Mutations (Reflections on Life)

Countdown: My Love/Hate Relationship with New Year’s and Change

English: New Year's Resolutions postcard

English: New Year’s Resolutions postcard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other day a friend of mine asked me if I had a resolution for 2013. “Not really,” I said with less enthusiasm than I guess he thought the question usually solicited.

He laughed at what he usually describes as my unrestrained inner-G. “You’re not into this whole New Year’s thing, huh?” he asked.

I realized that that’s not exactly true, so I decided to qualify my answer. “My resolution is what it always is,” I said. “To continue to strive and grow.”

It’s true that I’ve never really been very big on New Year’s resolutions.  I’m not really sure why, but I think it has something to do with what I feel is the almost compulsory need for change that I feel arises in most people, especially around this time of year. I mean, I have goals for days, and weeks, and months, and years. I like to think that I’m who Wale had in mind when he wrote “Ambitious Girl.” But I’m also somewhat of a stubborn girl too, and I like to set my personal goals on my own watch, not the calendar’s.

Here’s my other issue: I feel pretty ambivalent about some years, and I don’t mind entering a new one, but I’m not really sure that I want to see this year go! 2012 has been a great year for me. I graduated from college, started law school, freelanced, did some fundraising, made some major life decisions, etc. I’m really grateful for and proud of everything that this year has been.

Then I remind myself that I felt the same way about 2008, the year that I graduated from high school and did Brave New Voices. I wasn’t sure that any year could top that year, and I was sad to see it go. I know that technically I’m supposed to be grateful for the blessings of the past year and declare that 2013 is going to be even greater (and I am and I will), but part of me feels like, “I’m good right about now. Can we just stay here for a while longer?”

The funny thing about me is that I have this dual sense of restlessness and never-ending nostalgia. On the one hand, I’m always looking for change, for the next challenge, and on the other hand, I always feel like “aww man, I miss the old days.”

Ask anyone. During the last days of my senior year in college, everyone was tearing up and reminiscing at every turn. I was ready to go. I knew that I would miss people and that things would never be the same, but I was anxious for the next frontier. Six months later, I have the worst case of nostalgia you can imagine. I love the challenges of the new frontier, but I miss the heck out of the old one.

I’m always moving forward, but always looking back at the same time… I like to think that it’s because, for the most part, I really like my past. I love to grow, but I also like where I’ve been at each point in my life (even when I didn’t), and I want to take those pieces of my life with me, wherever I go.

I never know what to think about my somewhat contradictory (but I guess normal?) responses to change. Maybe the fact that I’m always willing to move but never quite able to move full speed ahead means that I recognize my roots for what they are: something to constantly sprout upward from and something to cherish at the same time.

So, like everyone else, I guess I have no choice but to bid a fond, yet bittersweet farewell to 2012 and wait to see what 2013 has in store…


2 thoughts on “Countdown: My Love/Hate Relationship with New Year’s and Change

  1. Chandni says:

    I feel the same way about New Year’s resolutions – if I recognize a problem with myself, I need to fix it right away rather than waiting for an auspicious occasion.

    Even so, I’m very superstitious, including about the change in year…

  2. I can understand that. I wouldn’t even say I like to “fix” things about myself right away. I just think that growth and change should be/are natural occurrences, and just because the calendar changes doesn’t mean we have to change or that we should.

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