So many people buy into the idea of change that comes with the new year. That with the passing of another month, some magical moment happens where we can wish ourselves into the most ideal state, whether that be through exercise and fleeting gym memberships, or avoiding the temptation of alcohol for a solid 30 days. It might be handling money better, eating more vegetables, or a heady concoction of all these things that we’re ‘supposed’ to do: 2018 is the year we will develop into vegan Instagram gurus and travelling yogis with perfectly aligned mind and heart chakras.
I might be going a little overboard – but the sentiment is the same all around the world. A new year marks a new you, a time of transformation from the ashes of 2017 into the burning phoenix of the future. If not now, then when?
Personally, I’ve been feeling strange recently. I say recently, and I really mean for the past six months. The new year is supposed to be a shiny beacon of hope, a time stamp branded across my life where I definitively mark myself as a better person who tries, and succeeds, at being the best version of “Ash”, whoever she is. But that’s a lot harder than it sounds.
That strange feeling I mentioned is one of confusion, as I graduated from university on the 19th of July and fell face first back into the reality I had three years before leaving home. My whole university story is a mixed bag and I was glad to finally have my degree and be done with it – but I wasn’t expecting the giant hole it left behind. For half a year, I’ve been soul searching in an attempt to find out what it is I should really be doing. And I still don’t know. And I’m still struggling with that.
I’ve been stuck in a perpetual state of ‘in-between’, and without steadfast goals set in front of me, have felt like I’ve slipped down a crack in existence where time is simultaneously so, so, slow, whilst moving at a rate I can’t keep up with. Another year will fly by in an instant, and I want to have something to show for it. The coming of another year is a kick up the arse to get moving – to wake up, get my shit together, and start doing again.
A new year in itself won’t solve anything, but the opportunities it brings might. I’m not going to have changed with the toll of the clock, but the introspection this time of year provides has been invaluable to just being okay with not being okay for a while, because if I keep trying then I’ll get there in the end. I don’t know exactly where I fit in yet, what I want to definitively do, or even if my degree choice is one that will pan out into a career – but there’s so much out there to experience that it’s an impossible task in itself.
Life is full of surprises, as the saying goes, and 2018 is going to be a period of pushing through the murk of uncertainty and giving everything a chance. No more being scared and holding myself back, no more wallowing in a state of self-pity, no more thinking and dreaming and talking instead of doing. Even if it doesn’t work out – there’s a whole new ‘new year’ come February for China that I can ride the wave of. Call it a resolution if you will, but I’m ready to be at peace with just being myself and seeing where that takes me.
So here we go, new year, same me, same old open world of endless possibility. I just need some new eyes to see it with.