A not so perfect new beginning


Surrounded by friends, family, and plastic cups full of sparkling juice, my New Year’s Eve was on track to be a spectacular celebration. And as I watched the clock change from 11:59 to 12:00, and shouts of “Happy New Year!” filled the room, it was exactly that. Laughter and excitement were heavy in the air as we enjoyed the first few moments of 2019.

But as the night came to a close, and I retreated to my bed for some much-needed rest, I felt shockingly empty. The motivation and inspiration that I associate with New Year’s were nowhere to be found. In their place were deep hopelessness and sadness that I couldn’t explain.

An uncomfortable weight settled in the pit of my stomach, making itself at home over the last few days of winter break. With the holidays over, I had very little left to look forward to. The near future was a long stretch of cold winter days packed with homework, tests, and projects; it was a dark tunnel with no light at the end.

New Year’s is supposed to be this magical beginning. For a short time, people can try to do anything they want, free of judgment. But I couldn’t appreciate it at all. This perfect new beginning was tainted by a dark gloom.

I tried to make the most of my remaining days of freedom, but I didn’t find joy in the things I usually did. My motivation slipped away, and I struggled to get anything done.

This new beginning was hard, like so many new beginnings. It was overwhelming and showed itself as a long list of tasks that had to be accomplished. Rather than being excited at the prospect of a blank slate, I only saw the mountains of stress on the horizon.

It was almost comical to me, this anxiety concerning the future because I had been so ready for 2018 to end. I had been so ready for a fresh start. But it was more than just my own mental health that was making this so hard. I knew that saying goodbye was difficult, but I never realized how challenging it can be to say hello.

Here’s the cold, hard truth: I can’t fix this. I can only try to make it a little bit better. I have to just embrace this new beginning and its struggles because sometimes that’s all you can do.

And the first step is making a resolution. Not a nearly impossible one that I’ll never keep up with, but an accomplishable one that I can later congratulate myself on.

My New Year’s resolution is simply this: I’m going to do my best. Not anyone else’s best, but my best. And that way, when things are hard and overwhelming, I will handle it the best I can at this moment in time.

That’s my new beginning.