Firstly, hi. Remember me? I hope so. I remember you. I feel like I should explain. I feel like someone would when they take a person out on a date, & it went really well, but they left it too long to get in touch again & then just sort of drifted. The date was awesome. It wasn’t you. Laziness, perhaps.
The holidays sucked me in. & maybe zapped my creativity a little bit. I’d like to also confide the fact that I had a mini freak out. A mini freak out about my life being put on the internet. That anxiety ridden part of me hijacked the logical part of me like a mexican cartel hauls their squealing mule into the desert to bury them in a hole. I got over it now & I’m back. Hi guys.
It’s 2014 & I’m here to call bullshit on the silliest, but most widely accepted, self-improvement paradigm. The general premise is that once we have ticked over from ‘last year’ to the next, you get a clean slate. Start again. Like your character died in a video game & you’re respawning (is that the word? Gaming n00b right here guys). NEWSFLASH: THIS IS REAL LIFE. NOT A VIDEO GAME! I’m sorry to so harshly & wholly shit upon this notion. Perhaps I’m coming off as a bitch, but I’ll redeem myself I promise.
Time is a man-made concept. The universe is something so vast that it has, literally, brought me to tears. But it didn’t come to being with ‘time’ existing. Humans were the ones who invented time. Days, months, & the somewhat now controversial YEARS we use to keep track of this time. Man made. Made by people. A human concept. Got that? Good.
So WHY on earth do we believe that passing from one year to the next will erase all the shit in our lives magically, like some toxic fog lifting to reveal a cloudless, blue sky? When you enter a new year you are still you. With all your flaws, fears, anxieties, & your whole past too. These things are what make you, you. The BAD things count too. All your horrific experiences & your worries co-mingle existentially with all your best parts & the happiest times of your life to form the person you are today. You are of yesterday, of now, & of tomorrow.
It’s important to grasp this concept wholeheartedly. I have spoken before about being realistic. Embracing the good & the bad. There’s a reason why New Year’s Resolutions fail, & everyone posts the same Facebook status at the end of each year saying “THIS YEAR WAS SO SHIT. BRING ON 2012/2013/2014/2015” (put any year you want in there. It doesn’t matter. It’s always the same). People seem to believe it must be ALL good to be a “good year”. This is never going to happen. Just like you didn’t check your emotional baggage at the door of 2014, bad things won’t stop happening because it’s a new year. That’s called life. It’s a continuum with YOUR idea of ‘good’ at one end, normalcy in the middle, & ‘bad’ at the other. You will experience the full spectrum this year, I promise you that.
So does this mean I think people who have made resolutions are stupid? No. No, not at all! I myself have a list of things I would like to do this year. But I KNOW I am still me. Same pitfalls, same flaws, same bullshit emotional baggage as before. I also know that perhaps I will stray enormously from this list. We cannot live our lives constrained by a predetermined list that society says we should write at the ticking over from one calendar to the next.
People take great meaning from everything that is symbolic in life. This is normal. Healthy, even. It’s absolutely necessary. Moving from one year to the next is PURELY SYMBOLIC. The fact that people use this symbolic shift in time to reaffirm their goals & feel as though they can start afresh is unsurprising. Imagine if we didn’t have years? Just one huge vortex of everything that encompasses life, unbroken & swirling, until death. Weird. That makes me feel gross.
Please don’t aspire to a “new you” this year. It’s not going to happen. A new year doesn’t erase much except the ‘2013’ date on the top right of the page. Embrace your past. Concede that really bad things will probably happen this year, as well as good. Look at life like that yin & yang symbol: the good, the bad, the good in the bad & the bad in the good. All essential.
Make goals whenever the hell you want, & achieve them whenever the hell you want too. A “new you” is not necessary.