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Happy New Year to You

2010 is here and I can hardly believe it. A new decade. A new period of time to look forward to with high expectations and even higher hopes.

At this time….

…ten years ago, I was starting my last semester of high school and looking forward to the freedom of college.

…five years ago, I was starting my first full-time job after graduating from Carnegie Mellon and looking forward to a steady salary.

…two years ago, I was about to join Twitter and start this blog just a few days later, and looking forward to expanding my network.

…last year, I was just four months into self-employment and looking forward to more choices, more flexibility, and more challenges.

Now I can’t help but think about what the next ten years will bring. I was just a high schooler ten years ago and it isn’t far-fetched to assume that I could be married with children ten years from now (though I have no plans to do either any time soon!). Oddly enough I feel much closer to the past than I do to the future. The future is a big unknown, and I’ve never really been comfortable with unknowns. I’ve never planned more than a few months out at a time. I’ve never had a “5 year plan” and now more than ever I can’t imagine attempting to create one.

A major theme in my life has always been wanting more. I guess you could call me a glutton. I’ve always wanted to make more money, buy more stuff, do more things, see more places, have more friends, face more challenges. Maybe this year I need to focus on what I already have and try to get more out of it all.

  • I am at a wonderful place in my career and have a lot of opportunities to grow and learn
  • I am part of an tight-knit professional community that inspires me to be better, reach further and think harder
  • I have two loving, driven, passionate parents who have ingrained in me an undying work ethic and general zest for life
  • I have a close group of dear friends from elementary school, middle school, high school, camp, and college who have been my loyal extended family, and held me up when I found it difficult to stand on my own
  • I have an incredible boyfriend who challenges me in new ways every day
  • I have the means to give myself a good life, and am truly my own best friend

Every year I write a list of New Year’s Resolutions (things I want to do more of or better), and a list of things Not-To-Do (things I want to do less of or not at all). I prefer not to post that list publicly here, but there is an overall theme across all my resolutions that I want to share:

Be who I want to be, not who I think I’m supposed to be.

My experiences over the last year, and the last decade, have been beyond my wildest dreams. But a lot of my decisions have been based on what I thought the world was expecting of me, and I’ve ended up in situations that have drained my resources and morale. This year and the decade ahead needn’t be about getting more stuff and gaining greater status; I want to focus on being prouder of and more comfortable with what I already have. I look forward to living life by my own rules and moving slowly enough to squeeze every last drop out of the great fortune that I’m surrounded by.

Thank you for being a part of my happiness, and indulging my whims and passions. And a happy new year to you all.

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  • Martha Mihaly

    Happy New Year to you as well Whitney. Keep up your good work and inspiring posts.