2015 is right around the corner and I’m sure most people are looking forward to turning in their dirty slates that were once clean at the beginning of 2014. Like the start to every New Year, we plan to embark on the next chapter of our lives with a clean slate and limitless possibilities. It’s the popular promise of ‘New Year, New Me’ that makes new years so enticing to those of us who have made mistakes in past years. We promise ourselves that we will start working out, try harder in school or at work, quit a bad habit, and become a better person in all respects. January 1st is the day when all these things change and we suddenly transform into our brand new, ideal selves. Reinventing yourself and setting goals can often be for the best, but only when done in proportion. It’s a challenge to try and recreate ourselves entirely, and for the most part we should never need to. We are the product of not only our successes, but our failures and mistakes as well. It’s natural to want to leave shameful regrets in the past, but they too have contributed to your life and it’s your responsibility to turn them into personal growth.
New Year’s are neither a beginning nor an end, but a going forward with the knowledge that our experiences, good and bad, have instilled in us. Don’t forget to look back on your year, perhaps by scrolling through embarrassing moments captured on social media, and think about all the times when life sucked, but you survived. This may be an every weekend drunken situation you get yourself into on Friday and Saturday nights, but tell your story in a different light this year. Laugh about it, shake it off, and reflect on how it’s shaped who you are today. It’s not a solution or a clean slate, but rather a new perspective to take with you into the New Year.