It’s the end of January and I’m realizing that fresh starts can happen whenever you goddamn please. Back in December, I spent a lot of time just waiting for January 1st to roll around so I could get started on my resolutions. Once it did… I felt like January 1st showed up on my doorstep and I started a pleasant conversation with it, but then soon, January 1st just shoved itself into my life and into my home without letting me know what it was doing. January 1st—and the rest of the month—had a mind of its own.

No matter how much time and energy I put into the last weeks of 2016 to make sure my 2017 would go “according to plan,” 2017 decided it was gonna throw all that to the wind. I guess I should have known, predicted the unpredictability of life. It’s kinda funny—I feel like we all kinda know that life is unexpected and you can’t plan everything to the minute. And yet, we still try anyways.

We want to control the things we can’t control. We plan out our resolutions in hopes that in 365 days, we’ll be a better person. A more put-together person.

In the first weeks of 2017, I realized that that is one source of stress and insecurity for me. I’m just trying to keep it together but the more I try to do that, the more I realize that I’m just pretending. Sometimes, you just need to face the fact that you can’t control everything and you are not the most put-together person on the planet. And maybe, you’ll realize you’re a better person just for just facing that fact. I know I am. I feel relieved.

I also think we all know that resolutions are only as meaningful as you make them. They’ll only make you a better person if you actually stick to them. We all know this. But we rarely ever change, thinking the resolution will just happen—or be forgotten.

I wanted to write more this year (among other things). I found that I couldn’t bring myself to write even briefly… It was a little heartbreaking to even think that I couldn’t do this thing that I love, and the only thing holding me back was myself. It wasn’t a big deal at first, but I soon found myself really unhappy and I think it was because I wasn’t pushing myself to write.

Like the saying goes, “it has to get worse before it gets better.” So, things have gotten worse in a lot of different ways: politically, nationally, personally, emotionally. But sometimes that’s just the wake-up call we need. Whatever “fresh start” you want, go get it. Do what you have to do.

As for me, I’m writing and I’m reading. And I hope I continue to do so for the next 11 months.

Published by Marissa Martinez