*Disclaimer: this post might be a little lengthy, sappy, sassy, unorganized, jumbled up and going in every single direction, etc. You’ve been warned.
It’s the time of the year where everyone begins compiling a list of New Years resolutions.
I personally think setting goals for yourself is a wonderful idea, and I encourage everyone to do so! If you’ve never set goals for yourself in the New Year, I challenge you to challenge yourself in 2016. Whether it be to get in shape, eat more veggies with every meal, or to simply give yourself one hour of You Time each day, setting a goal can kickstart a better, happier life for yourself.
Now that my sales pitch for New Years resolutions is over, let’s talk about me.
In the past, I’ve set goals, which I’ve ultimately abandoned. According to my research (aka reading friends’ FB posts), this is typical. Instead of setting a goal such as “lose 15lbs in 2016,” I will set a goal such as “continue on with my exercise regime and try to limit sugar because the only way you’ll continue to see some sort of ab definition is if you just say no to the donuts.”
With that being said, I bring you to Goal #1.
Continue on with my exercise regime and try to limit sugar.
I’ve always been somewhat active. It wasn’t until college when I joined a gym and made fitness and healthy eating a priority in my life. In the past six months, I’ve really stepped up and diversified my workouts, and I’ve noticed results. I can run faster and farther than I ever have before, I don’t feel guilty when I eat a bagel (I used to never eat bagels because carbs were the devil – another post for another time), and I’m embracing the fact that I have strong thighs. I just do. I’ll never have thin legs, and skinny jeans with ankle boots will always look weird on me because my lower half is thick, but that’s all gravy because I can rock a pencil skirt like no other.
So, in 2016, I’ll continue exercising because it makes me feel good, I’ll continue eating well because it makes me feel good, and I’ll start training for a half marathon (13.1 miles)! I ran my first 5k in November, and I PRed with a time of 25:15 and came in first in my age division. I even have a fancy medal. For my first race, I’d say that isn’t half bad. I’d love to run a half, so run a half, I will!
As far as limiting sugar goes, well, I’m working on it, and I’ve gotten a lot better about it in the past few months. I love chocolate and cupcakes and ice cream as much as the next girl, but I don’t need it everyday. I’ll enjoy it in moderation or really whenever the hell I want, but I haven’t wanted it, so I’ll hopefully keep that up in the new year. Less sugar = less breakouts, less unnecessary tummy bloat, and more excuses to attribute my headaches to a need for caffeine instead of sugar, which means more coffee. So I win.
Another thing I’d like to focus on in the New Year is my career, which brings me to Goal #2.
Find what makes you happy and don’t fear making bold choices.
I watched a TED Talk yesterday on making difficult decisions. The lady giving the speech couldn’t decide between becoming a lawyer or philosopher, so she chose lawyer because it was guaranteed income and seemed like the easy way out. Fast forward ten years, she gave up lawyering and pursued philosophy because it’s what she wanted and now, at 45, she’s finally happy or whatever and basically what I’m saying is I don’t want that to be me. I don’t want to be 35 and think, “Wow, I should’ve moved to NYC to at least try to be an actor on Broadway, in a TV show, etc.” You know what sounds like a dream? Walking the streets of Manhattan to rehearsal for a Broadway show and performing eight times a week for people who love and appreciate theatre and then getting invited to the Tony’s for your show because it kicked ass and wearing a pretty dress and sitting in the crowd and enjoying a show with your cast mates and maybe just maybe being nominated and winning and giving a beautiful speech that makes everyone weep all the while thinking “Wow, I am so happy I took that plunge when I was 24.” But you know what else sounds like a dream? Working a stable job, such as teaching, and coming home every night to the person you love and who loves you and catching up together while you make dinner and walking the dog in the evening and going to bed with your head on his chest under the same blanket and knowing you’re only a few days away from the weekend which means sleeping in, grabbing coffee together, and then going for a run around the town and exploring the nearby cities. That also sounds like a dream.
You see why I watched that TED Talk now, don’t you?
Sometimes I wish my passion wasn’t theatre, and sometimes I wonder if it even is.
In 2016, I plan to make decisions and not tiptoe around them as if they’re a burden. Having choices is a good thing. Don’t we like choices? I’d much rather have someone ask, “Kaitlyn, would you rather eat this glazed donut for breakfast or would you rather a slice of homemade banana bread,” then have them say, “You’re eating boiled eggs for the rest of your life.”
With decisions, there’s no right or wrong choice. One of them could be a little bit better than the other, resulting in us choosing that one, but they both offer something to us, which is why they’re in the running in the first place, yes? We want both. We’re in charge of our lives. We just have to decide now how we want to live our lives. So I challenge myself this year to figure out how exactly I want to live my life, and then make the necessary changes to ensure that I’m making the most of my ability to choose.
Goal #3 is to undoubtedly be a better friend.
With this goal, I don’t mean to make friends. I have them, and they are gold. I never turn down making a new friend, though. What I mean is to nurture the friendships that I have. To make time for them. To listen to them and visit with them and let them know that I freaking LOVE them. I don’t say it enough. The friendships that I have created over the years are beautiful and wonderful, especially my lady friends. I wouldn’t be able to survive without them, so I need to stop trying. They’re here for me, I’m here for them. I need to work on remembering that.
Goal #4 is to undoubtedly be a better daughter, sister, niece, cousin, etc.
My mom is my best friend. I need to call her more. I need to visit her more. I need to show her how much she means to me instead of just tell her. My brother looks up to me and loves me and would have the best day ever if we simply went to grab sushi for lunch and went to the movies. He’d talk about it for weeks. I need to take the time to nurture my relationships with my family members. Call more instead of text. Organize monthly dinners. With our schedules and not living close, it’s difficult, but, at the end of the day, my family will always be there for me, and I need to be there for them.
