Unpopular Opinion: Nothing will change on New Year’s Day

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but when the clock strikes midnight, nothing will change. You will not lose your glass slippers (or you may depending on how drunk you get), your Uber will not transform into a carriage, there will be no magical mice to sew you a new gown. 

No one can take away your successes (phew) and no one can change your losses. The moments that once mattered to you will still matter, so will the trivial times you wish you could take back. Anger will remain anger, you will wake up with the same regrets and fall asleep with the same train of endless thoughts running through your mind.

Throughout the night, we’ll wish we could “hurray” away all our pain. We want so badly to believe in the magic of new beginnings, the clean slate second chances bring but truth is, nothing’s really changed… except for the numbers in your bank balance. 

We put so much pressure on this day and on ourselves, believing that when the clock strikes midnight, we’ll magically transform into the person we wish we were. We think – this is the year we lose all that weight, be less of something and more of someone else… but here’s the truth, most of us are just running away.

Until we can be bothered enough to sit with the reasons behind our resolutions, every new beginning will only bring about an all-too-familiar ending. 

Change is difficult and painful work, which is why none of us really want it. There, I said it. It’s much easier to stay at the same job than it is to quit and face the fear of rejection. It’s much easier to have a breakdown when our pants don’t fit than to break a sweat at the gym. Deep, deep, waaaaay deep down, we don’t believe we’re worthy – of doing what we love, of being recognised, of self-love, respect and care… and trust me, your boss, your favourite brands and plenty of people in your life, bank on that.

So here’s a suggestion for 2019: instead of making it the year you “let go and forgive”, “be less angry” or “quit your sugar addiction” (I feel ya), try to seek out the motivation behind your personal movement. Ask yourself if there’s a deeper reason for holding on or why the anger cuts so deep. Who first caused the pain and can you give it space instead of shutting it away with another list of resolutions. 

For me, I’m undoing plenty of trauma and seven years of binge eating. I wanted to lose the weight, I wanted to stop feeling the guilt and shame but never understood why I was stuck in an endless cycle of loneliness = chocolate = guilt = shame. I keep opening one chocolate bar after another, hoping there’d be a golden ticket in there somewhere. There wasn’t.

But it was the awareness that this habit wasn’t right that spun me off on a journey to find its root cause. I talked about it in therapy and sought out someone to help me on this path. I discovered what I really, really wanted, what no chocolate bar could offer and what most of us are probably lacking: true connection. 

The truth isn’t always what we want to hear or face but change doesn’t flash across your life in fireworks and the answers can’t be found at the bottom of a wine glass. 

For 2019, I invite you to dig deeper, to question why it matters that you ‘gram that shot of fireworks everyone else will be sharing, why you believe that this is your one last hurrah before everything changes… because it isn’t. And until you can sit with these questions and find an answer that makes you feel just that tad bit uncomfortable, my friend, you’re just going around in circles. 


Unpopular Opinion will be an occasional feature on Pens&Lens where Lynette gets to say what’s really on her mind and accept the fan/hate mail that may come her way.  *Images in this post have been sourced from Unsplash.com

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Pens&Lens was launched in October 2016 as part of a passion project by partners-in-crime, Mark and Lynette. Combining their love for travel, stories, people and places, they wanted to share the views of the world they see from behind their pens and lens.

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