This year feels like a time in which I really need to believe in my ability to put things on a list and then check them off; to believe in the possibility of change. To lay bare the real reason I’ve been accepting the status quo rather than striving for more in the first place. Which is: There’s nothing more to it than feeling embarrassed about wanting something and then not getting it. Like trying out for a team and not being picked — better to not try out. But that literally happened to me once in high school, and it was no big deal at all.
I know people whose parents are dying, who are looking back at the legacies of their mothers, and even among those glass-ceiling breaking Boomers, some feel like they put their lives on hold to have children and then never picked them back up. Having a daughter has allowed me to see myself through that lens and I don’t want either of us to someday think of me as a woman who slunk back when she could have stepped up. It turns out that’s scarier than giving it a go and just not being the absolute best.
So I’m untangling all that and coming clean: I do not believe it’s better to never try than it is to try and fail. I do think people have the capacity to make small but meaningful changes and that there’s nothing worth scoffing at when they do. I’d like to try it myself this year.
It’s only six days in, and I am already changing. So I’m looking for inspiration to keep it up. Today it came from, of all places, Twitter. The Astro Poets
(a humorous astrology account written by poets, because why not?) gave me permission to unveil the believer I’ve been hiding: “Keep pretending you’re not that person, and they will overcome who you are…” It ends with, “2017 is a stream. Take a bath in cocoons.” I can laugh at how ridiculous this all is, or I can believe that I have ideas worth cozying up in protective silk, and then I can roll around with them until they’re ready to fly.
If you’re like the old me, you might be rolling your eyes, thinking resolutions are a waste of time, only for self-indulgent woo-woos who read The Secret
. But there’s a lot I want to do this year, and resolutions represent taking the space to do them. I want to make phone calls even if I haven’t ironed shirts yet.
So many of my peers are huddling together in the “well that was fucked,” mentality, looking back at 2016 as if it was a traumatic shock. But we’ll never get anywhere if we can't stop being upset about where we've been. And while old me was all “misery loves company,” this year, I want to be the kind of company that has no use for misery and instead gets to work. That means believing I can make resolutions and keep them. That could take some magic, but anything’s possible this year — I’m resolving to believe that. Maybe I’ll even watch Star Trek Wars.