(originally published feb 2018)
Welcome- and Happy New Year.
Yes, I am quite aware that, as I write this, we are 26 days into 2018. However, I am a firm believer that well wishes and positive thoughts never have a “sell-by” or ”expiration date.
Therefore, welcome to the new year- the new year we often burden with unachievable aspirations for perfection, goals that are met with the utmost ease, and promises to reinvent and recreate ourselves into the individuals we “feel” we need to be.
My usual feelings toward the new year are ambivalent. While the idea of a “fresh start” is magical, our characterization of what “fresh” means is not only often unattainable, but a disservice to ourselves. We make ourselves promises to radically change our lives at the turn of a second, as if the change from 2017 to 2018 has instantly made us internally motivated for 5 am gym sessions, logged us off of all social media, trimmed those 10 extra pounds, and molded ourselves in our ideal, unblemished, “perfect’ form. We are socialized to desire and yearn for immediate change with our New Year’s goals in a way that allows us to view our past as something to be discarded and forgotten rather than an experience to be reflected and yearn from.
So, this time around, I decided to do something a bit different. On January 1st, donned in my favorite oversized white T--turned-sleep-shirt and black mesh shorts, I settled into my bed, pulled the comforter across my lap and wrote the word “CONTINUE” at the top of my journal.
Continue. Rather than change, begin, stop, etc.
I wrote continue to remind myself that growth is a process that takes time. As a way to say to myself- “I acknowledge you. I see you. I appreciate you for where you are presently- and where you want to grow to.” As a promise to myself that I wasn’t ashamed of the person I was just 24 hours ago in an earlier year. That I didn’t need to radically change or reinvent myself to be happy with who I was at the present moment. It is not an erasure of your past nor a clean slate. Rather, it is your past that determines and fuels your growth.
This year, rather than tell myself to become “new,” I made a vow to myself to remember the old and the current. To reflect on my older self and relish in the lessons she had taught me. To love and embrace my current self because she was experiencing and living and making mistakes-- all while growing through it.
I challenge you to chose to continue rather than "erase." Allow your past to fuel the lessons that you wish to learn in your growth towards your future self and watch how the mindset towards your personal journey is radically changed.
A few of my personal growths that I desire for the new year:
Continue to strive towards an even closer relationship with God through daily bible study and meditation.
Continue to spread narratives of holistic wealth and wellness amongst communities of color through this site and larger endeavors throughout the year.
Continue to place more value on my personal self care and love for myself- through daily actions of self care and honoring myself in all decisions I make.