For the last week or so, my Facebook page has been inundated with “timeline reviews” and posts about the poster’s year. I’ve had a pretty incredible year myself, from placing 2nd runner up at Miss Texas and going on to represent the Lone Star State at the National Sweetheart pageant to getting to meet Kevin Sorbo (yes, Hercules) and even filming a scene in a movie with him. I’ve overcome some personal hurdles, moved into my dream apartment, and I was even published by the Huffington Post. Life is pretty darn good.
Last night, I sat down to journal about my goals, dreams, and vision for 2014 in order to set the pace for the upcoming year. I want 2014 to be big. Glitter words in a frame big. (To a southern girl like me, trust me, that is momentus.) Exploration big. Life-changing big. The one thing I kept coming back to was…well… Katt Williams.
If you don’t know who Katt Williams is, he is one of my all time favorite comedians (not for the ears of little ones) and someone I frequently quote. He’s outlandish, a little (maybe a lot?) crazy, and ridiculously funny. All last night, I kept thinking of my favorite comedy special with Katt Williams, and how he repeatedly used the idea that you have to “take care of your star player.” Ahem, that means you need to focus on you.Now, granted, I’m stretching this a bit. But it works for me. So many people in this world, the culture, your friend circles, even work, want to pull you in 50 different directions. 2014 is a year focusing on me. On developing my goals, following my passions, allowing myself to learn about the world and take chances. As my sister might say “you do you.” But while it is internally focused, it is externally impactful. I feel that if I can know more about my motivations, chase some dreams that have been gnawing at me for a while, and take some chances, I might just better the world around me in unexpected ways.
So here are some of my goals for 2014 in no particular order. You can hold me accountable. Or you know, help make them happen if you are so inclined:
1. Go to New Orleans
Ever since I read my first Anne Rice novel, I have been in love with New Orleans. Later, I learned about its rich history, and the incredible culture of Jazz, art, and food. My mother lived in the French Quarter at one point in her late 20’s, doing some type of hotel marketing. It’s high time I made it to The Big Easy and stayed in the Vieux Carre. And you know, maybe took a vampire tour. (Not the kind that sparkle.)
2. Go on a beach vacation
Mostly, to save my sanity. I was made for the sun, and while I love my city of Dallas with all my heart, sometimes I girl just needs a beautiful beach. I had put vacations on hold for pageantry the last two years (there are only so many vacation days I can take in a year). I’d love to stretch out on the sand, enjoy a salt breeze and let my soul rest for just a little bit. Ideal: Key West. At this point, I’ll take just about anywhere however.
3. Don’t complain-Change
It is easy to grumble about things you don’t like around you, or even things that you do. In 2014, I want to take action instead. Be proactive. Brighten the world around me. It sounds easy, but it isn’t. It is much easier to get sucked into the “ho-hum” of life and get pulled under by the bog of pessimism, gossip, and neutrality. Just like those glitter words I spoke about earlier, I am determined to make the world around me a little brighter. At work. At home. With my friends. With strangers. Especially the online world. So be prepared for me to sparkle a little brighter in 2014.
4. Start my manuscript
Ever since I was little, I knew I was going to write a book about my life. I just had no idea how many chapters it would have. I have had too much happen to me in my short 24 3/4 years (yep, I know, I just said my age- worldly faux pas apparently). When I spent time with Kevin Sorbo, we talked a bit about his biography and I shared some of my life story with him. His words have echoed over my mind time and time again this fall- “You have your own book to write.” We’ve since emailed back and forth a few times on advice regarding publishing (it’s REALLY crazy hard), and I’ve also shared countless conversations with my mentor and friend Heather Sumlin about this same topic. It’s high time I stopped talking about it, and just DID it. 2014 will be a year of action.
5. Go on my 1st mission trip
I’m wondering how many readers heads just turned sideways and said “huh?!” My faith is incredibly important to me, but growing up I was more likely to be the recipient of a mission trip service than participating in one. I’ve served others in smaller ways, but now I have the means to really dive in. I don’t know what this will look like, or even if it will be out of the country. All I know is that my heart has motivated my hands and feet into action and I’m being called to serve in a more tangible way. Yes, I give money to charitable causes and that is incredibly important. But I need to dive in deep, need to walk alongside another in the world as we work to change things. Action.
6. Stop spending so much time indoors
I was made to be outside. I’ve already mentioned how much I love the sun, but I feel so centered outdoors. This year I want to hike, to camp, to do yoga and breathe in clean fresh air. I never see the world so well as when I’m surrounded by fresh grass, green trees, and the splendor of the natural world. I am a firm believer that physical activity helps to grow you spiritually in a way. It washes away the stressors of the “corporate” world and helps attune you to your own thoughts, own heart, and own desires (selfish or not). So this year, I’m going beyond the Katy Trail, going to spend the night under the stars and in the majesty of creation. I’m going to push my physical limits and block out the pressures of our culture and find peace.
7. Be social
Yes, I know I’m always on social media. And yes, I know my job IS people. But I want intention in 2014. I want to rekindle some old friendships, because they matter. I want to make some new friends, because those matter too. I want to be a part of my beloved city in new ways. I want to create a beautiful home where people are welcome at any time; I crave evening dinners and Sunday brunches on my terrace with new and old friends alike. Because people, their laughter, their lives, their sorrows and successes are community. So maybe I’m redefining social as community. Being intentional. Being family when there is none. Creating a haven of love and growth, and well, intention.
These are the big ones, the goals I want to achieve in 2014. I have lots of smaller ones, like taking pictures WITH people and seeing my Sweetheart sisters this year, and even creating a work of art. I promise I will stop hoarding my blogs and just WRITE. 2014 is to be a year of growth, of taking care of my star player- me. Because sometimes, you have to love yourself a little to be able to love others better. For me, loving myself means letting go of the “supposed to do’s” and just “doing.”
Lastly, everyone always talks about New Year’s resolutions and either their love or hate of them. I’ve never quite understood the stress people feel to succeed in these but I do love setting a vision for your life. So in 2014, I will expand upon my goal of 2013, and the goals I set above.
In 2014, I want to do/try at least one new thing each month.
It encompasses all of the smaller goals, and keeps me focused on expanding my horizons and never getting complacent. Because comfort is not always the best thing for you. So here is to trying new things, branching out, and pushing myself in 2014. To taking care of my mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being so that I can be a better force for change in this world. Here is to being intentional, to taking chances and creating a haven of friendship and peace.
Here’s to taking care of my star player in 2014.