Before our 8 hr climb of the 1st Flatiron.
In the past 12 months I've taken 24 credits on the human condition. From psychopathology, to groups, to how we need love to thrive as individuals. I've read more than I'll ever retain. I've been horrified and mesmerized and awe inspired at the depths of the human soul. With these new tools and perspectives, I've begun peering even deeper into mine.
On Epinepherine

This past year I resolved to not just change my life, but to change me. I resolved to learn about what is holding me back and how I can create my new life from within, not just without.  When I started grad school they told us we would learn more about ourselves than we ever wanted to know, and that in the process we'd be making ourselves into a tool to help others. I feel like I'm just barely getting started in that process, but I'm just a short 12 months away from graduating. I feel like my resolution to grow and change myself this past year will be more of a lifetime-long resolution than just a single year one. I've always believed that we should be life long learners, and that self discovery is ongoing - I just didn't realize how important knowledge of self is to the quality of our lives. With that in mind, change of self probably really the best way to change your life externally. Boldness inside begets boldness outside. Taking the risk to get to know yourself, learning the tools needed to change and then actually doing something about it might be the most badass journey you'll take.

Clearly, school has been the dominant force in my life this year. That and finding employment. I started practicum this fall, and in the last week put in 40 hours there, chasing kids around Denver. This past summer I worked 70 hour weeks managing a work crew in the mountains.  Now I sit on babies professionally.

I also landed myself the kind of guy every girl dreams of - smart, handsome, and bring me flowers all the time. So I've been spending a fair amount of time with him as well.

If last year was about sticking to my guns and following through with the life I've chosen, this year is about embracing it and finding out how to best help others using my talents and passions (I'm in grad school for counseling psych, in case you missed it.) A wise friend of mine told me today that he resolves this year to see others with more understanding. More understanding, less judgement. Life is hard enough as it is. "We are all in this same shit together." In my opinion, compassion for other should be the ultimate human aspiration. What would this world be like if we saw each other, loved first, and judged later. After all, there is only one you, one me, and one wild and wonderful life. How will we move through it together?

So here are my resolutions from last year. Lets see how I did...

In 2012, I, Aleya Littleton, do hearby resolve:

1. To default to happiness. Sadness gives me comfort in a weird way. It's me taking care of myself. Instead, I'll change my belief about myself and give myself the gift of happy endorphins more often. Much better about this. It had a lot to do with the new tools I acquired to understand myself and why I am the way I am. 

2. To quit being a chicken about being alone with me. I'll do this by developing a regular meditation practice (already have started) and doing more solo hiking (like I did this summer.) Meh, did alright :) Meditation is going to be a priority this year, especially after reading THIS article. 

3. To not lie. At all. Even if it means I lose something because of it. I deserve to be able to be my real self around other people, and I demand excellence from myself in my words and actions. I will cultivate integrity and accept responsibility for my actions, good and bad. I've done really well with this. It's brought me to a deeper level in my relationships than I've been before, and taught me how to be really vulnerable. 

And to add more epic-ness...

5. Go to the J-Tree Tweetup! Ended up having my internship interviews that weekend - and I scored a slot. Sad not to go, but happy with how it turned out!
6. Climb in Utah and Wyoming! Nope. Too busy being awesome at my job/school.
7. Plan a winter ascent I still have time to do this. 
8. Love on my doggie more. Yes. She can now "shake." #win
9. Launch the super secret project. Did it. Then stopped. Starting again soon. 
10. Climb a 5.12 outside What's climbing again??
11. Call home more often. ...and introduced them to video chat.
12. Increase my monthly income by 50%. Not even close. 
13. Take and pass the SPI course. YES!! I can now dangle people off a cliff!!
14. Take another epic ultra-road trip. Went to Red Rocks and back. Lived to tell the story :)
15. Find a place to volunteer. Does practicum count??

So what did happen this year?

Hiking out of Red Rocks, NV
1. I learned to love horses, and now see myself working with them and clients in a therapeutic way. This may seem a bit trivial, but imagine meeting a truly honest soul, who will be with you in a way that insists you be present and honest with them. Say hello to your horse...

2. I passed my SPI exam and worked as a guide this summer/fall. This is a huge deal since when I first thought of doing it, it was a wish in the mind of a scared small trad newbie. This is the physical evidence of my mental and emotional growth. I'm proud of me :)

3. I started another book...

4. I had my first experience with a client and attempted suicide. In this I learned even more about myself, professional boundaries, self care, and the fact that my passion for another human being is my biggest asset. When I am a full time therapist, I will be the kind that feels deeply and does not burn out from lack of self care. I love that I can love people. 

5. Found a belonging in a group of friend. I am so grateful to be a part of a group that has whiskey tasting parties and climbing trips and cares for each other so much. Thank you for bringing me into your lives.

6. My sister moved to Boulder. In the process I'm learning patience, more compassion, and that my relationship with her is more important to me than my pride or my emotions. Love you AnnaLea.

So this year, 2013, should be huge yet again.

In 2013, I, Aleya Littleton, do hearby resolve to:

1. Finish another book. One more adult in nature.
2. Focus on self care so that I may be of the very best service to my clients.
3. Share what I learn with others. 
4. Continue to grow through relationships.
5. Have integrity in my internship.
6. Work my ass of to graduate in December.
7. Go on two badass climbing trips.
8. Re-decide that it's ok for me to make mistakes.
9. Love on my family more.
10. Consolidate the geography of my life. 
12. Play the uke
13. Run 4 miles in a row.
14. Do 3 14'ers.
15. End internship with a plan in mind for 2014. 

Nothing is impossible...



01/02/2013 09:36

Eloquent. Touching. Lovely. What a beautiful and inspiring New Year's story. Thank you so much for sharing it and your amazing spirit. You remind me of what I really like about humans. Thank you! Thank you!

01/02/2013 14:06

Great list Aleya :) Make one of those bad ass climbing trips to Utah!!

01/11/2013 18:54


02/01/2013 22:07

So much love. For you, for this...so proud of you. <3

Aunt Jill
04/08/2013 11:16

I love you Aleya. And now I know you so much deeper! You are an awesome young woman. Thanks for sharing your heart. The kids you will one day work with, will be blessed! I look forward to seeing you this summer. I hope you will be there.

Aunt Jill
04/08/2013 11:39

Thanks for sharing your heart. The kids you will one day work with, will be blessed! You are an awesome young woman and writer. I love you.


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