New Year, Old Me

Dear 2016,

I am not giving you a word this year.

There is something strange about January 1. People want to remake themselves. People want to be better in all sorts of ways: to look more attractive, to achieve accomplishments at work, to be more organized, to work on relationships. New Years is the time to imagine your ideal self and promise yourself you will reach the bar this year. All around me there are commercials and ads and gimmicks promising that 2016 can be your best year.

All of this new year, new me stuff seems very, very loud. It’s a cacophony of promises that often get broken, goals that are never met. Even the idea of One Word, which I’ve done for the past few years, seems too much this year. Even just choosing one word in lieu of New Year’s resolutions has been a way to choose a better me, to hope that against all odds, I’ll be able to look myself in the mirror at the end of the year and say, “You were better this year.”

I don’t want 2016 to be about creating a better me. I (finally) have started to like this me. Yes, I may be cynical and loud and a control freak, but I am also compassionate, creative, and hardworking. I have come to believe that this is the beauty of humanity: this amalgam of forces that make us who we are – love, jealousy, sadness, joy, anger, patience, impatience, generosity, desire. I am not afraid to be human anymore. I am not afraid to embrace my whole self and its complexities.

2016, you are an open book, a wide, white space ready to be filled. I am not going to pin you down or confine myself to striving for some version of myself that will never exist. I walk into you with a heart that waits, eyes that watch, and ears that hear. There is a quiet, open place in me that will be filled by whatever 2016 brings. This year, my peace comes in the waiting, not in the striving. I look forward to this year’s story.

– Karissa



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