Hello dear friends.

In case you haven’t noticed, 2013 has been chugging right on along. We’re almost a month into it now. Although you may have seen my posts on my reflections from 2012, you’ll notice that I’ve been surprisingly on the DL about New Year’s resolutions. And this is because I make a dozen or so reflections every year, and if I’m lucky, a few of them stick. This year I went with three, and I waited a month to see which ones really stuck . So sit down, settle back, and perhaps start to mull over those promises you made to yourself twenty-three days ago…and enjoy my Three New Year’s Resolutions!

1. Become Miley Cyrus. No, I didn’t go for that blonde pixie cut of hers, nor do I spend all day on Twitter with my dogs, but you have to hand it to Miley when it comes to her rockin’ bod. Like millions of Americans, I too decided to become healthier…whatever that means. But instead of jumping on the treadmill and eating rabbit food everyday like my room mate {sigh…} I’ve decided to take small steps. No soft drinks. More protein and less carbs. At least half of my plate must be living things.

Also, I’ve been trying to do something physical at least three times a week. Rock climbing, Pilates, dancing like a fool…taking the stairs instead of the elevator to my dorm.

Just look at the muscles popping out of that body. I’m sooooo ready for Spring Break 2013. {jokes.}

But one thing I’ve learned is that having friends doing the same thing definitely keeps you in check. A few friends and I have a Facebook group called “Becoming Miley Cyrus”. Because if you’re going to do push ups til your arms are jello and avoid those chocolate chip cookies, you might as well suffer through it together.

{Note…I still go for the chocolate chip cookies, when nobody’s around. Live and let live.}

2. Embrace the everyday artist. In case you’re reading this blog and have no idea who I am or where I’m from, I happen to attend Belmont University in Nashville. Which, ahem, just happens to be one of the best music schools in the nation. Although I’m not technically a music major, and I don’t have an EP out or anything, I still love it. That being said, I am amazed and overwhelmed by the quality and passion of the musicians here at Belmont. They live it, and breathe it. It’s something that affects every part of their life, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Although I’m not to that level, I decided that I needed to continue to develop my creative side, and that means becoming an everyday artist.

Seeing the beauty in little things. Listening to new music. Writing new music. Learning piano again. Collaborating with other musicians. Opening myself up to new feelings, even the uncomfortable ones. Especially the uncomfortable ones.

Having a chance to get away and fill this desire of mine is beyond amazing. Being able to do it in a city that is defined by its creativity is even better. I’ve been writing more music…and even started on a book? But more of that will come later. ;)

3. Cut the bull. Or, to put it more professionally, commit to being transparent. This is the one that I’m probably the most passionate about and the most happy that I committed to.

I feel like our culture on the whole is ingrained with the idea that we have to both A. avoid confronting people and B. pretend that everything in our lives is perfect. So I’ve decided this year, and from now on, to speak honestly and openly. Now, before people take it out of hand, I’m not talking about a full on MTV cat-fight with someone that I have a problem with {meow!}. There’s a difference between telling the truth with tact and looking to start a fight. What I’m talking about is asking questions to God and the people closest to me that frankly make me feel uncomfortable.

“What’s something in me that you’d like to see changed?”

“How is what I’m saying/doing right now hurting you?”

“Am I being less than God called me to be right now?”

At first, it’s an uncomfortable situation for both of us. Nobody likes being told what they’re doing wrong, and nobody ever likes to be the bearer of bad news. But after telling people what I’ve been thinking—that the only way progress can be made, internally or in a relationship, is when people discuss the hard things with truth and love—the walls start to break down. I feel like I have grown more in this past month both in the way I see myself and my relationships with my close friends than I have all semester. And it’s all because of cutting the bull. Try it. Sit down and ask your mom/boyfriend/best friend/coworker something that they see in you that could use some changing. And don’t let your wounded pride make you bitter. Trust me on this one. You’ll be a better person for it.

The second part of cutting the bull is to stop pretending that every moment is the best thing of your life. I am all people am guilty of this. When I came back home people told me “I’m so jealous of your life! Everything you post about sounds like sparkles and sunshine and rainbows! I wish I was you…” and on it goes.

