To constantly evolve, you must constantly surround yourself with the people you want to be more like. These photos, taken New Year’s Day after brunch with friends, represent evolution. Much like old wisdom tailored for a new generation, this dress was passed down from Michelle‘s grandma to me. By the way, if you are still lucky enough to have your grandparents, soak them up every chance you get.
After five frustratingly unfinished blog drafts in the past week, some of which sought to tackle the big New Year’s Resolution issue to no avail, I have finally come to it: In 2013, I resolve to feed my brain rigorously.
See, the problem is, I am a happy woman. Like, insanely happy. I’m madly in love. I’m surrounded by downright amazing friends. I’m blessed with a family that loves me and shows it in so many ways. My new freelance lifestyle allows me to stay up till all my favorite hours (it’s
4:38 6:03 AM, woo hoo!) and sleep till noon whenever I feel like it. And best of all, I freakin’ love myself! I am talented and beautiful and unimaginably lucky, and I have a dandy old time hanging out with me. I accept myself. I practice gratitude for all of life’s graces (and I feel absolutely uncomfortable and superstitious saying all that) but… being happy is not enough. I’ve decided that being insanely happy means I need to set the bar higher.
I read an article earlier this year titled Too Much Happiness Can Make You Unhappy. Say whaaaat? Well, after a first WTF, OMG-you-can’t-win glance, it really makes a whole lot of sense. It’s the science behind why happily married couples get fat together, why rich people depend on therapists and Xanax, and why overly content folks have the tendency to get plain old lazy. With everyone striving to find that elusive place of happiness and bliss, in 2013 I am striving to make a few waves.
That is where my resolution comes in: I want to make waves in my brain and soul; waves that call me to a higher power. Waves that illuminate my core and show me new ways of thinking. Waves that make me not sad – but make me realize how I had previously only seen a sliver. In 2013 I resolve to increase my capacity for happiness! And I plan to do that by learning things and seeking inspiration like it’s my job.
In 2013 I resolve to read more books. I resolve to watch an abundance of documentaries. I resolve to absorb the authenticity of influential minds like Marianne Williamson, Aristotle and Madonna, and dig beyond the quotes and lyrics that enlighten me. In 2013, I resolve to make an active effort to discover new people who inspire me – and to meet them. I resolve to try as many new things as I can to broaden my perspective, while narrowing down my core beliefs. I resolve to use this year to focus less on projecting, more on soaking in philosophies and ideas like a sponge. Not that I won’t overwhelm you with photos of myself and my own brain juice on a regular basis, I’ll just balance that out with a greater personal intake of newness. I resolve to raise the bar AND the roof!
I spent the past few hours engaging in one of my favorite hobbies as of late: watching TEDx talks on YouTube. These five videos resonated with me deeply – all for different reasons, though you’ll notice a few similar themes. Next time you have an hour and a half to spare/procrastinate, click play for these “ideas worth spreading,” a partial sum of the person I aspire to be more like. Enjoy! And PS, always dress up fancy for brunch… it’s way more fun that way.
1. I’m not sorry. This TEDx talk by the cheeky, chocolate covered potato chip loving Dyana Valentine hits the nail on the head regarding my feelings on apologies. I get annoyed at how often the word is used and misused daily. But even moreso, I want to get better at not apologizing. At not doubting that I meant what I said, and that’s okay. I want to be more resolute on my opinions of people, beliefs and restaurants when I share them. I sometimes wonder – what if back in October I was in the headspace to not let all the negative comments and articles about my afro-wearing get to me so deeply? What if… I hadn’t felt sorry? As Ms. Valentine puts brilliantly: “‘I am’ trumps ‘I am sorry’ every single time.” I AM a girl who loves wearing an afro wig – end of discussion! I have no regrets about the way it happened because I stayed genuine and I love you guys, but just sayin’ – it would have been a hell of a lot easier.
2. Gala Darling, a cheerleader of self-love and sequins after my own heart! Shameless and controversial jus’ like me (getoffmyinternets.net wants us both – a, b – to GTFO), she even stopped taking comments because it was “hindering her personal growth.” Way to go, sista. My indulgence in the comments here definitely changed my perspective, and I’d like to think it’s been good for my personal growth, but I’ll just never know where I’d have ended up otherwise. This ultra girly blogger speaks from the heart about loving your damn self, and quotes my fave, Ru Paul. If you don’t love yourself, how in the hellll you gon’ love anybody else? Write down the compliments you receive and wear pink hearts into your late twenties, yay!
3. This guy’s talk based on his happiness research will make you soooo happy. He’s funny and charming and smart. A lot of people are those things, but Shawn Achor has got that certain je ne sais quoi… non?
4. I’ve been a fan of Brené Brown‘s work for sometime now. She has devoted her life to researching vulnerability, something I’m quite fascinated by. As I’ve proclaimed here, I believe in flaunting your faults. Vulnerability is sexy. If you can love your flaws, you’re unstoppable! There are endless ways Brené applies her research to bettering your life, and this one I found tonight (this morning?) struck a chord with me. It spoke to the inherent fears we all have of something going wrong. Namely: Tragedy. It’s a fear I live with daily – like… you can only be so happy, because at any moment, something horrific can happen to take it all away. How do we function beyond that? Well the first step, is to never let that fear hold you back from loving and caring to the fullest.
5. We are the Gods now! It’s not a TEDx talk, but you must, simply must, watch this summary of the mind-blowing, meta-physical inner workings of Jason Silva‘s brain.
Happy New Year, now let’s change ourselves to change the world!!! Who’s with me?
Photos by Ivy Davidoff