meandemily

Emily(the best friend, left)and I at a dance class right before she left me to go back to college.

December’s theme is Endings! 2015 is coming to a close. This is the time when everyone starts breaking out their New Year’s resolutions to try to become a Better Person in the upcoming year. It is something to admire, but many people don’t stick to their plan and, understandably, get swept up in the chaos of the year.

Many people agree that 2015 didn’t seem real. Donald Trump exists, black people are getting killed by the police at alarming rates, and many countries all over the world are trying to block their borders from refugees–among other things.

Personally, it seems like the older I get, the more chaotic my life seems. Every year seems more traumatizing than the last. Maybe you can relate, but I hope not. Maybe it comes with being more aware of the world around me and seeing rapid change rack up in my life as I step out of being a teenager.

With all the unsettling current events going on in our world, and perhaps in your own personal life, I think it is important to remember that starting over is something that is very possible and in your reach. Even if it seems like that isn’t true. Even if it seems like all is lost.

I’ve noticed that many activists involved in the Black Lives Matter movement have been turning towards self-care practices to stabilize themselves amidst the chaos, to take care of their mental health. I was a little shocked at first, because I bought into the idea that since they seemed so strong and full of energy, they wouldn’t be knocked down. But everyone falls, and anyone is capable of being traumatized, no matter how strong they appear to be.

Even if you make a list of resolutions that you ultimately won’t follow going into 2016, I hope you turn to self care every now and then. For a long time, I put off taking care of my mental health–and it blew up in my face. I am very hard on myself, and the stress that came with my own self-inflicted rigidity has had significant consequences. I learned that sometimes it is okay to end whatever I’m doing to take a careful look at myself and tend to my wounds.

You may not be able to end some bad habits you have by 2016, or accomplish whatever goal you set to be done by February or March. It may have consequences, it may not. Just remember to breathe and know that just because you failed or did something wrong doesn’t mean your life is over. You can start again.