Photo credit: Hannah Padaoan
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was 2012.
Let’s see…there of course were the obvious things…surviving 12/21/12, voting in the presidential elections, watching the 2012 Olympics in London, going Gangham Style, etc.
Then there’s all the stuff we’ve all surmounted in our own lives this year. This year has been, as Marty McFly might say “heavy.” Heavy with so many ups and downs; I’ve unknowingly been living in the fast lane since the end of 2010 while still learning to properly control my metaphorical driving machine. The same probably goes for you.
There was graduation. Surviving my first and only prom. Procuring a first job. Moving away from home. Leaving some dreams behind. Getting my heart broken. Strengthening some solid friendships while learning to let others go. Setting my sights on what it is that I want from life.
Sometimes I wonder if any sort of New Year’s resolution could have thwarted some of the more negative aspects of the above.
But in all seriousness…
New Year’s resolutions suck. I usually poke fun at the idea because deep down, I know these resolutions are supposed to be something adhered to throughout the year, not just a week-long “brilliant idea” inspired by one too many champagne toasts. Then again, maybe my cynicism stems from the fact that during the month of January, the gym is suddenly filled TO THE BRIM with people who just now realize that health is an important thing to maintain. But I digress.
Thing is, I don’t think any amount of planning or resolutions could have prepped me for the curveball that was 2012. Could losing an extra five pounds have prevented the loss of some friendships? Maybe, but if that’s the case, the friendships probably weren’t worth having in the first place. Could changing any part of myself into something the world considers “desirable” have made some of the experiences go differently? Debatable. Perhaps, but by changing myself, I wouldn’t be me. It would be someone else – a second-rate version of me – living my life.
My favorite “reliable” dictionary source, Urban Dictionary defines a New Year’s resolution as “An assessment of, and often delusional attempt to correct one’s shortcomings.”
I think we often come up with these resolutions as a means of maintaining better control over events yet to occur. “If I resolve to go clubbing every Saturday night, the greater chance I have of having lasting, meaningful relationships and not be stuck at home with my twenty-four cats when I’m forty.” “I resolve to be nicer to children and puppies so my girlfriend will think I’m sensitive.” Yeah…no.
Hear me out. I’m not saying you shouldn’t make resolutions. Go for it, so long as they’re more than just short-lived epiphanies. But don’t make them your protective shields from all the curveballs that 2013 will throw at you. Because when you think you have it all together as you’re cruising with your hand on the steering wheel of your life, don’t expect to pull off the freeway without a few cracks in your windshield.
So hear, hear. This is me toasting to a better, brighter, classier 2013.