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On Failed New Year’s Resolutions

We gathered like chickens and craned our necks to catch an ounce of the flashy ball’s light because December left us all quite dark. We told ourselves this was the year things would finally change as we clucked around for a drunk midnight kiss to forget the love we lost along the way. The kiss was sour, but our tongues were already accustomed to the taste.

The new year celebrates a slate wiped clean, so we always hit the ground running. We floor it because we need only enough gas to last until June. June understands that we grow tired — it understands we are only human. Our resolutions to be skinnier, smarter, healthier, and happier are all but realistic. As the gym goers dwindle and the 9-to-5s repopulate the road, we stare at our calendars wondering where the first three weeks went. We revisit a complacency that looks and feels an awful lot like last year. The bathroom light casts the same glow on our reflections that show how much work we have left to do. February waits and laughs.

We are identical on the magical side of eve, yet we estrange our current lives from our past selves — the versions of us who couldn’t get it together by December’s end. It’s easier to resent something or someone when you are safely detached, so we abandon our past selves at the stroke of midnight. We tell those failures to walk the plank that is “the past.” With no guilt, we look forward and say, “this is a new year; this is my year,” as if our greedy past selves had robbed us of precious time.

We sit high and mighty until another 365 days pass and we realize we need to recycle our promises once more. Why are we so persistent with new year’s resolutions when our history shows we don’t follow through? Why do we put ourselves through this unnecessary torture?

We are bent, crushed, beaten and demolished, yet we pick ourselves up again only to have a higher distance from which to fall. Is it because we are addicted to the idea of playing the victim? Are we so distraught that we have lost all rationality? From the outside, it appears so. But in reality, before every climb to a probable plummet, something wonderful happens in our minds: We believe that, this time, we will fly.

Because no matter how many times we come in second or third or don’t place at all, we have a vision that we will rise to the top. In our attempts to prove someone wrong, we believe we own the strength to push ourselves beyond the limitations placed upon us.

We know the journey is hard. It seems impossible at times. It may actually be impossible at times. But we’re all hapless fools for dreams, so we convince ourselves that we stand a chance. And while it’s cruel and discouraging to enter a battle against the odds, it’s also beautiful because it’s what makes us human.

We are stupid, broken, inadequate and imperfect, but above all else, we are resilient. And as long as there is a new year, we will be counting down like we don’t know heartbreak, like we don’t know failure. The yellow fireworks will cut up the sky and — in honor of new beginnings — we will pay more attention to the sparks than the smoke left behind.


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Connie is a professional and creative writing major at Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently obsessed with pole fitness, pumpkin bread, and '80s fashion.
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