Ringing in the New

I hate New Year’s. There. I said it. I don’t understand why people get excited and happy about it. Even when everything was perfect in my life, I hated New Year’s. Even when I was a kid, I hated it. I would stay up with my Dad, if he was home and not working, to watch the ball drop on TV. If he was away from home working, I would stay up on my own to watch it. Even then, it felt like much ado about nothing. I guess that’s the thing. The idea of a brand new year has never filled me with hope or excitement or happiness. No matter how happy I am to see the previous year head out the door for good, New Year’s leaves me feeling … empty. A big, fat pit of nothing. Well, if “nothing” can be big and fat.

I try not to share this opinion around much. Or at all. The people who know me already think I’m strange. Why give them even more reason to believe this? Because it seems like everyone out there loves New Year’s. It seems like everyone is excited and happy about a new year. It seems like everyone finds the ability to shake off the crap from the previous year, take a deep breath, and make a fresh start. Everyone except me.

It doesn’t help that January is my least favorite month. I pretty much hate January, too. It’s long. And dull. And full of gray skies and rain. Or snow or sleet, depending on where you live. It’s cold — not that I mind cold. That’s the one thing I actually like about January. But it’s also dark, with short days that seem to pass me by before I even realize it’s happening.

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But here’s the thing: January is going to come and go, whether I like it or not. The new year is going to come, too. And it’s going to do whatever the hell it wants with my life, whether I like it or not. For the record, I mostly don’t like it. I haven’t liked it for the past three years. But the universe … and the new years … don’t seem to be listening. Or, perhaps, they just don’t care. I don’t know. January is going to close in on me. I know this. It already has. It will push on me and weigh me down until I feel uncomfortable and upset and like I can’t breathe. After several years of therapy, I know this is depression talking. I know this is depression, stalking me and making room for itself in my life once again.

So, what do I do? Do I just sit down and throw up my hands and say, “Whatever”? Believe it or not, doing nothing feels like an incredibly attractive option right now. But I can’t trust that. Because that’s depression, too.

Or do I give January the finger and fight to take back control of my life and my feelings and my thoughts? It feels too hard and like too much. It feels like this will take a huge amount of effort, and it feels like it’s just not worth it. It feels like I’m not worth it.

But I am. I am worth it. I have to remind myself of this — every day. I’ve been avoiding this blog since November and my rather spectacular NaNo failure. I tried to put a positive spin on it. I tried to remind myself there were a lot of other things going on in my life at that time, so it made sense that I would fail. Instead, I hear that little voice whispering into the still silence of my soul: You are a failure. Your creativity is dead. Your ability is dead. You will never succeed. You will never be anything. You will never matter. It’s so easy to listen to that voice. I mean, in the moment, everything that voice says makes absolute, perfect sense. Because the voice is me and it’s only telling me what I already know … what I already feel, right down to the very core of my being.

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I love this blog. I love sitting down and rambling away with my thoughts and feelings. I swore to myself that this blog would not die. And yet, here I am, heading into 2018 and feeling like my beloved blog and my creative spirit are both on life support. Like they are both gasping their last breath while I stand by, feeling helpless and wondering what I can do to stop it. I hate the way I feel. I hate the indecisive, pathetic, whiny person I have become. I wish I was as strong as people think I am. But the truth is that I’m not. The last 3 years have proven this to me. And so, I’m sitting here at 11 PM, typing out words that will soon head out into the ether. I am thinking too many thoughts. I am wishing for too many things. I am feeling too many fears.

But I’ve also decided what I will do. I will write. I will stop hiding from things that are unhappy and unpleasant in my life. I will stop keeping my feelings to myself. I have a blog, for pity’s sake! Why haven’t I talked about any of this up until now? Why have I chosen, instead, to leave my blog dormant for months at a time, waiting until I had something nice or pretty or funny to say? The fact is that I haven’t felt very nice or pretty or funny for a long time. And that’s okay. I mean, it’s not okay … but you get the idea. It’s not something I need to hide.

Because a new year is here. It’s time for me to shake off the crap from the previous year, take a deep breath … And make a fresh start.

2 thoughts on “Ringing in the New

  1. I know how you feel about new year’s. I used to feel exactly the same way. Time being a continuum, the whole change of year feels completely fake. Yet, somehow, I’ve come to enjoy it. Perhaps after so many years of living in France where the new year is celebrated far more than Christmas (something I still have difficulty with…), or just age, but I see the new year now as a fresh page of my life’s journal and actually look forward to it. It must be hard to struggle with depression. I don’t often have that monkey on my back, but I do know how it is to face other demons: anxiety, negative thoughts… Sounds like you have the right idea though: writing is therapy and your blog is a great place to get on with it. Bonne année!

    • It’s good to know I’m not the only one who has had a bit of an “iffy” relationship with New Year’s. I like your feeling of it being a fresh page in the journal of your life. That is a beautiful sentiment, and beautifully expressed!

      Hopefully I will continue to “crack on” with writing. I really don’t want this blog to die. And, you are right: it is good therapy, too.

      Thanks so much for the support and for your lovely comment! Happy New Year to you and yours!

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