January 1st. The reset.
The day in which everything changes. You start your new habits and work towards a year of achieving a new you. A better one for that matter. But is that really true?
From a personal standpoint, it’s hard (or for that matter impossible) to look back at a January 1st from the past 19 years and say I made a steady pact to change. Whether it was to do more or be better, it’s never been a thing for me.
I think society has perfectly painted the picture of “New Year, New Me” for us. The reduced gym membership prices (one month free… YAY), healthy eating tips on the news, and ads pushing a “better self” agenda contribute to the pressure to change suddenly.
Change is not bad. And working towards becoming a better version of you surely isn’t either. However, the hard January 1st reset seems very demanding.
As I sit here reflecting now, it’s more than appropriate to say that this new year does present a new me. Not because of habits and resolutions I have made to specifically better myself this year, but simply because of the experiences of my past 365 days.
During 2022, I had some pretty big life changes and experiences. I started off the year riding the high of my last semester of high school, but yet feeling anxious about what the future held. The spring moved rather quickly and after a pilgrimage to Rome, UNC’s amazing run in March Madness (yes thank you in advance KU fans, we know what the result was…), and many senior celebrations, I was no longer in high school.
I spent my summer as a counselor at a Catholic summer camp where I learned to witness Christ’s love by simply striving to live as He did. It wasn’t an easy task, but the Lord continuously humbled me as He taught me virtues I had never known. Rolling off a summer of farmers’ tans, genuine conversations, and Jesus’ mission, I made my way to college. Being the oldest in my family, I had no idea how tough this transition would be. Like anytime in our lives with big changes, it’s hard to know how we will react, and stepping into a world where I was on my own was tough. It took me a while to find my way around campus, how much to study, what to wear to class, and yet though I have some things figured out, I’m still learning.
And I think that’s what I’ve realized. So much of our life is spent learning. And learning is a really good thing. It stretches us and allows us to discover who we are and who we want to be in this world. With learning comes change, which is never easy, but in order to truly grow into our best selves we must face it head-on.
I walk into 2023 not having a set resolution.
Looking at me on December 31st and January 1st does not have a difference (except that I do look a little more tired having stayed up late). I am in fact the same person.
Will I do new things that shape me this year? Absolutely. Will I fail and do things I’m ashamed of and mess up this year? Absolutely. But guess what? I’ll carry both things with me because they will shape me. They make me who I am and allow me to be the person I am actively becoming.
So can I truly say, “New Year, New Me?” Yes, but not in the same way society presents it.
The Lord has blessed me with another year. Another chance to seek His face deeper and walk with Him closer. So I guess if I had to give a resolution for the year, it would be to “seek Him, to know Him, and to love Him with all my heart.” I want to do something meaningful and what better way than to hand myself over to Him at the beginning so we can walk with one another until the end.