I am currently sitting in the Reuse First studio finishing work and helping clean up for a NYE party and I can’t help but thinking about the future. (The Future Conan?…..) Yes, the future, all the way to the year 2011: just over a day from now. The day itself doesn’t create any change, but it serves as a milestone regardless if we heed it or not.
The holiday itself has always felt very strange to me. I have often tried to avoid the implications of such a holiday which marks the passage of time so blatantly. On our birthdays we can willfully ignore looking back because we can focus our energy on ourselves and any array of tasks at hand. New Years is different because one must either come to terms with the implications of the holiday or avoid it all.
We avoid because we tend to listen to a prevalent fear which says that your life isn’t worth much. It says that if you really look at your life, you’ll see all your failings and it will be horribly uncomfortable to even look at it, let alone deal with. We avoid because we listen to the fear that says that if anyone found out that we have failed, they will retract their friendship and leave us solo, alone for the rest of our days.
There is a chorus of voices which seem to come from every possible direction that says that you shouldn’t try too hard to advance at what you do. “Don’t forget your roots” is a phrase that has some validity, but has been beaten into us with a resonant timbre of fear. They speak words that tell you that if you advance, all of your friends will leave you. Besides, everyone is just watching and waiting for you to fail: waiting for the inevitable which will bring you down a few notches, back to where they are and think you should be.
There is a chorus of voices that screams that great aspirations are to be commended, but are not to be treated as anything beyond an impossible dream. It is a chorus which tells our children to their faces that they can be president one day, and then turns around and shouts that their dreams are worthless, resistance is futile. Instead, go find something to deaden the pain because life is going to happen to you and it won’t be pretty.
This chorus is made up of people who hold a narrow view of themselves and others. They have accepted their lot in life and think that everyone else should too. They’ve accepted partial truths, or even lies as their identities and the identities of those around them and seek to enforce those views. These people become complacent in their lives and no longer see any risk as worth taking. When others step forward and say that today is Day 1, a day to start fresh and push forward for new and better things, they recoil and declare that today is Day -1.
Don’t go forward, they say. Let’s go back where it was better.
To my shame, I have at times been among the chorus, chiding those who I don’t understand or who I deem somehow lower than I am. I was inspired by my friend Perry to take a serious look at where I am and what I’m doing. It was one of the things that prompted this whole thought process. If I want anything to change, if I want to quit playing the victim, I need to make decisions and plan to move into something new.
We often get so complacent where we are, no matter if we are passed out in a gutter or sipping tea with the nobles. Yet we must push through and say that today is not another day to suffer. It is a new day. It is an opportunity to remake and improve yourself.
I’m sick of playing the victim and letting life intimidate me into having its way with me. I am done with letting others’ views of my life hold me back. I am done with avoiding the task of dreaming. I have come to a point where I am saying that 1.1.11 is the start of something new and amazing in my life.
This is my manifesto for the new year. I am making plans. I’m not just dreaming dreams, but making plans to make those dreams a reality. I am making plans for personal progress, spiritual progress, and career progress.
This is Day 1.