Last year was pretty terrible. I'm pretty sure we can all agree that 2016 will go down as a year filled with more downs than ups for the vast majority of the population. I can say with certainty that it was the hardest year of my life, during which I faced loss and challenges and disappointment like never before. There were times when it seemed like the dreadful year would drag on forever. Every year ends eventually, and 2016 finally did last week.
In past years, I adhered to the whole idea of “New Year, New Me” that is so prominent this time of year. I made countless resolutions that reflected this theme, claiming that eating healthy or not using social media or doing something nice each day would turn me into the new person that everyone told me I should become following the change in year. I would have done the same thing for 2017, except I kind of realized the whole “New Year, New Me” thing isn’t really something I am interested in.
I do have hopes for 2017. I have things that I’m wishing for, want to do, accomplish, and learn this year but I don’t think they will create a “new me”.
I hope that this year I become more comfortable with speaking my mind and expressing my opinions - even if they are unpopular. I want realize that it’s okay to be proud of how far I’ve come and where I am and that it’s not selfish to be proud of myself. I want to do things I’ve never done and experience new things. I hope I’m less anxious and that it’s better controlled. In 2017, I want to stop for the homeless more. I kinda hope that people in Boston will stop leaning on their horns as they drive down Brookline Ave in the early morning and that the Green Line trains will run on time with minimal delays. I want to stop basing my self worth on the opinions of others. I want to realize that I’m worthy and deserving of good things and to stop feeling bad for calling people out when they say something offensive. I want to learn to stop apologizing so much and for everything. I want to defeat the patriarchy. I hope to show the people that are important to me that they are loved and important and beautiful. I want to become comfortable with every part of who I am. I hope that I, and the world, find peace in 2017.
In my view, the whole idea of “New Year, New Me” is kinda messed up because it ignores the growth you’ve experienced up to that year: you leave everything behind and transform into this wonderful new person, right? That’s the idea anyway, isn’t it? The truth is, I don’t think anyone can ever be “new” because we’ve all had experiences that have shaped who we are, how we think and see the world. A new calendar won’t erase those experiences.
Even if I accomplish everything I want to this year, I will still be me. I will still struggle with the things I have always struggled with and enjoy the things I have always enjoyed. The things I want to accomplish will help me grow and develop into a better version of myself, but I will still be myself. The new experiences I have this year will build on the experiences I’ve had in prior years, and together those events and lessons will help me to become a better me, a good and welcome change.