Love ’em or hate ’em, it’s that time of year for New Year’s resolutions. I happen to love them and, heading into the new year, I promptly emptied my habit tracker app to start anew. I’m a sucker for measured progress, so getting to check off those little boxes every day fills me with joy. (#nerdalert) So far, I’m doing pretty well.
But my biggest resolution this year is not to exercise or to drink enough water… and it’s definitely not to wake up on time, which is my most consistently failed habit. Instead, I’m focusing on an overarching goal to be unapologetically me. In this pursuit, I want to get better at self-promoting (cringe). That, and I need to spend less time thinking about who might judge me for it all.
I have forever had an intense fear of looking like I didn’t know what I was doing or appearing to be naive. I hate it so much that I get the worst anxiety from just trying a new fast-casual restaurant. “So many possible ways to order and I have now idea what they want me to do! He asked a follow-up question about toppings… but I don’t know the toppings.. and there’s a line… uhh just smile and nod. Smile and nod.” Occasionally this yields accidental culinary masterpieces. More often, it leads me to me avoiding a lot of restaurants.
Feeling like an idiot is a commonly disliked feeling, so I’ll spare you the therapy-couch backstory for this facet of my anxiety. You get it. We all want to look like we’ve got it together. The problem is, I’ve come to realize that this fear has held me back from pursuing so many interests over the years. And why?! How dumb is that?! I do my fair share of judging and you know what I would actually judge the hell out of someone for? Not pursuing an interest just because I might think it’s kind of dumb. Wow.
I had been thinking about all this for a while when New Year’s rolled around. My friend Miranda was visiting from New Haven and she brought along her (beautiful!) tarot deck. I was totally pumped to get a reading done because I never had before. After some standard readings, we ended up doing a special New Year’s spread. In this, there are 12 cards arranged as a circular calendar and there’s one card in the center.
If you trust the reading, I’m in for a tumultuous year. Cool. After all 12 monthly cards, though, came my real takeaway. The center card, meant to encompass the entire year, was revealed to be The Fool. In Miranda’s deck, this card is a young bird on a white branch, ready to take off and fly for the first time. It represents beginnings, naivety, and inexperience. Well, well – isn’t that relatable?
So it’s time to embrace “The Fool.” I won’t always know what I’m doing and sometimes I won’t even know that I don’t know what I’m doing. And that’s okay. Trying and sometimes failing is all part of the journey. My journey.