word of the year 2016 - honest

Are you being honest with yourself about your goals? My word of the year 2016 and the story behind it.

It had been brewing for a while. Every time I opened my closet, there was a scowl pulling at the corners of my mouth. Whenever it was time to sort the newly-folded laundry into the closet, I stared menacingly at the clothes already inside, resisting the urge to just dump everything on the floor and leave it. Last year, I spent an average of 35€ a month on clothes, trying to only purchase things that would work with my closet and that I really loved. I'm really proud of that. But yet whenever it came time to choose an outfit for the next day, I felt this nagging feeling of dissatisfaction.

Throughout the year, I do at least two full wardrobe clean-outs: take everything out, ask myself the four magical questions of closet conquering, then meticulously fold and sort everything back into the closet. Having moved cross-country twice within 10 months, a major donating-or-trashing spree accompanying each of them, last year saw me arriving at a place where I felt I had reduced my closet down to what it needed to be.

After doing some more research into capsule wardrobes, I was finally able to pin-point the source of my unhappiness: I wasn't being honest with myself about the clothes which were still in my closet. There were still a lot of items inside that don't fulfill the criteria which I want my clothes to have: what I really want is to have a closet full of things that I love to wear. I want options, and combinations, and effortless-getting-dressed in the morning.

As soon as I had this realization, I immediately discovered other areas of my life where not being honest with myself was making me unhappy:

  • weight and the goals associated with it
  • what I enjoy and don't enjoy
  • things that truly make me happy
  • foods I actually enjoy eating
  • blogging

We put all this stress on ourselves about what we should aspire to, what our life should look like, the things we should be proud of or excited about. I am probably more guilty of this than the average person, as my anxiety really enjoys playing devil's advocate and second-guessing everything.

Take this post, for example. When I started writing it in December, this is the monologue that was going on in my head:

"A word-of-the-year post should normally be published at the beginning of the year. And it should be light, and positive, and aspirational. People have to be able to relate to it. YOU BETTER PICK A REALLY GOOD WORD. And if you don't post it in the first week of January, you can just forget it because no one will want to read it then".

Before you ask: yes, my brain is an asshole sometimes. Thankfully, all this worry made me just put the post on hold until I finally felt comfortable with writing it. Until I was honest about what I wanted this year to bring, what I will focus on and try to add to my life.

For 2016, this is what I will aspire to be. Honest about my aspirations, my goals. Honest with myself about what makes me happy, and the courage to remove things that do not. Honest with others, how I feel about them and our relationship, in giving feedback. Honest about the people I follow on social media and whether they make me feel bad about my life or not, and honest about this blog and where I want it to go, if anywhere. 

I'm starting this weekend with my closet.