Happy New Year, Orals.
My social media have been bogged down with New Year’s Resolutions as 2012 part III gets underway (I will be referring to this year as 2012 part III, as I do not like way that 2014, 20-14, and 2k14 sound, which is just as I felt about 2013. I expect that to change in 2015).
Along with posts containing the self-made promises of losing weight, kicking some sort of habit and expanding personal reading, I’ve been seeing a lot of the not-so-clever little phrase “New year, new you.”
I know that this phrase has probably existed since the beginning of time, and I’ve definitely been guilty of using it on New Year’s Eve to annoy my friends, but lately I’ve been thinking about what it actually means.
Are we seriously suggesting that the progression of the Gregorian calendar is going to push us to find new identities and become new people? Does the difference in 2012 parts II and III release some sort of magic mojo that can change who I am?
If so, I want to be either Aaron Weiss or Nicholas Megalis.
In all seriousness, I have come to the conclusion that this is a terribly pathetic notion that is effectively cheapening us as human beings.
In suggesting that we would like to disregard the people that we were last year in favor of new, presumably perfect human beings, we are telling ourselves that we are not good enough.
Didn’t we say the same things and try to be the best we could be last year? What are we to say of that? Did God make the wrong person, and are we expecting to change it for Him this year?
No wonder human beings, especially Christians, are seen as exclusive and judgmental. We can’t even love and accept ourselves, so how can we love and accept others?
And I know it seems as if I’m essentially arguing semantics, but this is important. The words that we attach to ourselves have definite implications as to our true identities.
Of course we aren’t perfect, but we need to understand how beautiful we are as individuals, embracing our strengths as we work through the things we would like to change about ourselves.
We can only live up to our potential when we realize who we really are.
In doing so, it is necessary that we not “change who we are,” but rather that we “grow from where we are at.”
As we grow from where we are currently, we accept all of the different, fantastic things that identify us as individuals, and then we can work out the other, dissatisfying bits of ourselves through prayer, meditation and self-control, all while realizing that our identities, built through the entirety of lifetime events, are precious, and we shouldn’t trade them for the world.
Learning to grow, while accepting past and present and looking forward to future is a much more satisfying way to look at life. I mean, my hair-straightening years were rough, but even they have helped develop me into who I am today.
So this year, we should grow. Grow, morons! Grow!