This time of year can be tough for a lot of people.
The start of something new, including a new year, can feel a bit sad, or even lonely at times.
And it can also be full of expectations, ones we put on ourselves and ones we feel pressured to achieve by others.
But for me, January has always been filled with excitement and gratitude and possibility. Because after the holidays and ringing in a new year comes my birthday. And even though the actual day isn’t until the end of the month, that has never stopped me from celebrating multiple times over the course of four weeks (or longer).
To me, the start of a new year quite literally gives me the opportunity to say goodbye to my younger self and hello to my older (and hopefully more aware and authentic) self.
And like most endings and beginnings, this time of year is ripe with questions.
A few days ago I watched an interview that Quinta Brunson, the Emmy-winning writer of “Abbott Elementary,” did with Oprah back in November of last year.
There were lots of insightful gems in their chat, but one moment is still running through my mind.
Oprah says: “What’s a question that you think every woman should ask herself?”
Brunson’s answer has officially become my question of the year. In fact, it might be the one question I ask myself each day going forward.
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“Do I like myself?
Do I really like myself when I’m in my room by myself? When I’m with myself, do I like who I am?
If the answer is no, then you do some work to make sure you do.”
So often, we focus on the big questions, the existential questions. We wonder why we’re here or what we’re meant to do or who we’re meant to be with or what our legacy will be.
But we don’t ask the most basic questions:
Do I like myself?
Do I like who I’m becoming?
Do I like who I am as I walk through the world?
Do I like who am I when I’m the only one around?
Do I like how I’m showing up in each moment?
Do I like my own company?
Some days, these questions are easier to ask than others. And some days, I don’t particularly like my answer.
But what I’ve learned with every year I’ve been lucky enough to celebrate is that we all deserve the chance to ask ourselves this question. And our answer is what matters most.