New year, new me?


Linus Bohman

Photo courtesy of Linus Bohman.

Moira Weinstein, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again: January, the month of new beginnings. The month we have somehow chosen to be the start of a new journey, new morals, a new life.

We have shaped our society into a place in which this is the expectation. We try to sculpt ourselves into the perfect human beings, crediting January: a new year, a new you. If we don’t, it’s A-okay, nobody follows their resolutions anyway, right? But your aunt says you need to work on yourself, not gossip, work out, eat better, be kinder.

All because December ended. So don’t make excuses, stick to your purple Moleskine journal with the words “New Year’s Resolutions” neatly displayed, a portrayal of your ambition, your willingness to change. Just be better, they say. Be the best

Your adrenaline is at an all-time high the first week of January, having a reason to play pretend, play dress-up, become someone you don’t even recognize- that’s the goal. You head to for that new deal on memberships, knowing the new you will make it a routine to go every day (because that worked so well last time). But you’ve changed. You’re this new, improved person. Excited for real life! 

It takes about a week for that to end, two at most. Maybe you continue a couple times a week, passing out on the treadmill, reading your textbook like Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde.”

Why didn’t it work? Did the beginning of a random month not suddenly spike your athleticism, rid you of exhaustion, create a new person from the broken pieces of last year? You sigh, admitting defeat by February. 

Why is it that we keep killing ourselves to birth a new person- someone you’ll admire because of their molded body, their strength, their newfound intelligence? Who is that person? As we’ve learned, it’s none of us. That person isn’t real. They don’t exist outside of our vivid dreams, our colorful expectations. They are cut in half by our train of thought. 

Given, there is something to be said about looking back on what a year has done to us, what it has taken from our souls, what it left and created in the end. 

Yet no gym membership, no salad, no period of quiet or draining Friday night will be the reason for that. 

The things you least expect, the people you never knew you’d meet, the surprises. Those are the anecdotes that are sprinkled into wedding vows, spoken at events, written in your new book. We try to change ourselves over and over again, thinking we’ll regret or even forget the year as a whole because of it, but are one-upped by the happiness or the tragedy that infiltrates the days and months.

Hopefully the years will teach us to trust in fate and history and remember that if it’s meant to be, it will be.

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