Forward

9:50am New Year’s Eve. Home alone. Still in bed. Nowhere to be, the day at my complete disposal. You have no idea how happy I am.

Normal me would disapprove of staying in bed past 9am on a weekday, but fuck it. The week between Christmas and New Years is always a period of blurred, ignorant bliss; between traveling to see family, friends coming to town, and endless indulgences too easy to lose track of time. My typically structured days are replaced by spontaneous whims, my often rigid eating habits a bit more lax (Italian, anyone?) I enjoy getting lost in it all, immersed in the abundance of love, gratitude and sugar.

11:00am Its hard for me to stay in one place for long, so I book myself a bike for 12:00pm HIIT in the city and finish my morning lemon water. Anderson Paak sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Cliched as it may be, one of my biggest accomplishments this year was making fitness a priority. I have been involved in sports since I was a kid, but for the first time I’ve really come to enjoy the benefits of a good sweat. In the past, I would work out either in advance of or right after a period of unhealthy eating, as a way to “offset the damage” I was about to do to myself, especially around the holidays. I now truly understand the connection between fitness and nutrition, how my body works, what it responds to, what it likes. I love that feeling of achievement after a particularly challenging burn, especially when I almost opted to go home and watch Game of Thrones instead. I am now one of those sick fucks who actually prefers to go to cycling over happy hour, and I am okay with that, because it has improved not just my physical health but my mental well-being. I want to get even better next year, and I want to inspire people to do the same. Sorry in advance for being annoying about it.

1:00pm Sweaty, happy, hungry. As opposed to going and buying a green juice, I head back home and make myself a salad.

A 2018 goal of mine that didn’t end up manifesting until almost 365 days later: cut out the bullshit. This was the year of my financial awakening in that I realized how much of my money was spent on absolute bullshit non-essentials that were contributing only to my present happiness: $5 daily matchas and bi-monthly mani pedis, pricey nights out followed by Uber rides home, $14 lunches when I have fully-prepared meals in the fridge.

When I was living with less intention, not only I was content with my aimless spending, and I had come to think of it as simply a part of living in New York.  It took almost a year of podcasts, books, and looking at my bank statements to truly understand the gravity of this behavior. It is really fucking hard to break these habits that have been engrained since childhood, but it’s imperative that I do, because unless you have a trust fund or 6-figure salary, things do not just magically work out. Not to say that I am going full-on minimalist by any means – I have festivals to attend, restaurants to try, and French classes to buy – but I am thinking ahead, now more than ever. One day, I want to buy a home. I want to travel. I want to work voluntarily, not to make ends meet. I don’t want to be a slave to the almighty dollar at 55, so leftovers it is – for now. Future me will thank me.

Here’s to a new year of living presently, but also thinking forward. To standing up for myself and saying no more often. To not letting my experiences of the past limit my future potential. To new experiences, more love, and even more growth.

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