New Year's resolutions rarely hold any true weight. They come and go, but it's rare for anything to truly come of them. I never cared much for them and rarely made them. Many people, though, take “New Year, New Me” to an extreme… or so they say they do.
You’ll see it plastered on social media: “New Year, New Me”. It becomes everyone's mantra for about a week or two and then inevitably dies away. This year, however, I thought, “what if it didn’t?”
It started out as a joke, mostly. My friends and I would take turns mocking the resolutions and “new year” vibes. However, I kept it going a little longer than what was anticipated. “New Year, New Me” I proclaimed on January 1st when the ball dropped and then again in January when I tried a kale smoothie even though I hate Kale.
I said it again when I considered moving to California to college instead of the place I had always dreamed of. “New Year, New Me”, I even said when it was July 5th and I was in the middle of a line for an Ed Sheeran concert and I realized it was time to let go of all the negativity.
I guess it sort of dawned on me that I didn’t need to wait for a clock to strike midnight for me to reevaluate myself. Every day has been a year since something and that meant I could try new things whenever. So, that’s how I found myself living the most freeing year of my life.
The best part was that I could make mistakes. I gave myself permission to make mistakes because every day I could find a “new me” to resolve it. I had some obvious reasons to change (graduation, moving to New York City, getting my first internship, etc), but ultimately I could be a new person whenever I wanted and I took advantage of it.
I managed to learn a lot about myself. Plus, I stopped being afraid to put myself out there. Going to places alone once terrified me, but since I decided upon a “new me” I stopped finding it difficult to walk alone for a bit. And guess what?
This gave me some amazing experiences like going to pop up shops or concerts that I would have avoided otherwise. It’s even how I got to meet new people.
Plus, this “new me” didn’t have to be my every day. If I suddenly felt overwhelmed, there was nothing stopping me from taking a step back.
“New Year, New Me,” I said as I purchased the concert tickets to a band I wasn’t sure about.
“New Year, New Me,” I said as I bought a yoga mat and actually committed to using it.
“New Year, New Me,” I said as I stopped caring that I was spending Valentine’s Day alone.
“New Year, New Me,” I said as I stopped associating with the people who brought me down.
“New Year, New Me,” I said as I committed to my mental health treatment.
“New Year, New Me,” I said as I finally sent my poetry book into a publisher.
“New Year, New Me,” I said as I moved into the college that wasn’t my first choice but ended up being the right choice.
Because New Year’s Resolutions are rarely things that you actually need in your life. If anything, resolutions confine you. Dieting, intense workout schedules, crazy money-saving schemes, new skincare routines… eventually, you’ll realize those constraints weren’t the purpose of the New Year. It’s a reminder, not the jumping off point.
When it hit November and I said “New Year, New Me” people would look at me and reply: “Oh, you’re already thinking about your New Year’s resolution, then?” Instead, though, I had made it through the entire year by being the exact person I wanted to be-- someone that wasn’t tied down to one specific trait and instead could do anything.
It worked. New Year, New Me. Here’s to 2017, the year that taught me to try anything and be anyone… especially myself.