2021 – it is a new year. With every new year bears the concept of restarting; a new year is a new blank slate. The mentality of leaving and forgetting all the bad that has happened while moving forward to a new year. The mentality that we can easily correct and change how we lived in the past year through our new year resolutions. We tell ourselves that we’ll spend less, eat less, exercise more, open more, etc. In this new page, we lay and declare the foundations for the coming year.
However, this new year is different. 2021 is not a blank slate. Rather, I cannot accept it to be a blank slate. More than anything, 2021 is more like a piece of scratch paper, marked with hardships, learnings, and most importantly, hopes. Many of us are still carrying the weight of the year that has passed. We bear traumas and scars from the year we wished we never experienced. We bear the memories of the people and moments from the year we wished we could take back. The reality is, even with the new year, it will not be a blank slate.
The funny thing is, I don’t want a blank slate for 2021. I say this as one of those marked by the year that has passed—2020 is a year that I cannot just leave behind. I want to start the year bearing all those markings. I want to validate the hardships that I, along with many others, endured. I want to remember the special people who chose to stay and helped push me to survive. I want to pursue the dreams I had not known existed and now hope to manifest.
2021 – it is a new year that was paved by the events of 2020. It is a year carved by every punch we received, every realization we discovered, and every smile we continued to—and will continue to—brave. For 2021, let our new year resolutions be guided by our scars from the year that has passed. Let our new year resolutions be something marked and familiar.
In starting the new year, the new normal will still be familiar, and that is okay. In starting the new year, we will be okay.
Happy new year!