5 Things I Learned in 2016

 An accurate portrait of me learning things in 2016. By  Carolina Rodriguez .

An accurate portrait of me learning things in 2016. By Carolina Rodriguez.

Happy New Year, friends! As we embark on the next 365 (Ok, fine -- 364. I spent approximately all of New Year's Day napping with my hot boyfriend and eyeballing sparkly photos from the night before.) days rife with rosy potential, I always like to hearken back to the past year's lessons. 2016 dropped some serious knowledge on your girl Rose, so here's what I'm taking with me into 2017:

Don't put yourself in harm's way just to prove you can handle the outcome.
If the thought of attending a party in which your nemesis (or ex or ex bff or ex employer) will also likely show up makes you want to die, don't go. Put on a Korean face mask, eat fried pickles in bed, and think about how cool it is that you're in charge of how you spend your time. Tell the hostess the truth about why you won't come or don't -- preserving your wellbeing takes priority over preserving your reputation either way.

Making the most of your day doesn't literally mean getting the most stuff done.
Man, I love checking off to-do items... or filling in boxes in my BuJo. But do you have to spend 45 minutes on the elliptical machine before work, or could you have morning sex instead? Do you have to execute EVERY idea (for me, it's usually recipe development, setting up my podcast, and writing about my feelings) on your one free day, or could you focus on a single project that sounds fun? If you're constantly berating yourself for lack of productivity, maybe you should set out to accomplish less but enjoy each endeavor more.

Be clear about what you want -- with yourself and with your people.
When I first started dating my boyfriend, I was uncharacteristically upfront about what I was looking for and what I definitely was not looking for. After years of being careful not to overwhelm men, it felt really, really good to stop being careful and start being honest. Inevitably, sometimes you'll be too much for people. But those people are not your people.

The situation will never be ideal. Learn to roll with the situation you're dealt.
If I had my druthers, I would wake up at 5:30am every day and write for 5 hours before digesting a leisurely breakfast feast in time for my vinyasa class. I would meet my daily challenges looking and feeling rested and fabulous. Self-care involves preparing to be your best self, sure -- but what notions about being your best stress you out more than they serve you? For me, self-imposed pressure to exercise daily, create consistently, and look a certain way perpetually puts me in a position to fail. If I embrace the fact that my presence is still valuable when I'm running on four hours of sleep and I'm still wearing last night's mascara, I can proceed to do something with my day even if the conditions aren't perfect.

Love is real.
I fell in love this year... hard, but healthily. So far, love means being kind to one another. It means respecting ourselves enough to say what's on our minds and respecting each other enough to listen without judgment. It means self awareness -- knowing what your own hangups are and not hopping on the defensive when something comes up. And it also means that there's some sort of chemical-energetic-electromagnetic magic going on which I can't even begin to explain but it's worth. The. Hype.

Wishing you a meaningful and creative 2017! 

Rose Truesdale3 Comments