Welcome to the New Year

Well… it’s 2014 now. Yup.

“New year – new you!” is the tagline that everyone plasters onto every gym membership and dieting fad that they’re trying to sell this January while people are caught up in the rush of their resolutions to lose a few more pounds.

But here’s the thing… I don’t want to be a new me.

I happen to like the me that I am already.

I mean, sure, I have my problems (who doesn’t?), and I’m embarking on my continuing journey of learning and personal growth this year, but I don’t want to wipe out the person I’ve been for the last 28 years and become someone brand new.

Beyond that, what is a person except the culmination of his or her experiences? Good or bad, it is our experiences in life that shape who we are and drive our actions and reactions. Eliminate (or ignore) those past experiences and do you not essentially eliminate the self?

Have I made mistakes? Absolutely. Do I regret those choices? No – I accept them and learn from them (or try to, at least), and integrate that experience to be one piece of my holistic person. That mistake? It doesn’t define me, it teaches me.

Have I had some painful experiences? Some unpleasant relationships? Some moments in my life that I plan never to repeat? Of course I have, but these experiences, too, do not define me. How I react to these situations; how I deal with these situations; how I grow from these situations: that is what defines me.

There are too many good things, good people, in this world to let one bad experience ruin the rest of your life. Or one hundred bad experiences, or one thousand!

This year: Don’t miss out on the wonderful, amazing things in the world because you’ve gotten too caught up in the bad.

This year: Find the positive things in your life and celebrate them.

This year: Learn from the negatives and then let them go.