New Year’s Resolutions?

Happy 2019! If you’re not hungover and reading this I congratulate you.

Have you ever looked at a year in your life and gone I didn’t see that coming? That was 2018 for me.

However, there is nothing more important than my true friends, you know who you are. I’m eternally grateful for your support in what’s been a tumultuous year. In that spirit, here are my new year’s resolutions, some of which I even intend to keep.

Resolutions I intend to keep:

- Dance more: I was introduced to salsa by a friend in my first year of university. Every time we went I said it was my first time. One day I aim to admit to saying I’m no longer a beginner. If we have to go to more Shakira concerts in pursuit of this goal, no sacrifice is too great.

- Stop criticising my body: It’s something I think most people struggle with, but the greatest revenge on a society that is pressuring you into such a restrictive idea of beauty is to be happy with yourself. It annoys me when I cannot tell actors apart because they look so similar and blank only to realise I hold myself to the same awful standards. If we expended as much energy on our personalities as our appearance, society would be better for everyone.

- Make time for friends: In university it was easy to see people. Working life means you have to be much more proactive in making and maintaining friendships. This is something I need to work on.

- Set clear boundaries: Just because people like to be helpful does not mean that they should be treated as always available.

- Write more: As they say practice makes perfect.

- Finally build my app. If I put this in a public forum I hope someone keeps me accountable. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but haven’t made the time.

Resolutions I should keep, but probably won’t:

- Stop giving the dog too many treats: Picture the scene. A puppy arrives in my life underweight, supposedly wheat intolerant and nervous of human interaction after being thrown in a river with her siblings to drown. Fast forward a year, we have a 20-kilo dog who loves bread and has aspirations to have her own sofa. Maybe there’s a happy medium.

- Not to be taken in by the fake smiles: There are people who present their lives, often with a partner, as a never-ending highlight reel. In real life, you know they go through the same struggles as everybody else and often focus obsessively on public appearances to disguise their own private insecurity. Nevertheless, you feel somehow inadequate that not every moment in life is a photo opportunity.

- Learn German: My family is more German than anything else, but I did not visit the country until this year. It was bittersweet getting to know such a vibrant cosmopolitan city, where reminders of the past are on every corner. I love the culture and the people that Berlin attracts, but still a weird place to watch Cabaret on stage.

- To be grateful for the bad experiences: Personally and professionally, there will always be things that do not work out the way you imagined. Better to focus on the things you learned rather than the bridges burned.

- Less chocolate: I know it’s not good for me, but I love it.

- Run more: I know it’s good for me, but I hate it.

Your problem not mine:

- Everyday sexism: I was at a networking event. Girls with their bras exposed and stripper heels were used to sell a product. Witnessing them look progressively more uncomfortable as strangers felt compelled to hug them, I went over and made casual conversation to their visible relief. I’d just changed jobs having worked to empower women in tech.

- Inappropriate advances: If you’ve asked me out on a date and am disappointed that I’m older than your daughter, it’s time to take a look in the mirror. Similarly, if you are married, particularly with a family, the only response you will trigger from me is disgust and pity for those around you.

- People who present their opinions as facts: I don’t really think much more needs to be said about this. Those who refuse to see outside their own bubble are hurting themselves more than they are hurting you however much it sucks to be around them.

Have a happy, healthy and successful 2019!

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