I used to think that New Years was a waste of time, and that by snubbing it, it made me some kind of enlightened intellectual or something. I thought that people who knew real pain knew better than to use an arbitrary day as a new start to make resolutions, to recommit to relationships, or to believe that they could suddenly change. The whole holiday seemed fantastical- as if the whole world could just chose a day to get a new start all at once. Who would ever need that?
Enter 2021. The year after the pandemic. The year after whole world literally learned new lessons together- oh, we learned them in our own ways, but we learned them together. We learned about isolation. We learned about loneliness and togetherness. We were forced to face what was truly important to us whether we wanted to or not. This last year, the concept of normal was not a reality for any of us.
And then, there was New Years. Enter that arbitrary day, because in reality, we are still in the middle of the pandemic, and we are still learning. We haven’t created a real new normal yet because the world isn’t quite where it’s going to land. No one has created a permanent sense of security. But for once, a new start together seemed very real, and very attainable.
Let me share a personal insight with you. By snubbing New Years for all that time, I was not enlightened or intellectual. I was just being ridiculous and pompous. Because every new start is arbitrary. In life, there is no real “new” start. Every start comes with the knowledge of all that happened before it. We live and we learn and we change when we can. And if we get the opportunity to all start again together, well that’s a blessing, not something to give up on so easily.
Whether you spent your New Years making resolutions to start fresh, drinking away all the things you didn’t want to remember, or sleeping off all the remnants of the year left on you like I did (I hit a solid fourteen hours), I hope you found your own beautiful new start. But if you didn’t find one yet, rest assured that you’ll have as many chances as you’d like. A new start can come all at once, or it can come over time. It can be on New Years, on January 3rd, on April 17th, or any other day.
But whenever you celebrate your own newness, remember that this time, the whole world is doing it with you. Because a world that changes together has the chance to rebuild together, to remake together. This year, next year, whenever.