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  • Writer's pictureIlana Newman

New Year, New Post

Although in some ways it feels like 2018 has been a year of stagnation, when I look more closely, there has been a lot of change, growth, and adventures that have given me a new perspective on life.

I have struggled with the balance between school/responsibilities and personal goals and dreams. I don’t expect that this will ever be an easy thing to work through, I will always be left wondering if I should be doing one part differently. To compromise my responsibility for personal gain or to let go of my goals to take care of the mundane? There will never be a correct answer, it will be a fluctuation over time and space.

Some of the top moments of 2018:

1. Shivering through the night at Artist Point, waking up to an amazing sunrise with my favorite person

2. Spring break in the desert: Red Rocks and Indian Creek with great friends

3. Hiking 30 miles in one day through Glacier National Park

4. Climbing Sunset Strip in Squamish and sending a pitch that previously would have been really challenging for me

5. Getting a contract from Climbing Magazine to write a feature story that will be published in 2019

6. Climbing Triple Divide Peak with Levi in the smoke

7. Road tripping to and from GNP and seeing a part of the country that is so spread out and empty

8. Through hiking the Enchantments at the end of September

9. Starting to run more frequently, and feeling my cardio improving constantly

10. Spending christmas in Colorado and exploring the southern rockies

As I think more and more about this, I realize that the best times of the year have very little to with what exactly I was doing, and more about the feeling behind it. My favorite times, the parts that have affected me the most, come with the people I love, and take place outside. This year, all I want is to have more of this. I want to have more laughter and love. I want to have more fun outside trying hard and failing, and maybe sometimes succeeding. I want to spend more time in the alpine and the desert. I want to have more patience, with others and with myself. I want to create more, even if it doesn’t get any recognition. I want to put myself out there more, even if I get turned down. I want to be more involved with my community. I want to say yes more, and try to recognize when to say no.

It’s hard to make a top ten list, because so many great moments this year were so mundane. They were at the climbing gym, or in the Planet office, working hard. They were the moments sitting in my van, or reading a book, appreciating the sunset. They were running or walking on trails, just looking at the trees. They were snuggling with my boyfriend, or sitting in the living room with my roommates. It was the little moments that really made a difference, and especially my broadened appreciation of them. There were not tons of measurable goals completed, or giant changes made. But most importantly, I was content this year. I am in love with an amazing guy who supports me unconditionally and is committed to working through things. I have friends who are fun, thoughtful, genuine and interesting who constantly inspire and push me. I have access to the outdoors, and have been physically been able to climb mountains. I have been lucky enough to have jobs in environmental education, climbing, and writing, that fit both my interests and my ambitions, and coworkers who motivate and inspire me. I had the opportunity to spend three months living in Glacier National Park, one of the most incredible places I have ever experienced, and got to get to know the people and ecosystem that make the place so special. I lived in my van, Lucinda, for the first full year of our time together, and realized that I love living so simply, everything I need and own within arms reach.

My only real resolution for 2019 is that I am starting a year of buying nothing. The rules are fairly simple, although I have a feeling it will become more complicated as the year progresses. I am not allowed to buy anything unnecessary. This includes clothes, gear, and anything except for replacements of things that I use up over the year, and things that are necessary for staying alive. My only exception is that if I have need for something “unnecessary” for two months, I can purchase the item. I have decided to do this mostly for the savings. I often find myself purchasing things (mostly gear) because it is on sale, and I justify it because of course I will use it and it will make my life better. But I don’t really need these things, I can survive without them. So this year I am going to learn where the line is between need and want. And I am sure I will learn many other things along the way. I am including this in this reflection post mostly for accountability, so that it is in writing, and out in the world for other people to see.

The other thing that I am committing to is to create more. Technically this isn't a New Years Resolution because I began it a few weeks ago, but I specifically I am going to be focusing on writing something every day, even if it something small, or coming up with a new idea, even if it sounds stupid. If not writing, then it will be editing photos, working on a climbing route, coming up with new ideas, anything, as long as it is creative.

I don’t think I would want to know what this year will entail. I wouldn’t want to know the struggles or the successes. I wouldn’t want to know what I will fail at and what I will learn. I wouldn’t want to know who I will meet and who I will love. It’s all an adventure, and knowing now would just take the fun out of it.

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