Don’t get me wrong. I am so blessed. I am blessed more than I ever deserved or could think about and it drives me crazy sometimes. This blog is a reflection of that. And I usually keep my Facebook pretty positive and upbeat, because the last thing I’d like to show up in someone’s News Feed is another complaint about life.

No, what I’m talking about is when I’m with people and suddenly there’s this pressure to make it seem like your weekend was the best thing ever, or the party you went to was so much fun, or whatever. I’ve been with people {and been the person} who have had a miserable night at a party and then told everyone the next day how fun it was. Like, really? In this day and age things have to be bigger, better, and more fun, or they don’t count and you’re missing out on life.

Last Saturday night, I didn’t go to a party. I read a book for class and went to bed. When people asked me and I responded, they seemed flabbergasted that I wasn’t with the masses who were having-but-not-really-having fun. And you know what? I’m so okay with flabbergasting people.

I’ve got nothing against parties or concerts or anything. I do that too, and sometimes they really are great. I’m just saying be okay with the times that aren’t that. Be okay with the times when you are alone and feel like nobody understands. Be okay with the fact that sometimes {read: often} socially awkward weekends do occur. Be okay with doing nothing. That’s what makes the somethings so special. Sometimes the best moments in life aren’t Tweet-able or Instagram-able. That doesn’t mean they’re any less meaningful.

Just take them for what they are, and don’t try to prove to the world that you’re doing okay, okay?

Cut the bull. Quit thinking that you have to compete with other people to prove yourself. You’re doing fine. You are loved.

Okay. Off of the soapbox and back to real life. As we continue down the road to 2013, I’ve decided to do a giveaway/contest of sorts. To be honest…I have no idea what to call it. But here’s the deal. I know I’m not the only one that has/had a resolution this year. And like I said, you’re always better when you aren’t alone. So from now until Feb. 1st, I want you to comment on this post your resolution. It can be one you started and need inspiration for, something that you gave up on and are willing to try again on, or something that you might have thought about while reading this post.

On Feb. 1st, I’ll pick one of my readers, and become their Resolution Partner! Every month I’ll send you a letter or something via mail to encourage you on your resolution. They may or may not include chocolate chip cookies that I wasn’t supposed to eat and am now sending to you. I love writing letters, and just bought some new stationery, so just think of me as your cheerleader from Nashville! {and if you’re in Nashville, that’s still okay. I will write you letters, too.}

You’ve got a week to do this! I want to see as many comments as possible! And even if you don’t end up as my Resolution Partner, know that I’m praying for you and that God will give you the strength to achieve what you don’t think is even possible. And I love you and am proud of you.

{Update! Congratulations to our winner, Elena! SO excited to start sending you cool and quirky things! Thank you to everyone who commented. You’re the bomb dig. For real.}



11 thoughts on “REsolutions, REvisited.

  1. I want to be a good follower of Miley Cyrus. No but seriously, I want to let myself have more fun and stop stressing so much about the future :)

  2. First of all: this is such a great blog post: beautiful, well written, and WELL SPOKEN. totally relatable (: like you, i end up writing far too many resolutions for me to actually stick to, so this year, i chose 3 as well. one of them being to stay strong and keep on fighting my own battles, whether it be my family struggles, my personal struggles, my mental struggles, or anything else thrown at me. thank you so much for this post (:

    1. Thanks girl! And I have every belief that you’ll be able to do it. And you’re not alone—I’m fighting those battles everyday too. Stay strong!

  3. I want to get in awesome shape so I can compete in Miss Nashville this fall! Yeah, definitely going to be needing some encouragement on this one…

  4. I want to be more proactive in my friendships and my faith. I don’t want to live passively, but to be active in life :)

    I also want to have an awesome bod for Florida with my bestest friends eva ;)


  5. I just came to your blog from your comment at Joy the Baker and wanted to congratulate you on even choosing such wonderful resolutions — any amount of progress on these will make your life fuller, which is a great thing to get out of a resolution. Best of luck to you!

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