By Katherine Kerrick
This past year, 2015, began like others before it: celebratory gatherings with family, some time to reflect, and a slew of well-intentioned goals for the year to come. But by the time February rolled around, life had turned you upside down and inside out. You certainly did not foresee the events that would transpire… and that’s probably just as well. After beginning the year with a fulfilling job, a relationship with promise, and friends you spent most days with….
Everything changed. Upheaval. Incredulity. Pain. Loss. Gargantuan, guttural cries, unlike any other explosion of emotion since your pre-adolescence.
But that turmoil did not destroy you. You rallied. You persevered. You became more open to the possibilities. And your willingness to change, changed everything. Emotional and financial chaos was the impetus to step out of your comfort zone, and every day you worked to rebuild, asking for support but never to be rescued. It was your strength that brought you where you are today, with the career of your dreams and surrounded by love in a way you never thought possible. I am so, so very proud of you.
My wish for you in 2016 — say “yes!” Make this the year of YES. Say yes to that boxing class you're scared of, that trip to the Dominican Republic that you've (almost entirely) talked yourself out of, to forming new bonds with people you can't imagine you'd have the slightest in common with. 2016 is about willingness to let go of what YOU think is best, and being open to the ideas of others. You're stubborn about your ways and your routine — something that doesn't serve you well most of the time.
Have gratitude. It's the simplest of concepts. Appreciation. It’s not utilized enough. People would kill to have your bad day. Don't ever forget that.
Get honest. With yourself and others. It's okay to not be okay, and people aren't as interested in you as a saint as they are in your humanity. By pursuing perfection you are only distancing yourself from everyone worthwhile in the process.
Ditch the labels. Define yourself daily by how you feel, and how you want others to feel about themselves. It says so much more about you than being "vegan" or a "model." You're anything you want to be. No limits. Stay sassy and weird and full and geeky and smart and independent. People may try to squash you, shrivel your uniqueness. You haven’t fallen prey to peer pressure yet, so don’t you dare start now.
On that note: what others think about you is none of your business. Be kind and operate from a place of love, but never forget your strength. At times you will feel broken, confused, shocked and everyone around you will question the decisions you make. Forge ahead. That gut instinct of yours is strong, woman!
Hustle hard and dream big, while simultaneously setting out to inspire others along the way: empowered women empower other women. Competition and comparison are poisonous and will only make your life small. Success happens when you offer a helping hand.
Follow your instinct. You know yourself well. 2016 is a big year. It means turning 30, becoming a full-fledged New Yorker, and embarking on more of the life you've dreamed of from that tiny basement room in Idaho. Above all, whatever you can imagine for this year — it will pale in comparison to what is actually on the horizon.
Embrace uncertainty. Hold hands with it. Living the good life is characterized by trial and error. Don’t be afraid to fall flat on your face. That’s when the best stuff happens.
What I know for sure? Ugly crying is cathartic. That, and the fact that hip hop and hot yoga will cure almost anything. Throw your hair in a bun, downward dog like a boss, and handle it!
Growing up in small-town Idaho, Katherine Kerrick began singing and dancing in front of audiences before preschool. She dreamed of one day moving to the Big Apple, and after graduating with degrees in both Music and Theatre, packed a suitcase and bought her ticket to LaGuardia. Katherine worked in television and performed off-Broadway, but found her daily workouts turned into much more than just a hobby. Her love of fitness eventually led her to teaching, and she has found incredible excitement and energy in sharing her fitness goals with others. You will find her training clients at SLT, and writing about all things wellness for the New York Observer. Katherine loves being outdoors, reading, cooking, and spending time with family when she has the opportunity — but she also loves being a New Yorker now, soaking up all the experiences this vibrant city has to offer.