As the new year begins I’d like to reflect upon my do’s and don’ts list of the coming year. I’m not going to sit here and write to you about how many lessons I’ve learned or what great accomplishments I have made because I don’t need you to be reading about me. Quite frankly who really cares about reading about me more than me reading about me? No one. So, I’m going to stick to a not so sappy rant about the new year.

2018 was…ok, maybe great, great sometimes, pretty good…but man alive, I am excited for 2019. I think I’m starting to finally figure out my life, or at least what I need to do to make myself happy. It only took 20 years, but I’m sure I’ll be saying the same thing next year. It’s been a pretty long time since I’ve been genuinely happy and I think I found some moments in 2018 that have triggered something new (queue Start of Something New from High School Musical). Like I said, not everything was great, but if you can figure out one thing that makes you happy it’s a start.  

Listen To Yourself.

The ABSOLUTE BEST THING I EVER DID in 2018 was LISTEN TO MYSELF. I gave up on all that nonsense about “what if” and holding back. My dreams and bucket lists that I left unchecked finally got checked off. My worries about the future came to an end and I started living in the present. That’s why if I felt like crap I let myself feel like crap, and then told myself to pull it together the next day. If I felt like leaving school for a year, I found ways to let myself leave school for a year.  

I made myself happy and didn’t force myself to feel any certain type of way. I also am not forcing myself to do things that I don’t want to do because I am NOT going to be MISERABLE. Yes, school is sometimes not so fun but some things must be done to fulfill those dreams. You can’t stay away from everything that doesn’t make you feel great, but you can start eliminating toxic people, toxic places and toxic situations that will ABSOLUTELY NOT help you get anywhere you want to be in the future. 


Listen To Your Body.

Ever since I stopped skating I truly struggled with my body image. People can tell you as much as they want that you look great but that’ll never be enough for yourself. YOU have to be the one that can tell yourself that you look great. 

So if someone is trying a new diet, or not eating a certain type of food, congratulate them on trying something new and trying to figure out what will work for their body. Please, and I do repeat PLEASE DO NOT make fun of them or make them feel less than for not being able to eat a certain type of food. They are doing this to make themselves feel better and more confident with who they are. Support them, you don’t want to lose them. 

I’ve tried many diets and have been grilled by many for my food choices. It makes me go home and feel awful not just about my body image, but also my friendships. Overall, I begin to question them…friends do not care about what you eat, friends care about your well-being. Try new things, feel great, and…support!!


Take Chances.

Whether it’s relationships or friendships the worst thing you can do is hurt your feelings. I was always afraid of hurting everyone else’s feelings and becoming the “bad” person, or the friend that no one liked. Remember, communication is key and if you’re able to talk about the situation in an adult fashion you will NOT come out as the “bad” person and most likely you will remain friends. 

The most important thing you can do is care about yourself. I know that sounds selfish, but you deserve happiness, and true happiness comes from within. No one can make you happy, they can do things to make you happy, but you make yourself happy. That’s why, when it comes to making decisions about your well-being and your happiness, make the decisions that suit you. Staying comfortable in one place is not going to change anything or make you feel better. Instead, it’ll hide your feelings, push them away, and make them come back another day. I’m telling you to take your chances, excite yourself, and make yourself happy. It’s the only way to grow. Live by you and do by you. 


Feel Confident.

Now that you are living the life you want to live (or are getting there), there’s no reason to hide behind a blank face, boring clothes and timid attitude. It’s time to explore! Find your hobbies, master them. Discover your passions, conquer them. When you find yourself and what you like, you begin to feel confident, simply because you now know who you are. 

In my opinion, confidence is the most attractive asset of a person. Sure, you get scared sometimes but when someone is not afraid to show who they are, as raw as can be, laugh at their mistakes and then get back up and still walk around all poised and collected, I get goosebumps and can’t help but admire. This DOES NOT MEAN BE COCKY. Cocky and confidence are two different things. I do not need to know about what you have, what you’ve achieved or why you’re “the best”. I want to see someone comfortable to laugh ugly, wear what they want, and compliment others because I know they are secure and confident about who they are as a human being. 


In 2018 I listened to myself, listened to my body, took chances, and felt confident. Did I conquer all? Of course not. I nearly did all of the above. I failed a few times, picked myself back up, but I became aware of it all, and I think that’s what 2018 was for; the beginning of many new opportunities. 2019 is here and I’m ready to listen more, take more chances and be more courageous. Hopefully, you are ready too…:)

See ya later!

Jacqui M. Green

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