We look forward to midnight on New Year’s Eve with breathless anticipation; the thin veil of shadow that separates last year from the fast-approaching future. It fills us with excitement and hope; it renews our fire for life. And maybe it brings a kiss from a special loved one that we look forward to spending the future with.
As 2013 comes to a close, I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to say as we ring in the new year. My mind kept flitting back to an article I had written two New Years ago, just after midnight. Right after the moment that, unbeknownst to myself at the time, I inadvertently discovered that I didn’t love my boyfriend. When he kissed me just before midnight that New Years, my stomach didn’t flutter with butterflies the way they should. I wrote this piece about how that New Years marked a turning point in my life, and until later, I didn’t know just how right I was. I had been thinking about posting that article this year, but I realized how wrong it would be to try and step back into a time machine and post the article as if the two years in between hadn’t happened. I’ve grown since then; I’ve changed.
It’s true that birthdays mark how much we’ve grown. They add wrinkles to our face and give us the ability to drive or vote or indulge ourselves in alcohol. But I think New Years is really the day that celebrates how much we’ve grown. New Years is a clean slate. We get to look back on the year that has passed and cherish its memories and learn from its mistakes. It’s a chance for us to say, “Okay, I can do better.” I know New Year’s resolutions are pretty much a joke because no one ever follows through, but that’s because people look at them as if they were punishments, a la: “If I don’t follow my New Year’s resolution this year…” New Year’s resolutions are misnamed. Really, they are New Year’s promises. You are promising yourself to have the best year ever- to let go of the bad from the past year and strive for the good of the future.
I read two articles about New Year’s resolutions. Here are the links:
I felt like they were both written for me. They hit my life square on the head. And I think there’s at least one thing in each of those articles that everyone can relate to. Basically, New Years is about freeing yourself from whatever is holding you back. I realized that I never feel beautiful because I never allow myself to; instead of building myself up, I’m always tearing myself down. This year, I am promising myself that I will allow myself to see how beautiful I actually am.
We all need New Years. We need it because it gives us hope for the future. This New Years, I challenge you to let go of one thing that is holding you back. Then it really will be a new year, a new you.