I don’t have any New Year’s resolutions. Nah- I cut that out many moons ago. No shade to anyone who still does do them, but over time I recognized that even the very term, resolution was enough to make my anxiety flare up. It felt too finite. Too hard-pressed.
Instead, from year to year, I'd create very fluid and ongoing goals lists, that could be shaped and molded, if need be. That way, I relieved some of the pressure off of myself while still making a commitment to my development. As I grow, my goals—and methods to achieving said goals—change, and giving myself a break allows me to actually reach them.
For me, 2016 was a time of evolution and much self-reflection. Growing pains? That’s an understatement. It was the year that I fully grasped the concept that life really does ebb and flow. That, it is what it is, and swimming against the current isn’t always necessary and can be a huge waste of energy.
Between being a self-proclaimed adult, (I have my doubts at times) and the relationships/situations that I've had with family, friends, my coworkers, and even some of the men that I dated, I learned lessons in 2016, that I’m sure will carry me through this year and beyond. My goals for 2017? I’d like to think that they are, in part at least, a direct reflection of my experiences from last year. So on New Year’s Eve, with my Soca music playing, and my edges flourishing with coconut oil, I came up with 8 professional and 8 personal-- as to not overwhelm myself, and wrote them down in my handy, dandy, journal.
I peered down at my final list, thrilled by how tangible I felt they were. As I read them over, I realized that all my goals had one thing in common. So much so, that I decided to create a theme for this year that would essentially be the outlook that I would maintain.
At the heading of my lists, I wrote three simple words:
Shoot. Your. Shot.
I sat back, pleased with myself, grinning-- satisfied and excited. It was so simple.
Hear me out.
Often times, we become so (irrationally) afraid of taking the chance that we’ve wanted to. The shot that could lead us to our purpose, or set us on a path in the direction of our dreams. I know it sounds super cliché, like all the fake deep memes that we see floating around the internet. I get it. But this resonated with me because it’s so simple yet so profound. While most of us may associate this phrase with sliding in someone’s DM’s, or trying to get the digits of someone you find attractive, I believe that it can apply to every aspect of your life. Do you want to switch careers? Do it. Want to see if you’ll be good at something else? Try it. Make it happen.
Shoot. Your. Shot.
To be clear, I still implore y’all to try it in your dating life. Ladies, too. Don’t be shy, now.
I remember one of the times that I did. It was the Year of Our Lord 2010. I was an anxious graduating college senior about to be thrust into the “real world." On top of that, I had been trying to work up the nerve to approach one of my classmates I’d been crushing on for a better part of that academic year. We spoke in passing a few times, but he had no idea that I had a Steve Urkel/Laura Winslow -like affinity towards him. Near the end of the spring semester, I saw that he had been featured in the school newspaper. I cut out the article, laminated and framed it, and gave it to him as a gift. (Pats self on back for creativity--- he was super hyped by the way) The following week, I confessed that I had a crush.
He told me that, while he was flattered, he wasn’t looking for anything.
Was it a curve? Sure. But it let me know for certain that he wasn’t into me and that was OK. To me, that was better than wondering what if for the rest of forever. I didn’t have time for what if’s then, and I definitely don’t have time for them in this good year Two Thousand and Seventeen.
The point is, that it’s important to put your best foot forward, and do so in confidence. Don’t let fear and possible rejection stand in your way. You might miss, granted. But that’s more about ego than anything else.
You also might sink the shot, all net. Then what?
I’m not saying be reckless, friends. Don’t be out here just throwing things all willy-nilly. Do the work--whatever that means to you. Whether it be researching, applying, making the call, sending the email, asking the question, hell, even sliding in the DM’s. You have the rock.
Guage. Steady your hand. Breathe. Shoot.
Happy New Year.