Reflections on 2018 #OneWord: FORWARD

My #oneword for 2018 was FORWARD. I wanted to concentrate on moving forward in every aspect of my life and work diligently to improve my resilience. In 2017, I had a breakthrough moment in my personal life. I realized that I had likely spent half of my life (if I am blessed to live an equal amount beyond the present) worrying. I worried about everything, no matter how big or how small. I took myself too seriously. I spent a great deal of time trying not to make any mistakes and then digging myself out from beating myself up for having made an error of some kind. It dawned on me that for all the worrying I had done, none of the things I often feared as my mind went to worst case scenario had actually come to fruition. I resented all the nights I could not sleep, all the time I spent worrying instead of having fun, and I promised myself in 2018 that I was done worrying. No more sleepless nights, no more stressing out over things I could not control, and no more trying not to make any mistakes…a nice way of saying I was releasing myself from my perfectionistic tendencies.

Some people who know me are likely to say they don’t see this or didn’t know this, but ask any of my closest friends, any of my former supervisors, or my family and they will tell you it is true. I need no external pressure to do a good job. I do an outstanding inside job of that on my own. I have always struggled with anxiety. From the time I was a small child, I was described as conscientious. At school I was usually able to hold it together, but at home I battled with worry and anxiety often. Whether it was math homework frustration or worrying because my mom was later than usual getting home, my worry wire was active at an early age. Being conscientious is a part of who I am, but it no longer holds me hostage or sends me into a spiraling series of self-doubt. After nearly 20 years as an educator and a work record that I am proud of, I recognize that this life is short and I’ve given it my best and plan to continue doing so. That is enough and it always will be.

I chose the word FORWARD for 2018 because I wanted to focus on moving on, not getting bogged down in what went wrong or what might go wrong, but having a really balanced perspective that didn’t require an unrealistic pressure to get everything right the first time. I still focused on doing my best but I accepted that mistakes would be inevitable. I would make them, but the important thing was to focus on how to move forward, on my ability to bounce back and move on, on my resilience. I am so glad I did because 2018 was a great year.

In 2018 I found myself focused on being happy, having fun, and working hard. For me, the word FORWARD, didn’t mean to keep going in a careless manner. Instead it meant to move forward with courage, and to not allow fear to hold me hostage. This prevailing thought gave me freedom in ways I never imagined. I didn’t overthink wearing my favorite sneakers, Air Jordan’s, on the weekend, releasing my self published book, making rap music for fun, or writing more scholarly articles and submitting them for publication even if rejection would be the result. I trusted myself and my abilities. I finally realized that no matter what happens I would be alright and it, whatever it was, would also be alright. Experience said so. In 2018, I gave myself the freedom to be me and I have never felt more free and happy. There’s still room for growth, but I am off to a good start and I feel amazing. I hope this continues in 2019 because it’s amazing what the word FORWARD did for me in one year and I can only imagine what might be if I can keep this trend going for years to come. That’s why my #oneword for 2019 is FORWARD. It’s my eternal resolution.

Until next t time-Be you! Be true! Be a hope builder!

Latoya

@latoyadixon5

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