The Birthday Post

While some people use the new year as a time for personal resolutions, I never sense the change that invokes these resolutions. December to January is just cold to cold, and January is post-Christmas, so let me just stay in a Post-Christmas hangover, huddled inside before and after the barn. ANYWAYS, for those reasons I do not partake in New Year’s resolutions, but I do partake in the Claire Cumbee Birthday resolution. As my birthday sits on the ACTUAL first day of Fall, it feels like a real season change. There’s a breeze, the air feels different, and Holidays are coming. So all in all, I choose my birthday, September 23rd to decide what to leave or start a new for the next season of life. (I will allow you to also use my birthday for any resolutions. It’s a great day)

This year, I’ve really reflected and wanted to choose a mixture of large and small life choices that I can reasonably and successfully alter for the upcoming year that will bring better health and joy. I went through the list of things I’m always trying to improve upon, and selected three things that will improve my health both physically and mentally, but that I felt I could reasonable and effectively adjust. (None of this, 2 weeks of running until I earn debilitating shin splints)

Here is my list:

  1. Drink Water
  2. Make my coffee from home more times per week than I grab Starbucks/Dunkin’
  3. Cut off the projection of my own doubts upon other people. (Aka, stop taking things so personally. This is the meat of this post. Scroll down.)

Drink Water. I don’t know why I don’t do this, I honestly just learned over the past year, that this is something you should be doing daily. Like there are people that drink multiple glasses of water every day. I thought it was just something people tried to become more healthy. I don’t love tap or filtered water, but I will drink it if it’s in a plastic bottle. I’ve been accepted to quite a few water-bottle campaigns. So I now keep them in my car, and it’s great. I love it lukewarm, and I can even save a few dollars during lunch when i don’t order a drink. Odd? Maybe. It’s just been an easy adjustment over the past few days.

Ok, I’ve made my coffee every day since I’ve been home. I’m actually fairly good at making a cup of coffee. It’s not any healthier than Starbucks, but it is saving about $6 a day and the 20-minute drive and wait to pick it up.

Lastly, over the past year I’ve really, really struggled from taking such a personal infliction from other people. And to be honest, when I reflect, or what I’ve learned is that in 90% of the occasions that I’ve felt devastated if not so invalidated, the other persons intentions or actions had nothing to do with me. Let me say it again, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. Even on a daily basis, I’ve just felt so weighed down by wanting to prove more towards others, that I was enough, to stay out of trouble, to avoid some sort of conflict. It’s exhausting. And to be honest, my own concern and anxiety while weighing me down, is not even a blip on their radar, nor should it be. From friendships, intimate relationships, different dynamics, I’ve determined that some of my ideals of who I expected them to be, were completely unachievable. if not completely made up, which only left me consistently disappointed or left feeling bad about myself. I’m now looking at all of the relationships in my life, determining what value they play. If they don’t add value and joy, they are left behind. In the relationships that I’ve felt most vindicated by, I’m going to register the parts that I need, and removing the expectations for the things that I don’t. And to be honest, (ok this has been a process over the summer too.) It actually de-vilifies people. I’ve been more empathetic towards others, who are in their own struggles and living their own, because for some reason I was just projecting my own insecurities on them. Ok, let me list some examples both personally and I’ve seen from others over the past year.

In intimate relationships, I can expertly describe the hookup culture of older Gen-Z and young millenials to anyone interested, but it’s a whole thing. One of the very prominent occurrences within the culture is the canceled date. Guy schedules date, girl doesn’t follow up in days leading up to date as she waits for guy to text, guy cancels date after no communication 1 to 2 hours before said date, if every texting to cancel at all. It’s a thing, it happens most of the time. within this city/dating thing. Ok, girl, me devastated. You flip through the texts, the photos available to view online, the quality of your skincare… But, frankly. Guy found you cute enough to ask you on a date, you were intriguing and funny enough to captivate their attention, but day of, you know, they didn’t want to leave their house. NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR SKINCARE. It’s not personal. In this case “I” don’t find it attractive, “I” will move on.

I’ve left a really long-term, close friendship behind. I just feel that I need to remove myself from the dynamic. I reviewed all of the “fun” times we’ve had, but I felt that at the end of the day, when I got back home, my experiences with this person, the things they said, left me feeling bad. It surpassed even the value figure I’d made because generally I felt the opposite of joy, lower-value. Again, I’m sure their intentions were fine, and they have their own struggles, but even if the former isn’t true. Removing myself from this dynamic improves health, wellness, and removes a joy “inhibitor.”

To be fair, I think this is a pretty extreme jump as far as how I deal with relationships, but I’ve had such an unhealthy version across the spectrum that I think removing myself entirely from those that don’t add value and joy, and eradicating expectations that don’t relate to the intension of said relationship, is the right step for this season of life.

Perhaps, next year once if I’ve removed some of the heightened emotion around these friendships and relationships, I can say that investing in them or cultivating them in positive ways is a better pathway. But, for now the resolution is just to remove myself simply, quietly from those that aren’t positive.


Claire Cumbee R.

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