If you want to be out front, then act as if you were behind.

Lao Tzu

While it is good to find satisfaction in your every day, there is no need to settle. In many of my 28 years, I feel as though that is exactly what I had done.

My soul wanted to write more, but I thought no one would listen.
Routines left me feeling socially isolated, but I never sought out new interactions.
My job was leaving me wanting more, but I didn’t seek to satisfy that craving.
People left me feeling disregarded and unheard, but now I speak up.

I refuse to settle for what I believe is substandard. In 2015, I am looking at situations as though I were behind, and finding the courage and will to persist to find my way to the front of the pack. Though it has been just about two weeks, I am well on my way to a much more satisfying year.

For about nine months, I had a vision that my voice was awkward and undeveloped, and therefore, no one would want to hear what I have to say. This blog was my way to practice writing, and for something hopefully pleasant upon which people may stumble. In December, Skirt Collective began publishing unique pieces of mine that you won’t find on this blog. This provided a huge boost to my confidence, and therefore my determination to get my voice heard. If nothing more, I want the world to know my story so that way maybe one or two stories will inspire healthier interactions and happier living.

Writing on my own site as well as Skirt Collective connects me with some really interesting people, and opens up my world to so many different things. In addition, I’m seeking out new connections in the real world that could still open many more doors. I had the pleasure of being introduced to the owner of Lockwood Shop and Lockwood Style in Astoria, Queens. Mackenzi Farquer is not only the owner of the cutest shop I ever did see, but she is the owner of the blog We Heart Astoria. The woman is a nonstop powerhouse with a huge personality and even bigger love and visions for her neighborhood. Making this connection has brought about so much hope for my future.

While a job is a job, I am indulging the cravings of my soul even more. Writing brought about satisfaction, but there is that little heart-shaped pie crust that can only be filled with sweet and savory delights made at home. The Man bought me an amazing cookbook of soups, and within the first week of the new year, I made two massive pots of delicious soup.

There is something so fulfilling– for the belly and soul– in making a home-cooked meal, especially for the love of my life. He comes in after work and makes us a pair of dirty martinis while I cook, and we recap our days. Making food for my main squeeze and having some of the most indulgently savory leftovers is mmm mmm good!

Follow my Instagram for some shots of everything from ramen to farfalle and meatball soup!

I picked up Game of Thrones, or rather, A Song of Fire and Ice, again. For entirely too long I neglected my reading. This has forever been a source of peace and serenity for me. Sometimes, the most gratifying part of my day is curling up in bed and reading a some good writing. Oh, how I missed Tyrion Lannister!

The hardest part so far has been speaking up for myself. From my relationship to my roommate situation, I used to let things slide. I have been a person who goes out of her way to make sure that others are comfortable, at the very least. Naturally, there are going to be some who shake their head at that statement and call my bluff. To them I will say, I know I have messed up in my 28 years of existence, I am human. In the last few years, I have done everything in my power to give everyone I encounter a reason to smile, even for a moment.

I’d rather get stabbed handing someone a treat, than stabbed because I smacked someone in the face.

Unfortunately, over the years, this has brought about situations with friends, family, lovers, and roommates. As with the writing, I began changing this pattern in 2014, but I am vowing to make this a higher priority this year. I will never get out front if I allow people to treat me as though I deserve to be behind.

My writing, cooking, reading, making new connections, and restructuring existing connections are going to get me out front for a time in 2015. The Man and I are taking the plunge in six weeks, and getting a place together, and I’m going to continue to try to be a better and more supportive girlfriend. I am facing ever-present health concerns with as much dignity and poise as I can muster. In all of these areas, I have been behind, and I am well aware. Today is the day to face that position, and make changes.

Happy 2015, everyone!