The relationship between time and us here at SFU is gorgeously complex. We beg for more of it, demand the impossible from it, and curse the concept of it. Making deadlines, outings, and self-care fit together is like assembling a puzzle with no clue how the final product should look.
It feels nice, then, to believe that time’s secretly got our backs, injecting magic into particular dates and hours for us. It’s hardly surprising that we’re so hung up on waiting for the exact turn of the year to turn over new leaves.
I’m not really in love with the concept of New Year’s Eve. Oh, it had its charm when I was younger, but it doesn’t feel special anymore. I’ve made so many resolutions growing up, and it’s only now that I’m realizing that I just don’t have it in me.
I hate New Year’s resolutions; let me tell you why.
I hate the lead-up. Reminding myself of every mistake I’ve made, compiling an ugly itinerary of every flaw I’ve yet to fix about myself — and yes, doing so and learning from your mistakes is important, but why do it on any schedule besides my own?
I hate the parties, because they feel false and forced. What are we celebrating? A new calendar? Why? What was so special about the year before? The year after? Is it just that we’ve survived this long? Congratulations!
I hate the follow-up. Checking in with myself, falling short of my ambitious hopes every time and knowing that if I didn’t have it in me to change in 2016, it will take more than 2017 to fix that.
See, I’ve spent more years than I care to count being told that I don’t ‘fit’. I stretch out the ends of my sentences like rubber and run through the rest at double-speed, all in a voice that doesn’t fit my appearance. I smile too much; I don’t smile enough; I am too abrasive or too passive. Paper-thin first, too heavy later, and I wear the wrong things in the wrong temperatures.
This time of year, I’m constantly asked what my resolutions are, and therefore, constantly reminded of the traits that have stayed with me for nearly two decades — some of which I’d like to change and some of which I’m sick of being criticized for.
There’s magic in accepting superstitions, but as much as I love magic, it’s never helped me get in shape, or be a happier person, or help my crush to get a clue. Letting myself believe that there’s anything special about January 1 gives me nothing but disappointment. I choose not to.
I don’t get caught up in the traditions that don’t ring true for me anymore, and that doesn’t stop at New Years. Tradition has sort of broken me in more ways than I care to count, and if that’s true for you too, then I’m telling you that things don’t have to be that way. Figure yourself out at your own pace.
You aren’t wrong for doing or thinking differently from friends and family. Celebrate what you want; place value on what matters to you, not on what you’re told to. Don’t fret because you’ve changed too much or not enough, and don’t worry about making resolutions just because that’s the common thing.
As you read this, 2016’s been over for a while. I’m probably on a bus somewhere with no promises carried over from the year before, sipping my tea, and thinking of nothing much at all.