A (slightly atypical) New Year’s Letter

For many years, since somewhere in my mid-teens, I’ve hated New Year’s Eve. I still do, but I’ve come to realize that it’s the most abused of all holidays. Oh sure, Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter and others have been bastardized by a strongly capitalist society, but what we’ve done to New Year’s, particularly the western holiday, is…sobering.

I make a deal with myself. Stay off of social media from December 27th to January 8th or so (this post is scheduled, I’m not a ghost I swear!). I remain blissfully unaware of the smorgasbord of overly cheery posts about “leaving the old behind” and “embracing the new!”. It does wonders for my seasonal depression which becomes almost unbearable around that time.

But after such a brutal, violent year, we need a fresh start. Yet so often, we take for granted the second, third, fourth, tenth chances we have. We’re pack rats, tightly packing and carrying things from the past that we have no business bringing with us, let alone keeping in the first place. How many fresh starts have we left behind?

I realize now that is why I hate New Year’s. Not the falsely cheery posts, or the clear money grabs and commercialization of the holiday. It’s us. It breaks my heart to see over and over again people doing the same thing: swear things will be different now that the new year has come and then things stay the same or get worse.

I fully fall into this category. It’s embarrassing to realize. No one wants to be a part of the problem they hate. While I don’t use New Year’s as a goal/time marker, or make New Year resolutions, I’ll wake up on any given morning swearing I’ll change. I promise I’ll do this instead of that, not, and leave myself a mess. I do it to myself.

If we’re honest with each other, I think we can admit that humans did 2020 to themselves. A lot of this pain has been a long time coming. But we made it! Yes! Now, we have a chance to heal. It’ll be hard, a series of changes created from billions of choices.

After all, every second is a choice. Every second, we change something. Those seconds add up, making us change an unseen future, simply by being alive.

That’s a mind blowing kind of power. Frankly, it makes me want to toss my blankets over my head and let life pass me by. Too much! Too much! But that’s a choice too, and not one I want to make.

We change not just our future, but the future of those we know, closely or in passing, by our choices. Therefore, I’m now convinced that we’re all low key super-heroes. That sort of power is something a hero would have. Clearly we’re magic.

So my fellow super-hero (or unicorn, or dragon, or whatever magical thing you want to be. In fact, I shall be a kelpie), how do we change ourselves to create a sustainable, loving future? That, we must each answer for ourselves.

Some choices are big, like being told you should do something you don’t want to do because you’d be so bloody good at it. Like saying no to the opportunity and job security, and choosing what you want. Which in my case is going back to school to major in Creative Writing. I’m excited (an understatement, but I digress).

Some changes are smaller, like using reusable bags and lowering plastic usage (something I’m doing). Or changing how my blog will be and other authorly things. Originally I had intended to post twice a month. I tried it and stopped, but really, a post a month (or not at all), is not cutting it for me. So I’m going back posting twice a month. Woots! One post about delights of the creative world/writing, and the second a book review. I love supporting authors, and doing a monthly post highlighting books I love will help me do that (and hopefully give you new books to read).

My newsletter will still be once a month. It’ll still hold exclusives (sneak peeks, first to see cover reveals, exclusive sales, and now being the first to know which book I’m reviewing in the upcoming month!), so if you’re in need of some hopeful/dark delights, you should sign up.

I hope that this new year brings joy and excitement to you. In big choices or little, please remember, you are powerful. I speak from experience. You have power.

Whatever changes this year brings, I’m determined to make them good. Of course, I’ll stumble. But there’s beauty in the darkness, in skinned knees and battle wounds. I want to carry that beauty into the future with me.

Well, we did it reader. We made it through a brutal year, through another (not-quite-painful) New Year’s, thought philosophically, and made it to the end of another blog post (which I had a great deal of fun writing!). If we can do all that, then surely we can do anything we set ourselves to. Let’s let go of the rubbish we carry with us. We’ve learned from it, and now it’s time to set ourselves free. Let us learn to be the mythical creatures we are.

I’m looking forward to sharing more of my words and self with you, dear reader. I hope my words help you when you need just a little more than you have right now. Thank you for joining me. I hope you choose to come along with me in these odd adventures of mine, and of course, make your own.

With love,

A.

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