I have often scoffed at the idea of New Year’s resolutions. That they are mimetic in nature, initially robust but ultimately waning. I have considered them lemming-like, in the insistence that one particular day among many can create conditions enough to motivate real change within a habitual human being.
I usually spend my New Year’s Eve appreciating the possibility innate in the turning of the calendar, without making resolutions and declarations about lifestyle changes. Though I participate in the superstitions my Southern family taught me (on New Year’s Day: black-eyed peas for luck, collard greens for cash; of course, spend the first day of the year doing whatever you want to be doing for the rest of the year), I rarely tie myself to public testaments of obligation and life-changing.
This year, however, I am becoming a hypocrite, something my past few years have been full of, which I chalk up to experience and firsthand know-how, and not to a betrayal of the naive values founded in my youth. I am committing to New Year’s Resolutions, not out of an earnest belief in the potential for the magicality of will power on certain annual days, but because of a belief that I, as a human being, am capable of change. Un-static.
My first and chief New Year’s resolution is to write more. To take more time for the intricacies of language, explorer-women I hope to be. This is a love of mine, and any love I’ve ever cultivated has been vicious at times, a relationship that may take work but is so damn satisfying that it’s worth it.
And my second, though I hate to say it, is to quit smoking. I have always known the very real consequences of smoking cigarettes, though I have smoked off and on since I was fifteen. I want to quit for my health and longevity, but also because it’s expensive and makes your teeth gross. This is a constant battle, me versus the Marlboros, though I hope this next year is mine.