all the advice she shared for Millennial women.
June: Lilac Girls– Martha Hall Kelly
World War II novels and movies are my not-so-guilty pleasure. And this one intertwines different settings across the globe and feminism. Sold.
July: Unglued– Lysa Terkeurst
Because Jesus literature is good literature for a Christian gal like me that’s perpetually struggling.
August: Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of Unruly Women– Anne Helen Peterson
This book has been buzzed about for the past year, and with the rise of the #NastyWoman, it’s more important now than ever before.
September: The Book of Joan– Lidia Yuknavitch
Joan of Arc meets The Hunger Games. What? Yeah.
October: The Defining Decade– Meg Jay
Apparently your 20s are important. I try to forget about my lacking credit score, relationship status, wardrobe, and career by dancing around in basements every weekend, but maybe Meg Jay will help me out a little bit.
November: Interpreter of Maladies– Jhumpa Lahiri
This collection of short stories about Indian Americans has been on my list for a while, and it’s about time I read it.
December: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry– Neil deGrasse Tyson
So I can finally contribute to dinnertime conversations at family reunions (a handful of my cousins are biomedical engineers and rocket scientists, so believe me, I need this).
There you have it, folks. I think I might still have 16 resolutions to uphold, because upon reading over this post I realized I used some serious umbrella resolutions. But I’m going to let it happen and chalk it up to me just being dangerously ambitious woman. Maybe in a year’s time I’ll look back on this post and sigh because I overestimated myself again, but maybe I won’t. I have no idea what God has in store for 2018, and I’m content with that.
Who am I kidding? I’m a Virgo, an ISFJ, a control freak, and the most uptight woman you’ll ever meet. I’m not content with that. And that’s okay. (I am trying to be more authentic, you know. Just check resolution #2.)
Also upon reading, I realized maybe I should resolve to use fewer parentheticals, but that’s beside the point.
Happy 2018. Be well.