People like to think of New Year’s Day as a clean slate. It’s a lie. It’s no more a clean slate than that “fresh start” we all pined for as we headed away for Freshman year in college–the very same people we were days before, only with newer sheets, newer friends, and a newly burning desire to possess a fake ID.
New Year’s Day feels more like a fresh blanket of snow–a chance to put down new prints and find new paths, maybe make a few snow angels on the way. (And this being 2014, Instagram them all for posterity with a nice blue-tinged filter.)
But snow is never permanent.
What remains after the thaw is the earth underneath. That’s what we’ve been walking on all year–maybe our whole lives. The seeds of dreams and hopes and goals (and other cliché self-help-y stuff) have all already been planted, whether or not we jot them down in lists and call them resolutions and pretend somehow that no, this year, no, really–this is the one that will be different.
I’m not being cynical; I just believe we’ve confused New Year’s resolutions with a wish list of some other person we dream we can be. Like that magical transformation we expected the moment our parents drive away from the dorm waving goodbye through the rear window.
So this year, I don’t want to make resolutions. What I want is to strive to be me. Probably not the best me (if such a thing exists), but a reasonably good me. I want to grow. Which has nothing to do with resolving to read more books or write more posts or turn off my phone on vacation or eat fewer buttered salt bagels for breakfast. (Even though I will try to do those things too. Again.)
What I want isn’t a clean slate, but a full one; the culmination of things I hope I’ve already been working towards:
Healthy, kind, joyful children. Harmonious relationships. Hard-won successes. Enviable friendships. A peaceful home. Everyday happiness. Love.
I like to dream big. Why the hell not.
The snow will melt. It always does. That’s when we have the chance to look down beneath our feet and see just what is blooming.
Happy New Year, everyone.