New year, new me. That’s how the saying goes, right?

I prefer “new year, better me”.

I’m only six months shy of my 21st birthday (barely an adult, to be honest). I don’t know what I’m doing with my life or where I’m going with my career, and I definitely don’t know what I’m going to do after my studies – but I already know who I am. And I want to work towards a better, not different, version of myself.

I often take for granted the people in my life by assuming that they’ll always be there. But life is unpredictable, and there really is no guarantee that someone here today will still be with me tomorrow. I need to tell people that I appreciate them more often, that I’m grateful for their presence in my life.

I’ve changed a lot since I was a child. All throughout primary and high school, I’ve had trouble focusing and staying calm. I was the hyperactive nightmare student who couldn’t sit still during class and who couldn’t stay silent for longer than minutes at a time. During my final year of school, it took a heavy toll on me both mentally and physically as the stress and the struggle to study threatened to overwhelm me. It felt like it was the end of the world at the time, but looking back at it now – I have no regrets about easing off on the study. I may not have gotten as high a score as I wanted but my mental health was far more important. As I tell anyone going through those final years that asks me, there are always other pathways to get to where you want to be. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to slow myself down and it has honestly allowed me to enjoy everything that much more. I’ve become a better listener, my patience is no longer nonexistent, and I’m happier overall as a result. To improve on this can only make me happier.

I want to spend this year doing more things, being more adventurous, more spontaneous. The tail end of the last year was a good one and I’m looking forward to adding to those memories.

I’ve even worked on my fear of deep water. Kinda, sorta. I willingly climbed into a swimming pool last week. Although, I could see the bottom of the pool so it didn’t bother me much. It was a lot different from 8th grade camp where I panicked in the middle of the lake and nearly drowned myself as a result. Hopefully, the summer heat will encourage me to venture out to the beach where I can work on this ridiculous terror.

Stressed, exhausted, sleep deprived… this has been a looong week. Juggling two retail jobs over the Christmas break/November-December period was quite possibly not the smartest idea. Quite a number of customers get worse and worse as the holiday nears, yet all I can do is continue to smile and shoulder through it.

But, it has been a learning experience overall.

Those 7th grade Info Tech classes way back when where I was taught how to plug things into excel spreadsheets and create functions and automated functions and whatnot finally came in handy today as I made a spreadsheet to track my daily and monthly savings/spendings (now that’s what I call procrastinating productively).

I’m surprised I even remember how after all this time.

I had let go of all the fears, worries, and doubts holding me back from my relationship around eight months ago. I left it all behind as I stepped into the new year. New year, new me – isn’t that what everyone says?

I put myself into a glass cage that dangles over the middle of the ocean, and willingly gave the hammer to the only person who can shatter it, idly hoping that they wouldn’t. I don’t love easily, and when I do, I love deeply and I love fully. Of course, at times it’s so fucking terrifying because no one wants their heart broken. I can see a future. If it turns out that I’m the only one, well those eight months ago I decided that this potato of mine was worth the possible heartbreak.

And hey, it’s better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all right?