Its only the 6th of December and already I am thinking about my New Years resolution. Every year I make a well-meaning resolution and every year it is forgotten by February. By August I am looking back at my resolution wondering where I went wrong and start to feel disappointed in myself that I couldn’t keep it. But maybe its not necessarily my fault, maybe I am creating resolutions from what society expects of women in their 20’s.
Think about it, women are constantly bombarded by magazines, TV shows and ads, telling them which celebrity they should idolize, what career they should be aspiring to, who they should be dating and what they should be spending their money on. I feel constantly attacked by the world around me, everyone telling me in order to be happier I should exercise more, eat healthier, wear my eyeshadow a particular way and try an amazing new product that promises to clear up my face. While all that advice can be helpful and some of the time well-meaning, it usually leaves me feeling guilty that I am not doing everything they say. This leads me to make a claim that “I will exercise/eat right/try a smoky eye/save my money/spend more time outside/go for the job I’ve always wanted”. Typically I make such claims at a time in my life when its not exactly feasible or convenient to follow through with the action and I end up feeling defeated. It can be such a vicious cycle and frankly does not make me anywhere near as happy as I “should be”.
But who says I can’t be happy by ignoring what “society” tells me to do? I am beginning to think that ignoring some of the “advice” from society is precisely what I need to be truly happy. Maybe 2011’s resolution will be to figure out what makes me happy, without having to be told what “should” make me happy. I need to listen to my body more; if I feel like exercising then I will. However if I feel like relaxing in bed while watching a movie, I should go for it and not feel guilty about it. The other part of my resolution should be to stop trying to plan out what I will be doing after I graduate from college, something that has dominated my thoughts for the past year. I really need to come to terms with the idea that I don’t have all that much control over that particular part of my life and the less I stress about it, the easier it will fall into place. Overall, I need to remind myself that I am the key to my own happiness. Society’s expectations can suck the happiness out of someone else’s New Years resolution, but not mine.