Goal #5 is to stop caring about what other people think of me.
Within reason. I’m a sharp-tongued, opinionated, laid-back gal who sometimes swears and has a resting bitch face like no other. But my heart is golden, I’m driven and hard working, and I love more than I don’t. I am who I am. It’s time to stop losing sleep over someone not fancying me or not accepting me or not including me. The people that I need are here with me and the rest is history.
Goal #6 is to save money, but don’t fear spending money.
I enjoy looking at my bank account and seeing a comfortable number just as much as the next person, but look… if I die next week, all that’s left to show for my life is a tiny bit of savings when I could’ve used that money to travel, buy a ticket to Hamilton, or purchase a really nice gift for someone. So while I understand the importance of having a financial cushion, I also understand the importance of living your life to the fullest and experiencing as much as you possibly can in the short time you have on earth.
Goal #7 is to not get arrested.
I’ve never been arrested, and I don’t do anything that would qualify me as chokey-material, but I feel the need to put this one down here to cover my bases, as I do live in New Orleans and am a huge fan of the California roll.
Goal #8 is to not be afraid of commitment.
I am the queen of this, and I wish I knew why. Maybe it’s the idea that something better or more worthwhile will come along. I’ll poll the audience and see what the general consensus is with other commitment-phobes. It’s ridiculous. I deliberated for half an hour before committing to a one-year contract with my current gym, I waited until TODAY to purchase my plane ticket from DC -> NOLA for this Sunday, which resulted in me paying ~$150 more than I would’ve last week, and the list goes on and on. I need not to fear committing to things. Instead, what I need to do is re-adopt my Hell Yes/Hell No mentality. For example…
If someone asks, “Kaitlyn, would you like to meet for happy hour at Cure on Wednesday?” Either my initial reaction is hell yes, which will result in me meeting them for happy hour or my initial reaction will be hell no, which means, well, hell no. If I’m REALLY excited about something, I’ll commit. If I’m so/so on it, I won’t and will instead use my time for more meaningful-to-me tasks such as running, learning a new monologue to keep in my repertoire (which is honestly what I should be doing right now. I didn’t forget about you, Twelfth Night), or like binging HIMYM on Netflix because it’s taken me this long to start watching it and w-o-w I <3 it.
Goal #9 is to stop being a punk and do stand-up already.
Y’all, I love stand-up comedy, and I have always wanted to do it and that’s something not many people know because 1) I truly don’t talk about myself much and 2) I’m chicken shit. I’m brave and courageous, don’t get me wrong, but that’s in circumstances like when I confront my boss about being a total jerk or go 80mph on Earhart and talk my way out of a ticket. But getting up on stage in front of people with a sole purpose of telling a story in hopes of making people laugh? Effing TERRIFYING. Are you kidding me? Like, really, is this a joke? Why do I want to do this so badly? Am I the next Amy Schumer but like, more refined? Less blonde? Just as curvy?
Someone once told me that if something scares you, that means you should do it. So, apparently, I’m supposed to be a stand-up comedian who dives with sharks and is a fighter pilot in her spare time. Who also jaywalks. And eats live octopus. Happy to know this now. Finally, a life plan.
Goal #10 is to simply live my life.
One of my best friends told me about this documentary that I needed to watch called “Dear Zachary,” and I finally made time yesterday morning to watch it. An hour and a half later, I was crying into my cup of coffee, cuddling Joey the cat and promising myself to simply live and not worry about the rest.
This documentary is a letter to a deceased man’s son, who was never able to meet his father. That’s all I’ll say about it as to not spoil it for you, but please go watch it immediately. Netflix. The death of Andrew, the father, was a shock to everyone. The documentary showcases Andrew’s life and takes us on a journey to visit everyone who knew him from infant to middle age when he was a family physician in a small town. Everyone, and I mean everyone, loved Andrew. They commented on how great of a friend and son he was. His “brothers” (he was an only child) loved him more than life and he was everyone’s best man. He was an Eagle Scout, supported his friends film career and believed in and supported everyone he encountered. It was beautiful and made me think long and hard about the legacy I wish to leave behind when my time comes. Morbid, right? Stick with me.
As children, we’re raised to believe we have to become something big in order to achieve success, but that simply isn’t true. As previously stated in this post, I think it’s very important to set goals and achieve them, but I also think it’s important to nurture your heart and remember what life is truly about for you. For some, it’s your career, and if that’s the case then I support you working long hours and essentially being married to your scrubs, business suit, laptop, etc. For others, it’s relationships, and if that’s the case then I support you finding love, creating a family, being a stay-at-home parent, supporting your friends and family, etc. Think about what will mean the most to you when you’re old and grey. Will it be the Porsche you purchased or will it be the two brown-haired, hazel-eyed babies you raised with your spouse? Will it be the Tony you won or will it be the home you built and watched your babies take their first steps in? Some people can have both. Others cannot. Figure out what you can handle and, most importantly, what you want and live your life to meet those needs.
In the New Year, I plan to be selfish and selfless. I plan to run around the neighborhood and run to the donut shop. I plan to save my money and then spend it on a plane ticket to Ireland. I plan to take time for myself but also immerse myself in family and friends. I plan to care how others view me but not dwell on their opinions. I plan to love more, as much as I can, as many people as I can, and in as many places as I can, whether that be at home in New Orleans, in a tiny apartment in New York, in an empty living room in Old Town, etc.
With that being said, I’m off to drink more coffee and add to my stand-up list.
Happy New Year, everyone. Welcome it with open arms!