Reflections and Resolutions of an Optimistic Pessimist

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And so it began with a mighty, thunderous eruption of confetti, cheer and song. As the grand illustrious ball descended into the new year, I naively crossed my fingers and gently closed my eyes, praying beneath my breath that all would be put behind me.

Here, the sorrows and lost words would be buried in the sands of the past, for 2021 would be the year of revitalization and hope. 

Exciting, yet anxious anticipation overcame me. I ardently felt in my bones that something spectacular just lay ahead of me. 2020 was a year of unprecedented turns and for a time, when it seemed that the storm seized my ship and the tumultuous waves had consumed me, it was there that I found solace in the deathly silence of the sea. 

As I emerge, coughing and filling my lungs with the salty air, I want to be bitingly honest and share the lessons that I am continuing to learn and my ensuing resolutions. 

All Things Must Pass.
My first resolution for 2021 is to be courageous.

I want to feel sound in the knowledge that this too shall pass, much like the conflictions of yesteryear. So long as the Earth continues to spin on its axis as there is breath in my lungs and blood coursing through my heart, I will try. 

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Despite the paralyzing fear, I will stare into the face of oblivion just as Ishmael stares into the mighty beast, Moby Dick, and harrowingly proclaim, “Give me your worst.” 

You possess more strength, courage, and beauty than you could fathom, truly. In every smile and laugh, there is a radiance of grace and loveliness. Please, remember that. 

Just Go For It, Seriously! 

In 2020, I was met with many exciting things. For starters, I finally got my license, then I began working at The Clarion, something that has quite honestly changed my once monotone life. As a result, I met a plethora of utterly incredible people. 

When I look back, things almost seemed to cascade like dominos, you know? Were it not for w, then x, y, and z would not have occurred. It all begins with a little nudge. 

My 2021 resolution would be this: stop taking things so seriously and simply do it.

Do you have an idea for a piece of art that you have been cooking for some time and let simmer in the back of that beautiful brain of yours? Is there someone that you have been wanting to become friends with because you are, like, 99.9 percent sure that they have the same esoteric taste in music and film as you? You have my explicit permission, alright. 

Create it! Talk to them! 

Whatever little worm inside of your head that says, “Well, what if I accidentally create a raging, monstrous dumpster fire,” or “What if I stumble over my words and decide to abort mission by slinging some finger guns and awkwardly back out of the conversation,” can take a long walk off a short pier. 

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Don’t Sell Yourself Short, Kid. 

I am my own worst enemy. For ages, I have ceaselessly picked at myself and always cited something as a reason to tear myself down. 

“You’re not doing enough,” I would say, or “You’re not doing this well enough.” But, here’s the kicker: I am enough. I’ve always been enough. 

Thus, my resolution for 2021 would be to stop being so hard on myself. 

Admittedly, I am so, so terribly tired of carrying grudges and heartaches with me wherever I go. I used to dearly cling to the wreckage, but I think it’s time that I let it dissipate and dissolve. Instead, I want to replace it with love and compassion. This year, I want to challenge myself to channel some of that love and compassion into myself. 

I want to be kinder and gentler to myself, because how can you expect something to survive and thrive when you’re constantly depriving it of sunlight and nourishment? 

Everything Flows, So Set a Course that You Don’t Know. 

During a game of Truth or Dare at a Christmas party, I was asked what my greatest fear was. Initially, I was perplexed and responded to the best of my ability, but it wasn’t until some time later when I think I truly realized what my greatest fear is, and that is regret. 

My greatest fear is finding myself pained by guilt and remorse on my deathbed, regretting not having sincerely loved and lived to my truest extent. My greatest fear is that then, only when it is too late, I will discover that I lived a life dictated by fear and hesitation, by bitterness and cynicism. 

Yet, the question racked my brain: how do I exactly go about taking on the immense responsibility of steering my life? How do I properly ensure that I fulfill an okay, content life. Do I achieve this by climbing Mount Everest, running a marathon, and becoming besties with Brittany Howard? (Let’s get real for a second. If Brittany Howard even acknowledges my existence on this floating rock, then I can croak. I will die a happy woman.)

Therefore, my final resolution is this: each day, I want to tell those I cherish that I love them because you never know if or when you will ever have another chance to let them know. 

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Taylor Pendleton
Managing Editor

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