Growing up.

New Year's anything has never meant much to me.  Being a permanent wallflower, I've never seen the appeal.  If I go out, it's with my best friends or my family.  I don't do parties.  Hi, social anxiety!

The biggest thing about the calendar turning over is that I have to remember what year to write on stat sheets, time cards, and rent checks.  Inevitably, it takes me until about July to get it figured out.

I don't make New Year's resolutions.  They wouldn't help me; they'd ramp up my obsessive tendencies to 11 and make me miserable.  I just try to keep on keepin' on, but a little better than before.

Yet, thinking back over the past year, I feel like I've become much more self-aware about my emotions, my triggers, and the way I react to others.  One of my biggest faults is that I am a very black and white person: it's either right or wrong; I hate it or I love it; it's brainless or it's brilliant.  But to get humans to work together without shooting or blowing things up or sending death or rape threats, black and white thinking isn't healthy.  I've seen myself slowly become more flexible and understanding of others' positions.  I've gone from being accepting because I know I should be, as a librarian and as a human being, to being accepting because I believe it is the right thing to do.

I'd like to clarify that I don't mean acceptance of what the Founding Fathers so eloquently called "these truths [we hold] to be self-evident."  Basic rights like believing what you believe, loving what or whom you love, or doing what you do--I have never considered it my place to judge that.  I am not God, or whomever or whatever you believe in as something greater than you.  I'm talking about small things, bookish things particularly.  I used to dismiss entire sub-genres within YA as silly or uninteresting or poorly written when I'd never even taken the time to open up one of those books and see for myself what it was like.  I didn't think about why such things would appeal to other people, and I only wanted to promote books that I personally loved.

Now, when I'm at work, I enthusiastically recommend books that I personally didn't like because I know they are a perfect match for the person I'm assisting.  I'm requesting more and more books that I normally would have never touched with a metaphorical ten-foot pole.  I'm giving them a chance, and even if I don't like them, I'll consider who will.  I don't think I'll ever stop growing up and maturing.  I don't want to.  I always want to learn and to improve myself.

So that is my goal for this year and all the years to come: be a better iteration of myself.


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