Every new year works like a charm, works like magic in a show, tricking the eyes into seeing what is never going to be there.
And we let the magic work for a moment.
But the glitter and the glamour of the new year never stay long enough. They sweep away like New York City streets, dead in the middle of Times Square, no trace of the worldwide sparkle or confetti.
And what I really mean is that, some of us fell asleep to the sound of clinking champagne glasses only to wake up to the same bills piled up in the mailbox, or the same appointments for in vitro fertilization written out on the calendar, or the same empty fridge that’s never filled with enough to feed all three kids, or the same 30 pounds choking the curve out of all our edges.
Some of us woke up with the same depression and diagnosis to carry, day in and day out, even though we take the candy-colored pills, even though we see the man with the glasses and the yellow-stripped notepad. Some of us still woke up to the same loneliness and confusion and reality that it’s always a new year but never a new you.
Always a new year, never a new you.
And no one can take the struggle away, no one can make the hard come easy or the long wait go fast. No one can turn the power on in the pills, or say secret spells to make it disappear.
“Evanesco. . .”
I’d whisper, if I had that elder wand. . .
And, if I could, I’d take that fancy elevator up to the ninth floor office where you work, or drive my car across back roads to your front door, or meet you at a table in the nearest café where the barista knows your drink by heart and hand: double shot of espresso, soy milk, and one pump of that favorite syrup.
I’d sit you down in that wobbly chair and start saying something about the days being strung into weeks, strung into months, strung into years, and I’d tell you how they slip by crazy fast and how you came from there to here in just three hundred and sixty-five sunrise-to-sunsets and how you are not the same, and how you are new in the many different mirrors of your heart. I’d go on about how you have grown—how you’ve been broken and how you’ve healed and how you’ve failed but how you’ve learned to fly again. . . how you’re not as shattered as you used to be and how that’s more than all the newness cradled in one ball dropping in front of the millions upon billions standing in a frigid Times Square and watching through a screen.
I’d tell you about how it really is always a new year, swooping in fast like a secret agent, swift and silent, and how you have to know, have to believe that it is always a new you, even when the bank account is low and you can’t afford the new shoes; even when you’re waiting on the new organ; even when you’re stuck in that old relationship, that same old apartment with the same stain on the floor; even when the debt rolls over and doesn’t disappear at the stroke of midnight; even with that body that won’t conform to the ever trending models found in hashtags and Hollywood.
No hardcore tattoo, no whimsical graphic, no quote-embedded planner will ever whisper the words deep enough. No glass, or bottle, of wine can ever drown the lie long enough.
There is only choosing to believe the truth beyond the televised message, even if we are already seven days past the first of the month and the high is already gone, already dead.
It really is always a new year and it really is always a new you—even when the scale doesn’t say so, and even when the brain chemicals won’t let you believe so. So don’t give up on that resolution that you vowed over your heart eight days ago—don’t give up on yourself, or the year, just yet.
You have your health to conquer and your heart to reclaim and new, and old, dreams to unveil.
The calendar doesn’t call the shots for this one. You do, my friend.