2019 is fast approaching, which means I’ve been in deep reflection about what intention to start my January with. It’s an extra exciting New Year for me because I’m also turning 29. While this is surely not as exciting as the big 30, it is sentimental to be at the end of a decade and upon a brand new one. To think I started my twenties as an adult-in-training and will end my twenties as a mother and wife responsible for a whole family is both comical and impressive.
Much of my growth in the last year, decade, has been centered around trial and error of making so many damn choices – choices for myself, my future. Big choices like what do I want to do, who do I want to be. I have built a foundation, and I have settled into these molds and roles that I proudly wear today. It is nice to end my twenties with some stability and confidence.
Even as the training wheels of adulthood have come off, there are still things that happen that bring us back to the big questions. Childbirth and motherhood are obvious ones that can change up these molds and roles we previously fell into. But it’s little things, too, which influence the direction we go long after our foundation has been built.
It’s the people we meet and choose to surround ourselves with. It’s the every day choices we make in how we present ourselves to the world. It’s the questions we choose to ask, or stop asking. Stability in adulthood can be both good and bad. It is good because it gives us a chance to grow more deeply into the person we set out to be, but it is something that can also make us stagnant to the full depths of the person we want to be.
As I have grown more stable at the end of my twenties, I have felt this stagnancy a little bit, which is what has inspired me to focus on an intention of kindness in 2019. Kindness is one of the biggest motivators in life. When we are given kindness, we become inspired to say more, do more and be more. When we are not given kindness, we tend to retreat, lose confidence, lose hope.
Next year, I want to be more kind to myself and make time for the things that help me grow. I want to take dance classes, because who says I have to stop at 18? I want to branch out my photography hobby, because who says I’m not good enough to broaden that? I want to model for my daughter what self-love and self-care look like, which has less to do with luxurious spa days and shopping trips and everything to do with how we talk about, view, prioritize, and treat ourselves.
Next year, I want to build kind friendships. I am lucky that despite living a transient military life, I am always grounded by an indestructible core of lifelong friends, but I have also experienced relationships that proved to be toxic. I will turn my negative experiences into fuel for positive ones. I will actively put myself out there, above differences, and I will give kindness where too often we don’t receive it nearly enough.
Next year, I want a marriage full of cheesy, obnoxious kindness. It is dangerously easy to skip kindness with the people we are most comfortable with. The military has a way of forcing you to recognize the value in quality time, and quality time will be tainted where kindness is not prioritized. I am reminded of this in these past few months, where our world has been uprooted as we navigate the immense stress of moving, and yet we have never felt closer or happier. It’s because we are choosing to be kind to each other in the moments that are otherwise not. I want to run with this focus as we prepare to celebrate year No. 5 as Mr. and Mrs.
Next year, I want to contribute to a community of kindness. I have been discouraged by the lack of kindness that I have seen in society, from the gut-wrenching headlines of violence and bigotry, to the missed moments in passing where strangers look the other way. I can choose to focus on the bad that exists in the real world and become bitter, or I can choose to focus on the good and join the efforts that exist to better the world we live in. It’s as simple as choosing kindness in our every day interactions, and in remembering that the people around us are more like us than they are not.
I want to live, breathe, give, radiate kindness, because not only do I know that is something that I deserve by those in my life, but it is something that those in my life also deserve. Whatever your own intention is for 2019, may you never lose sight of choosing kindness.