14 ways I have casually tried starting my life over again in the past year

When I say “starting my life over again,” I don’t mean moving across the country with fifty bucks in my pocket and a box of hair dye. I mean, that’s a lot of work, and I don’t actually want to go anywhere (controlled rent in LA and awesome job, what’s up). What I mean by “starting my life over again” is usually something small and ritualistic, a symbol of renewal, and it makes me feel like anything is possible. You are this new, shiny person and nothing can stop you or tell you no. You are the version of yourself you’ve always engineered in your mind, ever since you were a little girl and dreaming big dreams. It’s like the first day of school when you have a backpack full of empty Mead notebooks and unused markers and a new eraser that smells so much like new eraser.

Starting over again could be a bottle of nail polish I buy at Walgreens, or a new blog I create. These small rituals hit the refresh button and they feel hopeful and triumphant. And maybe I follow through with them, and maybe I don’t. That’s fine. Because bottom line? It’s okay to want to feel like it’s the New Year of your life. So here are 14 mostly small things I’ve done that have made me feel like I’m starting my life over again.

1. Bought a new notebook from Target (and also thinking about buying that dope golden tape dispenser in the shape of a dachshund but not doing it because I don’t really need tape very often).

2. Ordered essential oils online with names like “Quiet Time” and “Stress Relief” and “Anxiety Ease.”

3. Created a Medium account and started like, five thousand drafts.

4. Created a TinyLetter account but then feeling too ashamed and Millennial to actually start writing newsletters.

5. Moved to a new apartment. This wasn’t casual, actually; it was planned out and I saved for a long time so I could do it, but I did convince myself that if I had a kitchen large enough so that I could open all the drawers without them slamming into the oven knobs, I would feel more like the grownup I envisioned myself being.

6. Told myself I will drink my coffee outside in my little shared courtyard area, but never actually doing it because I’m antisocial.

7. Got a French press. I am now a human woman who owns le fancy French press.

8. Asked the hairdresser to chop off five inches of hair. Did not look at the ground when she did it.

9. Bought a new face wash.

10. Signed up for a ClassPass deal only to end up dry-heaving in West Hollywood after one hour-long session of Bar Method.

11. Made myself smoothies every morning for approximately two mornings.

12. Bought a book from a real life bookstore (not Amazon!).

13. Picked up a new lipstick the shade of some flower.

14. Decided today was the day I clean out my inbox, and got through 300 e-mails before losing interest and heating up leftover pizza.

Because at least there’s always pizza.