I just stumbled upon this quote by New York Times columnist, Heather Harrilesky. She said, “You’ve got to lean way in to who you already are, lean way the f*ck in… look right at the worst – the so-called worst – things about yourself and figure out how to celebrate those things.”
And God, it was like oxygen.
We live in a culture of constant self-improvement, of bettering, striving, growing, winning. Constant change. Constant evolution. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to be said for that mindset. The idea that nothing is fixed, and we all have the power to change direction at will, to completely transform.
There’s value in change, in goal-setting. It can be exactly what a person needs to shake it off, get out of the rut, and find meaning.
But with all of the inspirational emails and posts and messages, all of this talk on what we should resolve, what we’re supposed to evolve – eat less, move more, hustle – there’s something I feel we’re failing to see. What if change isn’t always what we need? And what if improvement isn’t always connected with growth?
And why should a simple change of date signify a major shift in our body and mind anyway? What if I am exactly who I need to be, and exactly where I need to be, right now? On this day, in the first month of a new year. What if I don’t resolve to change myself? But to instead be exactly who I am, where I am. To simply be me.
Butter-loving, freckled, forgetful, too romantic, too sensitive, too scrappy, a bit weird.
What if our greatest improvement, as humans, as women especially, is to embrace who we actually are right now. To realise we’re exactly as we need to be, in this moment. That our minds and bodies are strong, powerful, beautiful. Like no-one else’s on this earth! Just as they are.
Perhaps we need to stop confusing the idea of self-improvement with changes in self-image.
So this new year, rather than look for change, instead take a moment to reflect. To accept. A moment to fall in love with your legs that transport you every day, that carry you and keep you upright. To stop fighting your talkative nature and instead love that it makes people feel comfortable in your company. To be okay with seeking introversion and quietness, because the world needs silence sometimes, and more importantly, because it nourishes you.
Maybe the greatest ‘resolution’ of all is to be happy with who you are, where you are. To take the time to get to know and fall in love with this exact version of yourself. The blemishes, the bits that you hide, suck in, tuck away, all the things you wish you could change. They are the greatness, they are the truth.
I resolve to celebrate the flaws this year, the brokenness, the imperfections, the things that make me uniquely who I am. I resolve NOT to change, but to love.
Acceptance is the new self-improvement.
New year, same me. Happy 2019.