‘Tis the season to be you

illustration by Jessica Prescott

illustration by Jessica Prescott

‘Tis the season for food, presents, and a new you. Santa makes his list, then we make ours.

“This New Year, I would like to lose a couple of pounds, turn in my homework on time, and marry John Mayer.” Did you write a similar list? Will you check it twice?

Some of us make resolutions because we suddenly need to earn our presents. Some of us make a list because our parents or friends make one. Maybe some of us actually want to change for the New Year.

But why do we wait for January 1?

Yes, it takes time to sit down and evaluate one’s life. Thoughtful reflection so these changes aren’t arbitrary. Still, this reflection doesn’t need to wait for 2013 to end. In fact, it shouldn’t. We fill our schedules with school work, friends, television shows, Angry Birds and Tumblr. Somehow we need to find time within the year to self-evaluate, and do so often. Time so we can remain true to who we want to be daily, instead of analyzing only during the New Year and reorganizing our entire lives within a couple hours.

Every morning, there is an opportunity to be the ideal you. If the goal is shedding a few pounds, every morning we have the chance to choose fruit for breakfast instead of pancakes. To do better in school, every day we have the opportunity to study.

We have the ability to pursue intimate resolutions, too.

“I want to be kinder. I want to love more. I want to be happy.”

We can choose to appreciate our friends. We can choose to go after whatever it is that makes us happy. We can choose to do these things every day, not only once the New Year begins.

This is not to say that all of you are unhappy with yourselves. Maybe your list only includes small things. Maybe you don’t need a list, but make one because it’s expected.

If that is the case, then why succumb to the New Year’s pressure to change?

Growing up is not a quest to become what the world wants. Rather, it is the challenge to self-evaluate and ground yourself in the adult you want to become. Then, in adulthood, it’s the quest to reevaluate and reevaluate and reevaluate to ensure that you are happy.

We have a responsibility to ourselves to be happy. This is not something anyone can accomplish for us. It is something that we have to pursue, on our own, every day.

So, tomorrow – not in the New Year – be who you want. Take the time to look inside yourself, and do so daily. Find those little pebbles of joy and pursue them. Fix what you hate, go after what you love. Because ultimately, no one is in charge of your essence except you.

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