Resolve

re·solve
rəˈzälv/
verb
1. settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter). “The firm aims to resolve problems within 30 days”
2. decide firmly on a course of action. “She resolved to call Dana as soon as she got home”
noun
1. firm determination to do something.

On December 21, 2014, I sat in a laundromat down in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on one of those snowy days that calls for you to wear every layer of clothing you own and pray that the store you’re trekking to isn’t closed “due to the weather.” I had about 2 loads of laundry running with two more waiting to be loaded. Despite the tumultuous weather conditions, the laundromat was packed that day. The Trinidadian lady who owns the shop, she couldn’t be more than 35, was scowling more than usual at the deluge of eager Brooklynites wanting to do their laundry on what she probably thought was going to be a slow day.

It was in-and-out type of day, the second someone’s load stopped spinning, the person who had been waiting the longest would call out to ask whose machine it was (they were surprisingly honorable about this). If the owner didn’t answer within 6 seconds, then their clothes got pulled out and left for moldy ruin on top of the washing machines.

I couldn’t leave. I lived about 5 minutes walking distance from the laundromat, but I knew if I got up and my laundry happened to finish while I was gone, someone would throw my wet clothes on top of the machine and sling theirs in before I would even get the chance to verify that the clothes were mine in the first place. Coupled with the fact that the snow was blowing sideways outside, I wasn’t going anywhere.

I sat there in the plastic orange seat I managed to snag that had a small crack in its vinyl. An old episode of Judge Judy played on the old television mounted on the wall. I didn’t feel like reading at that moment, the atmosphere was a bit too tense for that. Instead, I pulled out my notebook that I happened to bring in case the exact predicament I was in were to happen: being trapped at the laundromat. What I proceeded to write not only passed the time by, but it also changed my life.

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My notebook entry
I’ve never really taken myself seriously until I lived in New York. I was exiting my early twenties and I found myself suffering physically, mentally, and emotionally in different realms of my life, and I desperately needed to take action. I created two columns. On the left, I wrote down everything that I felt was a positive experience for me in the previous year (2014), and I wrote down everything that was a personal negative. On the right I wrote goals for the new year (2015), resolutions, that would resolve my negatives and create more positives. I had never written down or seriously thought about new year’s resolutions, but because I believe in the power of resolve, I guess I believe in resolutions. I figured if I wrote them down and looked at them from time to time, maybe I could spark a change in me. And it worked.

Negative #1: I wrote down how I felt trapped in my job and how much I disliked it. My resolve: tell my boss I’m quitting in January and quit by February. Check.

Negative #2: I wasn’t eating healthy foods (because grocery money was nonexistent after I paid the rest of my bills) or much food at all. I felt stagnant, sluggish, and like one huge sloth all the time. My resolve: research a nutrition plan that I liked, prioritize groceries, and stop buying cheap, processed junk food. I ended up going paleo in 2015 and starting exercising 3x/week. Check.

Negative #3: the fact that I wasn’t traveling was depressing me. Travel has always been the bug I couldn’t shake, and as I started creeping into my mid-twenties, I was afraid my opportunity window was closing in. But when you can barely pay rent in NYC, and your job doesn’t understand the concept of vacation time, what is a girl to do? Well, to resolve my lack of travel in 2014, I took drastic measures in 2015. After I successfully quit my job, I gave up my beloved apartment in Crown Heights, sold all of my furniture, and I left New York.

WHAT?! HOW COULD YOU LEAVE THE GREATEST CITY ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH?! EVERYWHERE ELSE IS WORTHLESS!!
How could I? With a smile on my face, and a pep in my step. Just like that, I was back in the Bay Area, living with my parents and not regretting a single decision I had made. With the money I saved, I ended up traveling to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in March, then Greece, Italy, Paris, and London in September. And since I was living rent free with the ‘rents and was in no rush to get a full-time job, I decided to fulfill my ultimate travel dream: live in Italy! In September, after my big trip around Europe, I backtracked to Rome and moved in with a local Italian family as their au pair. I taught English on the side, and I gallivanted around Rome like a midnight marauder learning all of its twists, secrets, and surprises. Travel more? Check.
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Acting nonchalant in Firenze
Twenty-fifteen was hands-down one of my greatest years of life on this earth. Why? Because I took the time to list out what didn’t work the previous year and come up with how I wanted to succeed in the next year. I wrote down specific time periods I wanted to achieve certain goals by, specific places I wanted to go, and I kept myself accountable. I never knew the power of resolving within yourself, until a packed laundromat in Brooklyn on a snowy day forced me to put in on paper. This isn’t a new idea, but it’s something we should constantly be hearing. It’s important to come up with goals; even if those goals are small. If it’s something you believe in, and it’s something that will make you feel good about yourself, why not pursue it? Write it down, make it real–then, go make it happen.
Resolve.

1 Comment

  1. […] 2015, my  year of resolve, I made less than $14,000 for the entire year. […]

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