True Confession: I didn’t keep my New Year’s resolutions.
In January of 2015 I declared publicly (to all of you, in class) that this year would be the year that I would finally get serious about learning to speak French and finally actually learn to play the guitar that’s been gathering dust in the corner for three five years. I want to converse with my grandmother in her native tongue. I want to start a band with my boo, who’s also a proud Louisianian and a proficient Cajun fiddler. But I didn’t do any of those things.
I planned to write this to tell you all the things I accomplished this year instead of learning to speak French and play guitar. I did A LOT of things this year. So many things, very few of which that were music or language related. I thought I would give you all the reasons and excuses that I didn’t meet my goals. I imagined you reading this list of accomplishments and forgiving me for not also becoming D.L. Menard this year. I imagined you accepting me despite not reaching my goals (yet). I imagined you smiling and thinking, “Well, she’s only human.”
But when I sat down to type all those things out, and I imagined you being sweet and understanding towards me, I realized that I didn’t feel that way about myself. I still feel bad about not living up to my own expectations, even though the reasons I didn’t are all perfectly reasonable and totally valid. I have been quietly berating myself for all the ways I continue to see myself as a failure, a fuck-up, and an impostor. Despite knowing better intellectually, emotionally I still hold fast to these two crippling thoughts (via Brene Brown): “You’re never good enough” and “Who do you think you are?”
It pains me to write this. It feels scary and vulnerable and exposed. I want to imagine that I’ve evolved beyond this, that somehow all the years of yoga and meditation and inquiry and therapy have healed me, that I’m done with this work, or at least, done enough to pretend. But I’m not, and truthfully, I don’t think any of us ever are.
So my resolution for 2016 is simple: Be kind to myself. Be kind when I succeed. Be kind when I fail. Be kind when I fail again. And again. And again. Be kind to myself when I’m kicking butt and taking names, and when it’s all I can do to get dressed and head out into the world. Kindness when I’m put together, and kindness when I’m falling apart. Kindness in English et en Francais. Kindness regardless. Kindness unconditionally. Kindness without reservation.
Much love in this New Year,
P.S. Want more compassion for yourself in all your pursuits this year? There are still a few spots left for Heartspark, but registration is closing soon, so sign up now! I guarantee a vulnerability hangover at least as good as the one I’ll have from writing this post.