I’m not hunting for a “New Me” because I feel like that’d be walking back all the progress I’ve made in 2017. I don’t need to rebuild who I am; I need to continue to grow, make healthy choices, and break bad habits. After all, moving to Seattle was something I did to escape several toxic situations and relationships. There would be no point to transform Washington into my Florida 2.0.

It’s been a struggle. It’s been full of failures, of stress, of heartbreak, of panic — but above all, it’s been progress. I’m growing more comfortable with who I am and accepting my limits, as well as recognizing where I can push a bit harder. It’s been liberating, despite all the pitfalls.

I’ve found myself becoming a real advocate for things I simply felt lukewarm-supportive of in the past, too. Mental health specifically, especially medication and therapy thanks to my own positive experiences; I’m a lot more relaxed as a person, too, able to shrug a lot more off when in the past I would’ve been worked up at the slightest disruption of plans. I’m not perfect by any means, but I’ve come a long way. Even acknowledging that is something I’ve only started being able to do!

I have high hopes for 2018. Today I start a job in a company I have a really good feeling about, with a plan of attack on how to progress and present myself moving forward. I have achievable goals for the near and distant future. I have acquaintances I don’t mind nudging towards actual friends with time. I have tools and strategies on how to keep working on the problems I have.

My resolution of 2018 is to make three new friends on my own, whether they be from work or otherwise. I earned this job based on who I am; I don’t even think they called references. I want to find people that like me for me without being introduced by someone else. I finally am starting to feel like I can. Let’s just hope we don’t get thrown into a nuclear war before then.

Best wishes to you in 2018 and beyond.

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