BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
Here's an incomplete guide:
Learn how to read Tarot–it will help you evaluate your own life objectively, thus, make less impulsive decisions. Every naughty witch struggles with this on a daily basis, do we not?
Stop caring about what others think. It will make you more beautiful. People admire strong personalities, and tend to respect confidence, even if misplaced. While I’m not suggesting becoming an unbearable snot, just do you, darling.
Make people nervous. It’s okay to be intense. We like you better that way. So, ask those personal questions, say what you feel. Don’t play nice.
Have a mind-blowing romance. You only live once, right? Please, just feel something this year, even if it’s your heart being crushed under the millions of bones of humans you encounter. You should know what it feels like to love and be loved intensely--even if it doesn't last.
Send a postcard or letter to someone once a week. Think about how soothing it is just to stop and write, not text. Think about all of the language you could be using. Your words have power, so use them wisely.
Start actually hanging out with people in a real way by getting coffee for two hours and just talk. Do this every week. Many of us like to think we have true friends, but how often do you have a heart to heart? You should be doing this as often as possible. If you don’t have a friend who you can do this with, meet new ones!
Stop thinking of reasons why you can’t do something. Want to publish a book, get a degree, become a tattoo artist, move to another state? List the reasons why you can.
Look people straight in the eye when you’re having a conversation. Not only is it more engaging and personal, but you’ll be able to literally feel their aura. It’s a shame to know someone but not really know them at all.
Take selfies as a way to discover new parts of your personality, watch how you change. Celebrate yourself. Of course, you don’t have to actually post these selfies on your Instagram (though, you can do whatever you like). It should be more for you, not for other people.
Start a romance with yourself and hang out alone. While you deserve to meet someone who makes your heart twist into your lungs, you need to love yourself first. Take yourself out to the movies, dinner, dance party, and remember why you’re absolutely outrageously wonderful. It makes life a lot easier when you love yourself, because a lot of hurt just won’t feel as personal.
Stop comparing yourself. It’s the number one sign that you don’t love yourself, and remember, if you don’t, who else will? So that means, no getting upset at your reflection, stop guilting yourself over eating ice cream, don’t focus on your mistakes, don't let yourself feel bad that someone else got something you wanted. Look at everything as an opportunity to grow.
Quit being shy. I used to be the Queen of Shy, but then I realized over time that I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was lonely and had no idea how to feel connected to other people. Little by little, I would initiate conversations. Now I’m at the point where I don’t care if I’m the only person I know in the room. There’s nothing I consider taboo to talk about, and I’m ready to put everything on the table.
Don’t break hearts. A good (yet naughty) witch knows how to nurture those around her, whereas a bad witch will just take for herself with no regard to others. What makes us beautiful is how we love other people, how we give. This year, don’t forget to give. Even if situations don’t always turn out the way you want, people will remember how you treat(ed) them.
Ask yourself the hard questions. Like, you know, are you happy? Are you being selfish? What do you need to do to make yourself happier?
Read at least 1 book a month. Most people don't do this. Do it.
Go to a museum, a poetry reading, an open mic, a concert, etc. at least once a month. Regardless of where you live, there's something happening. It's a good way to meet new people.
Make someone a playlist. It's a good way to get to know each other. And you know, stop being bored of your own music.
Take a free class online. Educate yourself.
Have a picnic in a park or beach. It'll also save you money.
Don't check your phone or use the internet for two days (unless it's for work, but only for work). Seriously, just stop. You'll see how much happier you'll feel.
Go get your palm or Tarot read with a friend.
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (forthcoming 2016, ELJ Publications) & Xenos (forthcoming 2017, Agape Editions). She received her MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, as well as the managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine. Some of her writing has appeared in Prelude, The Atlas Review, The Huffington Post, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. She has lead workshops at Brooklyn Poets.