New Year, Same Me

This will be my year. I never really understood why people said that. As if you can only begin to turn your life around at 12:01 A.M. on New Year’s Day. As if each year is separate from the last and all your issues and dramas and heartbreaks won’t bleed into the next. It’s like that feeling you get when you’ve imagined all these perfect scenarios in your head but the real thing never really lives up to your expectations. This will be my year but there’s seven billion people in the world and maybe it’s their year too and there just isn’t enough time in a year for that many people to change.

girl, party, and glitter image

We treat each coming year with the promise of a blank slate, a new canvas. A fresh start has been granted to us and we’ll be damned if we don’t take advantage of it. New year, new me. We dye our hair, throw out all remnants of carbs from our kitchens, and toss up the $99 for that gym membership we’ve been putting off for the last 12 months. It’s a new year and this time, we’re going to do it right. This time, we’ll have our shit together.

But my unwashed hair was still unwashed when the clock struck midnight. My tummy rolls didn’t suddenly turn to abs after the ball dropped. It’s a new year and I’m still lying in bed, dreaming of the same things I was yesterday. We place so much emphasis on this one day as if it were somehow different from any other day, but the truth is, January 1st is just another Monday.

So why are we always waiting for the new year to make a change? Waiting for the weekend to have fun? Waiting for the top of the hour to begin studying? Maybe change is just too intangible and putting a time limit on growth makes it easier to understand. Or maybe it’s just an excuse. Because timing is everything, right?

Wrong.

It’s a new year but I’m still the same me. I hung a new calendar on my wall. It’s my birthday soon. But at the core, nothing has changed. I haven’t been miraculously cured of all my bad habits. I can’t realistically say that I’m going to start working out everyday or stop ordering McDonald’s on Uber Eats. But I can make a conscious effort.

I could say I don’t have time, or it’s not the right time, or maybe next time. Or I could just do it—regardless of the date. I’m not a new person because it’s a new year; I’m still the same lazy, disorganized wreck I was last year. The difference is I’m doing something about it. So maybe it isn’t my year, maybe I’m not a new me, but I didn’t order McDonald’s yesterday and maybe that’s a start. Time has nothing to do with it.

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