Living This New Year According To Me

Oh, The Plans We Make…

this year
Katelyn Roth

This time last year, I had just graduated with two Bachelor’s degrees and I was preparing to enter graduate school in pursuit of my Master’s. Until my very last semester in college, I had planned on getting my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. But then I visited some programs, did more research, and after shopping around, worried that it was not for me.

Instead, after years of much bullying—er, encouragement—from respected professors, I decided to accept an assistant teaching position with the English department and continue studying creative writing. It was not a bad decision. I love the department and the faculty, I had put down roots there and felt it was a place I could grow as a writer and as an individual. But preparing to start my second semester of teaching and taking classes this last August, I could not help but feel like I was barely treading water, sometimes swallowing mouthfuls, in pursuit of something I had never really decided on—instead I had “slid” into it, much like a couple who has lived together for a while and says, “Whelp, I guess we might as well get married,” not because they are really excited about it but rather because it feels like “the thing to do.”

What A Difference A Year Makes

This time last year, I did not feel like I had any agency in my life. A middle child, a recovering people-pleaser, I had always put one foot in front of the other, kept my head down and done well in school because it was “the thing to do” and I enjoyed doing it. Until I was 21, every moment had already been decided for me: get good grades in the current school year and graduate to the next, then get into a good college and get a degree. I had done that—in fact, I had gotten two degrees in under four years. Unfortunately, I was not any closer to knowing what that next step was.

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new year
new year

So I quit. I did something drastic just to do something of my accord, not because someone else had suggested it or encouraged me to and not because I felt somewhere, deep down, that it was what I should do. I got a job. I got a second job. I am working a lot but I am doing things I like because I like them and not because they are going to carve out the perfect job path to get my dream job—whatever that is. I am writing more now than I ever did in a creative writing program. There is nothing drawing on my creative faculties but my desire to create, and that is a refreshing change. I started a bullet journal—if you are not familiar with the fad, I would highly recommend looking into it. It is like a planner, to-do list, and journal all rolled into one self-directed, doodle-filled creation. It is incredibly freeing but very functional and it makes me feel more like the master of my time.

2016: Living It According To Me

year 2016This time next year, I will be getting married and going back to school to finish my Master’s. But for now, for the rest of this year, I will be gentle with myself, with my frazzled mind and fragile heart. I will ignore the pressure to enjoy what I am constantly assured is the Most Exciting Time of my Life—because it does not feel exciting, it feels like standing in front of a fire hose with my eyes stuck open. This year, I am not setting goals for the year to come—I am going to listen to my needs and respond accordingly, one day at a time, without the flawed assumption that I know myself well enough already.

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Happy New Year everyone!


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Our beautifully defiant Katelyn Roth lives in Pittsburgh, KS.  She writes on a variety of topics relating to women empowerment, psychology, healthy relationships and anything that supports the mental health of women. Her recent post was the last in our series on Emptiness – “Depression And Emptiness: My Story.”

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36 thoughts on “Living This New Year According To Me

  1. Sounds like you are looking forward to 2016! Congratulations on your engagement! I remember how excited I was to be engaged to my husband!

    1. Ms Claudette

      On Katelyn’s behalf, thank you Shannon! And all the best to you and yours this year! 🙂

  2. So exciting that you will be getting married! I wish you all the best in the upcoming year!

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am sure that Katelyn is grateful for your wishes. Namaste. 🙂

  3. Congratulations on you achievements Katelyn and all the best in the future! We tend to live a more laid back life in our home and as a result are a happier family.

    1. Ms Claudette

      On Katelyn’s behalf, thank you! Every family is different and everyone’s definition of happiness is as well. So, this year, we all have an opportunity to step into what we consider a happier life. Namaste. 🙂

  4. Eileen xo

    good luck to Katlyn I hope n she and everyone have an amazing year

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you! We all are looking forward to one! Same to you and yours! 🙂

  5. Katelyn

    Thank you everyone for your kind words of encouragement! I feel empowered!

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are such a darling, Katelyn!

  6. Angie@chasingmyhalo

    It’s funny how life can work out. What a year you’ve had, and I’m sure next year will be even more amazing!

    1. Ms Claudette

      It is indeed funny, the synchronicity in life. 🙂

  7. Elizabeth O.

    That was very well said and very beautiful. You can’t live life like a robot, doing the same routine, you have to dive and find yourself. That’s how you can truly say you have lived life.

    1. Ms Claudette

      On Katelyn’s behalf, thank you very much! 🙂

  8. Wow good luck hun you are so brave to quit but I think it was the best decision for you.

    1. Ms Claudette

      On Katelyn’s behalf, thank you very much!

  9. I admire you for taking the time off to follow your passions. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials and best of luck in your Master’s program 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      On Katelyn’s behalf, thank you very much and the same to you and yours! 🙂

  10. best wishes with going back to school. and i congratulate you on trying to fend of the pressure to enjoy the best time of your life. take it all one day at a time

    1. Ms Claudette

      On Katelyn’s behalf, thank you very much and all the best to you as well! 🙂

  11. sometimes there are things we don’t expect to happen but if we have to open mind, we can able to cope up

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are very right about that! 🙂

  12. I like how you put listening to your needs and reacting accordingly. I think this takes out the pressure but it still sets your mind to know what your priorities should be and work on ’em. Goodluck and I wish you all the best in 2016.

    1. Ms Claudette

      On Katelyn’s behalf, thank you very much! 🙂

  13. I try to live one day at a time. It is hard, but I stress less!

    1. Ms Claudette

      It can be very hard but worth it in the end. 🙂

  14. Angela Milnes

    wow what big changes. I made some huge changes in 2015 and have some more to make soon. It’s good to be free and do things for yourself. Well done. Angela

    1. Ms Claudette

      On Katelyn’s behalf, thank you for Angela and all the best to you with your upcoming changes! 🙂

  15. Good for you! It’s important to do what feels right for you, not just to do what others “think” you should do. Best of luck in the new year.

    1. Ms Claudette

      On Katelyn’s behalf, thank you Shann and all the best to you and those lovely boys of yours! 🙂

  16. Being able to make up your own mind without worrying what anyone has to say is key…

    1. Ms Claudette

      It indeed is! 🙂

  17. Oh, you have a lot of exciting adventures to look forward to! Enjoy every step even if you get sidelined along the way. It’s a learning tool preparing you for what is coming. You’ll see 🙂 Happy wedding planning!

    1. Ms Claudette

      On Katelyn’s behalf, thank you very much Sandra! 🙂

  18. Living one day a time is my motto right now. There is a lot going on right now, some good and some bad.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, take everything in stride, as best as possible. 🙂

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