A New Year’s Evolution

by Allison Meyers

There’s this weird thing that happens between the last week of the year and first week of the next year where people tend to lose their damn minds for a minute. I am no exception.

I spent my holiday in North Carolina and Virginia and spent the bulk of my time reading the entire internet, eating constantly, and baking a plethora of desserts. Because I’m on break from grad school I’ve had time to occupy my mind with things other than the semi-frantic life that is higher education. Like so many others around this time of year, some of my time was spent recharting my life course and reflecting on the good and not so good decisions I’ve made this past year.

On the good side of things I’m in a better space, mentally and emotionally than I was last year. More at peace with my illnesses and general life trajectory. On an entirely different note, my skincare regime has improved tremendously and I finally understand the difference between foundation and concealer.

On the other side of things I’m perpetually broke and stressed about how perpetually broke I am. My fashion sense has gone swiftly downhill and despite my best efforts, I cannot seem to follow any sort of consistent sleeping schedule.

Anyway.

I’ve thought long and hard about my resolutions for the new year and I’m sure you have too. For some strange reason, this time of year we seem to believe that our lives will somehow change in the span of a week’s time. The effort, the work, the time, the energy, is all absolved because it’s a new year and new you and you will obviously make different choices now than you did a week ago. Right? We are resolute.

And sure, I must commend both myself and everyone else who wants to leave all the shitty things they’ve done in the past year on the ballroom floor with the glitter and champagne and not pretend like the gnarly hangover is 100% certain the next day. We want the fresh start and the new beginning. The on or off the wagon. The 100% together or 100% not. The immediate change in pursuit of the immediate gratification. That’s why I am proposing the new year’s evolution as an alternate model.

As an example of what I mean take, for instance, my writing. Ever year I set writing goals because I love to write. But I also want to be good at writing. Consistently good, without effort. I have these lofty visions of sitting down every day and, quite frankly, producing incredibly polished content that would make me proud. Every year I fail to meet this goal, because I (obviously) get frustrated at myself, lazy in my practice, and then just give up. This year though I’ve decided to do things differently because, well, here I am again, with the same damn goal. But this year I’ve decided to write rough and ugly and brutally honest and just deal with the mess as it comes along. Do a little more savoring of the journey and a little less of the self-criticism. I have to keep reminding myself that crafts take time in order to evolve.

Evolution is slow, meandering, oftentimes full of set backs, struggles, and changes in course. But gradual change is manageable change. And manageable change is meaningful and real change. It’s that feeling when you’ve struggled to climb the mountain but somehow managed to reach to summit, knees scraped and eyes wide and full of tears.

I wish that for you and for me this year. I wish for you to allow yourself setbacks, struggles, revelations, and time in pursuit of a more fulfilled life, whatever that means for you.

It’s not the end of anything, it’s just the beginning.

by Allison Myers

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