Hey New Year, Wanna Hang?

I'm going to get the ball rolling with a fact you may hate me for stating: Making a new year's resolution is hella hard. 

When categorizing what one hopes to change about themselves in this new beginning of time and space, there are a few standard methods of organization:

  • More frequent trips to the gym

  • Less late night binges in the snack closet

  • More openness to loving relationships

  • Less letting your significant other walk all over you

  • Stop letting your boss walk all over you

  • Buy that house

  • Buy that car

No scratch responsibility -- Buy that plane ticket.

Whichever category you find yourself fitting into as we are now a few days deep into 2017, I want to be the one to tell you that this little charade can go either way. You can make the resolution and stick to it or you can throw change out the window and keep on keepin' on with your bad self. 

Let's flash back to last year's resolution when I vowed to give up eating McDonalds at the start of 2016. Now don't judge me for my over indulgence of America's favorite fast food: I was semi-poor, sometimes intoxicated and definitely overweight - a time in my life I like to refer to as college. Either way the absence of cheeseburgers and fries were replaced by 6 am wake up calls to hit the gym before the day started, swapping salty snacks for salad and hoping that if I willed my mind enough to do so the pounds would fall off my waist. Who says you can't use the power of positive thinking? 

My stint from grease and over consumption fell from grace eventually at the site of shining yellow arches, starved and hungry on a midnight drive home. I can admit, I am weak. So in a more rigorous attempt to embrace the new year, I've decided that 2017 resolutions should be rooted in making me a better person rather than trying to deny my love for cheap, easy access food. 

And so I started to brainstorm ideas. What could make this slightly dysfunctional twenty-three year old less of a complete mess and more of a functional, semi-adult in society?  If I'm being truthful, which I will be because what's a blog if not the hard, honest truth, I will say that there are a handful of things I knew I needed to stop doing to start building some level of sanity.

I will say that 2016 was a dichotomy of a year. The first half I spent nights in my sorority room panicking about how I was going to survive off of the salary most people made right out of college. How would I eat? Where would I live? Would I need to sell a limb just to afford a dental cleaning? It was anxiety at its prime, followed by binge eating Indian food and drinking bottles of red wine. Then something happened once I graduated, flipped that cap up in the air and say see ya to university life -- I suddenly felt zero pressure to be an adult. I finally tasted freedom and I wasn't going to give it up anytime soon.

Like most college graduates who are confused about their future, I decided to avoid it and backpack across Europe for two weeks. As life would have it and as I warned my parents prior to hopping on this international excursion, I did indeed fall in love. Don't get too excited, this isn't about to turn into some mushy fairytale. Nah, I feel in love with the adventure. Being in a different country every few days gave me some level of heightened perspective that I never knew existed and when I become intrigued by something, I chase it with every fiber in my being. So there went the responsibility, there went the stability and functional parts of my brain that pushed me toward the social norm and in walked the free spirited, wanderer with her heart set on experience.

I can't say that 2016 was perfect in every aspect. Yeah sure, I moved to Paris -- a place of life, love, culture, adored by many -- it's been a beautiful ride. But like everyone else, I messed up in 2016. I made mistakes and discovered fatal flaws about myself that can only come through making some not so great decisions. I let friendships slide, I put faith in the wrong people and let fear get the best of me.

Yet, in the messiness of it all I realized that 2016 taught me a lot about the person I thought I was and the person I actually want to be. In 2016 I was the girl who tried to please everyone, the girl who was content with subpar relationships, who thought she could be content with half-assed appreciation and respect, the girl more concerned with making others happy than her own self.

And in 2017, I aim to give that girl a wake up call. In some ways, I've figured it out and in others I'm still completely lost but that's okay, in fact it's what is expected of a 23 year old who classifies microwave popcorn as an acceptable form of dinner. I'm still a mess, but I'm one that's learning and one that will continue to make mistakes and grow as long as I am up to the challenge. 

So to 2017 I say, let's be friends. Let's be the type of pals that don't bullshit one another, let me know when I'm being weak, selfish or scared. Tell me that I need to pursue my passions and make sure I follow through. Most of all, be there when I need you, cause you know I will. And if you find me sitting by the Seine, eating french fries from McDonald's try not to judge me: I'm frugal, hungry and sometimes missing the good old USA. 


Shannon Ciricillo