Another new year. And 2018 is a pretty big one, for me. This year marks my 30th birthday, in April. It’s also going to mark ten years that my partner and I have been together. Big milestones! As for 2017, I’m glad to see it gone by. Wonderful things happened to me personally – my first two trips out of the country, an amazing summer of hiking, camping, and travel with my little family, growing and experimenting with my art. But outside of my little bubble, there was a lot of horror. Things that made the happiness of my personal life seem insignificant, even selfish to enjoy. So much that is absolutely out of my control, things that I cannot change even when I do as much as I can. Those things dampened the happy wonderful times.
The end of the year in particular, wasn’t great for me. I let myself get entirely overwhelmed with anxiety for nearly the full month of December. I hadn’t dealt with anxiety that bad in nearly two years; it was back to feeling like I couldn’t leave my house and I hardly ate or slept for days at a time. It was incredibly unhealthy. But it did lead to something good in the end. Due to the three solid weeks of anxiety I’d been living in, I took the entire last week of December off. I gave myself no responsibilities other than caring for my kid. No housecleaning I didn’t want to do. No cooking if I didn’t feel like it. Not worrying about keeping up online. More playtime with my daughter. And it was incredible.
It was a break I didn’t know I needed, but it turned out to be EXACTLY what I needed. Even better, my partner got time off from work so we got to spend five days together as a family. A perfect staycation to end a stressful month. I got my eating and sleeping back on track, and just allowed myself to BE, without constant worries of what the next day would bring. It felt so good, I plan to make that little staycation a yearly tradition. I will be taking the week after Christmas off from life every year from now on, and I really encourage you to do the same if you’re able. Overall, I’m happy to say goodbye to 2017. I’m happy to welcome in 2018, a fresh year full of hope for the future and positive changes.
In the past, I’ve liked to set goals for the year. But every year, I set the goals, and by March have usually forgotten them entirely. I much prefer to stick to small monthly goals, which I’ll be posting later in the week. But I do have a focus for 2018. I couldn’t narrow it down to One Little Word, a project I really like, but I’ll explain my focus as best I can.
At some point in 2017 I had a realization about myself. I haven’t lived on my own since I was 20 years old. I moved in with my partner the year I turned 20, and we’ve been together ever since. And while I love being alone, and having alone time, I realized that when it comes to being outside my comfort zone, I am terrified to be on my own. I think it first hit me when we went to Costa Rica last April. I was freaking out about having to fly without my partner. And I can’t really explain why. I’m a fully grown, smart, and capable woman yet the idea of being somewhere new by myself terrifies me. Having new experiences on my own scares me. Existing out of my comfort zone by myself scares me. Why? I don’t have a good answer.
Because of this I’m making it a point to rediscover how to be on my own in new situations. It seems such a silly thing, but it’s a fear that I truly want to conquer. I know myself, and I know my anxiety, and I can easily see this spiraling into something that ends up holding me back from things I want to do. I do not want that to happen.
I’m starting small. I have tickets to a concert in March with my brother and his girlfriend, and I’ll be driving to Boston and back by myself. I am sure this sounds like a relatively normal thing for basically any adult, but I’m nervous just thinking about it. May brings an upgraded challenge – I’m going out to visit my best friend! She moved across country two years ago, and I’m finally going to fly out and stay with her for a bit! It’ll be the first flight I’ve ever been entirely on my own for, so that’ll be a biggie.
Have you ever struggled with anxiety about doing things on your own? If so, let me know and we can strategize together! Or, if you’ve got any tips on overcoming this fear, please share. I could use the help! And of course, feel free to tell me about your goals for the year if you have any, or things you’re excited about for 2018!