New Year, New You

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

—Jeremiah 29:11

How many of you have made New Year’s resolutions? The real question is:

How many of you have already blown New Year’s resolutions?

I have read that in America, 25 percent of us blow or discard our resolutions by the end of the first day. Change can be so difficult that even people who want to change will most likely fall back into old patterns and not make change permanent. For this reason, I never make New Year’s resolutions. I have goals I want to work towards to better myself, but I do this all year long and don’t need a special day to do so.

Permanent change can be very difficult because we continue to hang around people who knew us before the change—we maintain old patterns in life that don’t want encourage change. Not many people like change. I know I don’t, but sometimes it’s necessary.

We also tend to compartmentalize ourselves. I think, for a lot of LGBTQ+ people we’ve been taught to keep parts of ourselves separated. And it makes sense because it helps us to survive. It helps us to make it through until we’re ready to come out, to deal with unaffirming family, or to keep ourselves safe when we’re out in public. 

We get so used to doing this separation that we don’t even notice it anymore. And yet, at some point this compartmentalism stops serving us. It’s not a healthy way to live. You’re constantly trying to remember how to act in different situations when you should just be yourself.

The new year is here. Look at yourself. Are you the person you want to be? Are you being honest about who you are? If you have compartmentalized your life to the extent that it has become unhealthy, admit that it’s time for a change. I’m not going to say to make resolutions, but I do think we should set goals. Start out slow and integrate all parts of your life into one identity. Be intentional about taking steps towards the coming future. No matter what, refuse to let anything pull you back.

Happy New Year!

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

One response to “New Year, New You

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