Hello everyone! A warning, this is being written in a rushed stream of consciousness with only a vague idea where I’m starting, so no promises on continuity or sense are being made (and there may not be any actual band related content at all).
Somehow, we’ve made it to January and a whole new year. Now is the time of “New Year, New Me” and similar such statements. That’s not me. Don’t get me wrong, if that’s your thing, more power to you, but those ideas have bothered me for a long time, and as I’m getting older and learning (and UNDERSTANDING) more of how my brain works, I’ve realized why, though admittedly the reasons have changed a bit as I’ve gotten older.
These days, I’m constantly striving to be better than I was the day before. “New Year, New Me” in my own head feels like it’s ignoring any and all effort I’ve been putting in to be better. Additionally, that’s a lot of pressure! The last thing I want as I bring in the new year is to feel a sense of obligation to change myself. Logically, I know that’s not what “New Year, New Me” means. I even understand the idea behind it. But my brain gets very latched on the literal, and as someone who grew up trying to change who he was every few months to better fit in at new schools (and consistently failed to do so), it’s not a feeling I like.
There’s also a part of my brain that just kind of rebels at the idea of “the world says this is the time to do something” and immediately doesn’t want to, and outside of going to work instead of staying home and playing games (which I can’t afford to do without going to work), I find it’s easier to listen to my brain than it is to have an argument with myself. I like to save the energy for those internal arguments for ones that actually matter.
Separate from mental weirdness, “New Year, New Me” tends to be most prevalent in advertising in regards to the fitness and health industries, and I have a fairly fierce anger at those. The new year and coming up on summer are the biggest times of the year for once again shaming everyone for not looking like a fitness model. Do I want to be healthier and stronger? OF COURSE. Do I want to be shamed because I do not and will not ever have 6-pack abs? Absolutely not. I’m not built for that, and I know it. Even 80 lbs and counting ribs ago, I didn’t have the definition for that (and I am NEVER dropping to “counting ribs” weight again – that required a metabolism I can’t afford to feed at today’s prices, especially as I’m fairly carnivorous in my food preferences).
I used to find those ads draining. Either I couldn’t pack on muscle to look like that or I finally put on weight (including muscle) and I STILL didn’t look like that – because those ads do everything to make it sound easy, when looking like that is literally a full time job for most of the people in those pictures. I’ve mostly gotten past that (though I certainly have my days). Now I just have a grudge against those ads for everyone who still feels like I used to every time they see them.
So to everyone who ever has or still feels like I did, take a deep breath and release. Then remind yourself you have value even if you don’t look a thing like the people in those ads. But always keep working to be better than you were yesterday. Because being a good person is a choice and takes effort, but it’s always worth it in the long run.
May the new year treat you better than the last (regardless of how well the last did or did not treat you).