Myth: “I will reinvent myself this year.”

Kailee Giddings, Editor

We have all heard the saying, “new year, new me.” It has plagued social media captions every January 1st when your feed floods with New Year’s posts for much too long. The truth, the idea of self-reinvention is flawed on the basic principle that humans at their core rarely change. We cannot simply forget who we were and the problems we faced in the past just because of a day on the calendar. 

The story of self-reinvention is a powerful one. Being a multi-billion dollar industry with holds in plastic surgery, gym memberships, meal plans, and wellness companies, we have come to believe that we can completely change our lives and that this will lead to happiness. People want to reinvent who they are for any number of reasons. Maybe they ended a relationship,  quit a job or were just generally unhappy. Maybe they wanted to change the way that the world viewed them and the way that they viewed themselves. The problem with this ideology is that the problems that we faced in the past don’t disappear by quitting a job, or uprooting your life. The truth is that happiness will come and go in life and it’s not about the circumstances that we face but how we handle situations that try and tear us down.

This new year, we need to not get caught up in the same narrative. The one where we work hard for a month at the gym and never go back, where we quit our jobs and cut people out of our lives and just hope that everything will turn around, where we count on the cards that we have been dealt to tell us how our lives are going to go. 

If the prospect of showing yourself more love this year is a harder goal than completely changing who you are, there are certain things you can aim for everyday that improve your outlook on life and yourself. 

A great place to start is by being your own best friend. We wouldn’t turn to our best friend and tell them all of their imperfections, yet we feel like it’s okay to do that to ourselves. Another thing that we can do is prioritize our own needs before we worry about the needs of others. If we always forget about our needs, we will find ourselves with nothing left to give to anybody else. For example, if we continuously worry about the needs of our significant other we can forget about the things that make us happy or the things that we want out of life. 

When life feels like everything is crashing down and the only way to make it better is to give up, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone for help. Remember that the everyday hassles and the major catastrophes in life are not something that we have to handle alone and if you reach out there will be a shoulder for you to lean on. If you are in a time of need talk to a parent or another close family member who you trust. If that’s not an option don’t be afraid to turn to friends or any other trustworthy adult such as a school counselor or teacher.

The new year is a great time to evaluate your life and reset. However, it is more important to love yourself for who you are than it is to change yourself for someone else. After all, embracing ourselves and owning our stories is one of the bravest things we can do this new year but as a society, we should be up for the challenge.