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Confessions:New Year, Same Me

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

I've never been one for resolutions. There is something about pretending that one day at midnight I get a fresh start from all that happened before. I feel like New Year celebrations are wonderful, but I feel more like Cinderella trying not to get pumpkin all over my dress as the clock strikes midnight and the giant ball drops.

Does anyone else in the US think it's kind of ironic we literally bring in each new year by "dropping the ball"? Just me. Cool.

I digress.

None of us have had a wonderful 2020. If you are in the minority and that's not the case, I am happy for you. I promise. I just have to hold space for what seems like two contradictory statements.

New year, new me posts are bound to come and plaster all my social media pages. I don't want a new me. I feel like if 2020 has shown me anything, it is that I need to unlearn all the ways that I shame myself for being who I am.

Something I have always struggled to understand is the idea of radical self-acceptance. There has always been something that I have wanted to change; something that isn't good enough, something that makes me less than those around me. I'm either "way too much" or "not enough". Either way, it leads to the same path--one filled with self-doubt and fear (usually masked in a sense of confidence covered by a fake sense of self-assurance).

The years have run together for me for quite a while. Chronic illness flares and constant transition can do that to a person, I guess. That's what it did to me, at least. 2019 and 2020 were filled with cycles of pain, relief, tears, grieving, laughing, endless prayers answered and forgotten, friendships created and lost, time moving on even as I seemed to stay in place and try to simply exist and survive.

Time is such a wondrous, fleeting thing--a construct that humans have to make sense of the world, to make sense of themselves. It's easiest to mark time by the growing laugh lines on my skin, the fading scars of youth, the years spent with my loving husband. Each year has had its unnamed struggles and joys. Each year has played some part in who I am today. 28 years and some more of life have been crammed into the time that has passed. Today I am thankful for the opportunity I have to grow into my wrinkles (so many of my friends did not have that opportunity last year). Today I am thankful to walk slowly into a new year, releasing all the things 2020 has shown me to be unnecessary and embracing the things it has shown to give me life.

I know 2021 holds the hope of normality for almost everyone. I get that. But I don't know if I want what I believed to be "normal" anymore. I want more space to breathe. I want less stuff crowding my home and mind. I want more awe and wonder at the beauty around me and less anxiety about what is to come. I want space to think and write and feel, and I want less clutter and "shoulds" running around in my brain. I want to remember that I am beloved, regardless of how I feel, and I want to believe that somewhere deep in my being.

Last year was hard for everyone. But, I learned to care for others in a way that never crossed my mind before. I learned to value my people and to let my bubble of trust expand, even at the risk of getting hurt. I learned to truly value laughter and catch glimpses of joy in mundane life. I learned to love deeper and better and how truly selfish I can be sometimes.

2021 has no resolutions for me. It has no "new year, new me" goals to attain. Instead, I believe it holds wisdom, challenges, and a life I get to grow into and shape. One thing I can say for sure, though, is that even without the confetti and champagne at midnight last night (let's be real, I was asleep at 9pm), I knew deep down that whatever this year brings, there will be challenges, heartache, celebrations, frustrations, joy, faith, hope, and a deep sense of knowing I am loved. Me. Just as I am at this moment.

And I pray that you know that, too, regardless of whether 2021 makes you a "new you."

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