Thinking of New Year's resolutions has been exceedingly hard for me this year. For the most part, I take care of myself in all of the typical New Year's resolution departments. I prayed that God would give me a sign of what I needed to fix, what I needed to change, what I needed to improve upon, and it felt like I kept coming up empty handed. The problem with me, though, is that I have a hard time listening to things that I don't want to hear. I'm tough, I've always considered myself tough at least. I don't put up with anyone's disrespect, I don't hang around people who mistreat me minus a few extreme exceptions. As my mother would say, "Don't fuck with Chloe." And in general, people don't.
I started thinking, though, about the rules that my toughness has burdened me with. I don't cry in front of people, I don't fall apart in front of anyone except for my mom and that is only when I'm a complete disaster. Not because I don't ever feel the need to, but because its a sign of weakness to me. I am not generous with my sympathy, even though I have a rough translation of 'be sympathetic' written on the back of my neck, I expect everyone to act like me, so when people fall apart at the hands of love and other drugs, I rarely feel sorry. I rarely text or call anyone first, I rarely exert effort into situations where I could potentially get hurt, I rarely open up about anything, I rarely let myself really experience emotions other than anger. And where has all the toughness got me? Callused, scarred, bottled up with secret hurt, and a laundry list of disappointments that I will never tell anyone about. Toughness is only a mask, a facade, a barrier between me and the innermost good I have.
So I resolve to be softer, to be more open to feelings and experiences that might slap me in the face with disappointment and hurt. I resolve to be kinder and more understanding of the journeys we are all walking in and how beautifully different and similar they can be. I resolve to put myself out there, to let up some on the stubbornness (not completely...just a little.) I resolve to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about my emotions, even if it means putting myself out on a fragile limb.
I'll always be tough because that's just me, but it's time to stop being tough to the point that I sacrifice experiences, relationships, and honesty. It's time to let my heart be open to the goodness in the world again, because believe it or not, there is still some left, and it is waiting to snatch us up, if only we let it.
Still, though, don't fuck with me.