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January 1, 2014 / Ang

Good Riddance 2013

I’m not afraid to admit it – 2013 has been a living hell pretty much from start to finish. I just managed to live through it and see the bright spots as well. I’m just hoping 2014 is better.

My year started out as an emotional hell. I was anxious about affording tuition for the semester, a relationship (that I am happy to say will NOT happen again – watch me as I delete his number at midnight!), and student teaching. I was seriously concerned about all of these things and I was a hot mess. I’ll admit it. Just like I’m willing to admit that I’m still a bit of a hot mess express but in a different (seemingly better) way.

I wasn’t even an entire month into the new year when POTS hit hard. That really put a damper onto my entire year, honestly. Starting out so sick and running myself into the ground trying to survive my student teaching placement (or life in general for that matter) wasn’t the easiest. Not going to my second placement was probably one of the most difficult moments of my life. It still has a huge impact on me. I’m still at home trying to figure life out while a lot of my friends are in other states studying to get their masters’ and ultimately a PhD. I think I know exactly what I want to do with my life sometimes and I know that it’s going to take work to get there, but it’s disheartening to sit here trying to get my life back together while my friends’ lives are progressing. I miss having them home like crazy sometimes. I hate that I only get to see them for a few hours every so often now, if I’m lucky. But I don’t resent them, I’m proud (if jealous). Instead I just get a little angry at myself for dropping the ball from time to time, even though I know it’s not like I asked for multiple genetic conditions that could have such an effect on my life.

A friend of mine who wasn’t through nearly as much turmoil (unless you count listening to mine) uttered the phrase, “Thank God,” about this year coming to an end and it made me realize how much I HATED this year. I don’t think that I will ever look back at 2013 with any fondness. I’m just glad to have survived it. Next year, though? It WILL be different. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure of that.

Someone on Facebook posted a link to this cool project called One Word 365. I was struggling to come up with the word I wanted to use at first, honestly. I guess that’s brain fog for you. I sat here thinking, “I want to be healthier. I want to be either content with my weight realizing that I’m toned and that’s good enough or at a lower weight. I want to dance more often. I want to take risks and have fun. I want to enjoy what I have. I should really get back to blogging more often. I want a job, and to start saving more money. I want to go back to school and get my future figured out. I want self-confidence.” And I couldn’t realize what word encompassed all of those things for a solid ten minutes or so. The answer is: Better.

I want 2014 to be BETTER.

The concept is not to have resolutions but just to focus on “better” throughout the year. I can’t quite roll that way, though. So I’m going to come up with a list of resolutions that I hope will help me on my way to making 2014 better.

1.) I want to start using myfitnesspal and endomondo again. I need to keep up with tracking my intake so that I can have real conversations with my doctors about what needs to be done in regards to getting my electrolytes balanced out. I can almost guarantee you that I’m not getting the recommended 7 grams – but because I’ve stopped tracking my foods I can’t provide solid evidence of that. I also want to start using endomondo because it keeps track of my workouts and if there’s solid evidence that I’m burning plenty of calories but still gaining weight I want to be able to talk to my doctors about that. I’m not happy with my weight right now but I feel as though I can’t get help if we don’t know what’s going on.

2.) I want to exercise more often again. I’ve been keeping up with cardiac rehab, but that’s going to end soon, and when it does I don’t want to just start lazing about. I also feel like I’ve actually lost a lot of my muscle tone since starting cardiac rehab and I want to regain that. I bought myself an exercise ball the other day and I’ll start doing my ab workout at least once a day. I’m going to start trying to keep up with yoga more often too. And seriously: back to the gym. I’ve been trying to figure out which gym. All I know is that it’s going to happen and I WILL love my body. I hope.

3.) I might cave and ask for a referral to a therapist so that I can prove to any doctors who might doubt me that it’s not just my stress. (Although I finally have a doctor who actually has a physiological explanation for my elevated cortisol!) It’s also largely because I’m terrified that when I’m tracking calories again for the sake of my health that I might become obsessive about everything and get myself into trouble. If I have someone holding me accountable and helping me through it, though, things might be a little easier to handle.

4.) I want to take better care of myself. That includes all of the above but also making sure that I’m keeping up with my medicines and appointments. And trying to eat healthier foods – or at least eat fewer unhealthy foods. I binged on some sweets tonight so that along with my wakeup came healthier eating. I’ll even try to keep up with eating more smaller “meals” even though I HATE that because I can never keep up with it. I’m lumping developing a better self-image into here too. I might have to go back to reminding myself of something I like about me but doing it for me this time – not someone who is no longer in my life.

5.) I WILL dance more often. I want to get back to dancing every Tuesday and every weekend opportunity in Pittsburgh. And I’ll compete at the Michigan Classic if it kills me. I need the experience, just once. Maybe more if I’m hooked and can afford it. Because I’m dancing more frequently I will hopefully become a better dancer again too. The past few months off to behave myself have left me feeling rough – I want to feel graceful and great again.

6.) I want to make the most of the time that I have with my friends since it’s infrequent.

7.) I want to try to travel. Even if it’s just a little bit. Or at least save my money so that I can afford to travel more – especially when I need to in 2015 for a certain wedding we’re hoping happens that summer.

8.) I want to try to blog at least twice a week (I’m totally counting this post). And hopefully the blogs will have some substance to them. Dear followers: One of you please nag at me for accountability or cheer me on or something if you notice that I’m failing or doing awesomely at this one.

9.) I want to HAVE FUN. I’m not entirely sure how to accomplish this one, though. I feel like I’m so serious most of the time and I really need to figure out how to take risks and just have fun instead of overthinking everything.

10.) I want to re-write my resume and get a job. I have almost 9 months until I’ll be back at school (because I WILL be back at IUP next fall even if I hate myself) – that’s plenty of time to work and save money, and I’ll hopefully be able to keep my job while going to school. This one may require getting in touch with an advocate so that I know how to navigate the employment scene better. I know I have a right to ask for accommodations but I’m not sure if those accommodations including a stool make up for the “prolonged standing” requirement or not.

11.) I want to complete more projects. First up: Making that beanie for my friend so he has a hat that matches his scarf when he goes back to school. I might even try to sell these projects.

12.) I want to try to keep up with doing things for other people: volunteering, just sending a text reminding them that I’m thinking of them, etc. Feel free to share cheap ideas of how to make other people smile.

13.) I want to be more comfortable with expressing my feelings with other people. I get really frustrated sometimes because I’m almost afraid to let people know how I’m really feeling out of fear of rejection or the need for a sense of diplomacy. But relationships feel almost shallow when I’m busy keeping quiet and thinking too much instead of sharing how I feel. First up: Romance situations.

13 seems to be a pretty lucky number for me so I’m going to leave it there I think.

Here’s to 2014 and a much better year!

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