The Realest Advice on How to Start the New Year

The Realest Advice on How to Start the New Year

New year, new me? Maybe. Maybe not. I can dig the saying, to an extent. Some people want to do better, be a different person, emerge from a butterfly cocoon at midnight, but a date on a calendar isn’t going to propel you into greatness. It can be a push in the right direction, though.

Trust me, I get it. 2016 has been a year of revelation. And I use the word revelation, because I keep seeing all these posts about how much 2016 sucked. I don’t know how to feel about that. I mean, did it have sucky moments? Yeah. Which year didn’t? But with those suck-ass moments, truths were revealed. We got to see what we were really made of when these calamities struck. Ain’t that worth something? To see how that arrow flew right at you and how you soared over that bitch. The arrow might’ve hit your mom in the arm, but hey, you can’t have it all.

A date on a calendar isn’t going to propel you into greatness. It can be a push in the right direction, though. tweet

I remember at the end of 2015, I had a plan for the 2016 takeover. The plan was to grind with my blogging. Turn it into a business. To work on my book and get it in the best shape possible so that I could land an agent and get it published. Finally start my career. To have better opportunities for my husband and I. I was 28, and at 30, I told him I was kinda, sorta ready to be a mother. And as long as he helped me with the little rug rat, then I’d do it. Finally. Although, I never wanted kids, I was going to do it for him. He’d waited this long. He deserved it.

Life had another plan…

I relaunched my blog and that took about two months, but I was happy with the results. With the rebranding, I was going to be more real, more lifestyle. Less blogger-y. People started to dig the new layout, and I started getting a lot of publicity. The money was going to start rolling in, so any financial stress from him was would be alleviated. Unfortunately, no money came. I was working for free. Started working for Muslim Girl and got some more publicity. As I blew up in my creative field, attention-wise, my relationship went downhill. I found out he was dating some girl from his job. That killed me. But I kept it between family and close friends. I still blogged. Keeping up a façade of okay-ness. We got therapy. I forgave him. New beginnings, right? Wrong.

I mean, did it have sucky moments? Yeah. Which year didn’t? But with those suck-ass moments, truths were revealed. tweet

During this time of discovery, I asked myself a question. And, it really just came out of nowhere. Would you choose your career over your relationship? I was never able to answer the question because I could do it all, I could have it all.

When he’d say weird things about my accomplishments and how I wasn’t enough, the question always came up. Still, I never answered it. I was in denial.

More shit hit the fan with his infidelity. The blaming. The yelling. The resentment.

Still, I stayed. Trying to salvage the broken pieces.

During our divorce, I went through a lot of mental abuse. He said some really nasty things to me. I threw myself more into blogging, modeling, and other creative projects. I hired an editor to help me with my indie novel. I didn’t process the divorce thoroughly. Didn’t have time to. And that was okay with me.

I had no idea that in the beginning of 2016, that I’d be single by the end of the year. That I’d have to fend for myself. That I’d lose my mother to mental illness. That I’d lose friends to jealousy. But even with those revelations, I had gains that were equally amazing. I also had no idea that I’d become stronger by going to the gym regularly, that I’d be a staff writer, that I’d have dozens of features, or that I’d publish a book, or that I’d graduate from having five years of extensive therapy or that I’d be living on my own and be blessed to pay my own damn phone bill without him (because he said that I couldn’t).

I didn’t process the divorce thoroughly. Didn’t have time to. And that was okay with me. tweet

It was revealed to me this year that I was much stronger than I ever thought I was. Because failing at an nine-year marriage made me feel so weak. So low. I questioned myself at every turn. Why this and why that? If you had only done such and such, then you wouldn’t be undesirable, single, divorced. So, no, I don’t agree with anyone that 2016 was shit. It was THE SHIT! Because we are still here, still standing and living. Still able to grow, be hurt, and bounce back.

Because I’m corny, I have a few things that I want to leave with you for the new year. And a few tips to make sure it kinda goes smoothly. Note: I’m also going to practice what I preach.


 

Drop the Duds:

Stop allowing people to enter and take space in your life that have no substance or value. I see this waaaaaaay too much, especially with girls. Got a fuck boy that’s been hanging on by the pinky cuticle? Drop him. Got a frenemy who always got some smack to talk when you’ve “blessed up?” Drop her. Got an evil cat that scratches and hisses at you even though you feed it premium cat food? Drop it off at the Humane Society. Just kidding. (Or am I?)

The point is, we don’t want to make people angry or uncomfortable. We don’t want to burn bridges. Right? Fuck those bridges. They have no problem with draining your energy, making you feel low, creating issues for you. So, if the bad outweighs the good then you may have to drop em. Sorry. You are the weakest link. Buh bye.

So, no, I don’t agree with anyone that 2016 was shit. It was THE SHIT! Because we are still here, still standing and living. Still able to grow, be hurt, and bounce back. tweet

Stop Lying to Yourself… And Others

Are you the Facebook friend who boasts about who they are cutting off in 2017? The one who says they are going to hit the gym but then falls off once spring hits? Stop lying. Little secret here, everyone knows you’re full of it so just don’t. If you have no intention of doing something for yourself or others — keep your mouth shut.

Be truthful. You know your capabilities for the most part. If your goal is to save money, then you actually have to have a plan and implement it. Out of each check, I’m going to save 50 bucks. Boom! I call this the plan and do method. Too many people talk, but don’t back it up. Write it down. Consult with others about how you should go about your goal. Research. Do it. If it fails, go through all the steps again and tweak where necessary.

Get the ‘F’ Out of Your Comfort Zone

Growth is necessary, and it’s uncomfortable. You can try to avoid if you want, but you will always be thrown a curveball. Facts. So, why not semi-prepare yourself? The more fluid you are, the less force the hit will have.

For example, I hated going to events by myself because I didn’t like being the awkward girl standing alone watching other people mingle. What if I said something stupid? What if I got rejected? I had to ask myself: what’s the point of going to events anyway?

We don’t know when our last day is up. So, let’s go into 2017 making the most of our 364 days. tweet

Well, I want to connect with others and build my brand. If no one knows about you, then how will you grow your brand? Know what I did? I forced myself to go to events. Alone. Although very painful and awkward, I set a goal. Talk to five people and then you can leave. Once, I got to talking and figuring that out, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It got easier each time.   


In conclusion, what I want for all of you (the fantastic readers) is the feeling of rejuvenation for the new year. You don’t have to make a complete 180, but start thinking about it. Think about some goals you didn’t get to start or finish last year.

Think about the relationships you keep and how that affects you: good or bad. Think about leaping into some shit that’s super cool, that you never thought of doing before. We don’t know when our last day is up. So, let’s go into 2017 making the most of our 364 days.

 

xoxo,

Leah V. 

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