I find those ads proclaiming, “New Year, New You!” highly annoying and somewhat offensive. The idea implies that there’s something wrong with me that needs fixing. It’s a subtle reinforcement of the culture that has led women in particular to feel like we’re broken or not enough just as we are. So, I’d like to modify it. Let’s explore what it would look like to embrace “New Year, Same You!” instead.
Are you broken?
No. Even if you’re going through tough, terrible, life-changing things, you’re not broken. We get knocked down sometimes. We might feel defeated. We might feel lost, depressed, and unsure of what comes next. But none of that is an indication of brokenness. It’s an indication that we’re going through a dark time and are affected by it. I actually think surviving difficult (sometimes awful) things is the surest sign there is that we are NOT broken.
Does a new name equal new you?
Someone close to me recently decided to change the name they are called. When I asked them to help me understand why, they explained how awful the last two years has been for them. They were deeply depressed, feeling lost, and were mourning two very important people they’d lost. The new name to them felt like a fresh beginning.
I get that. But I also can see that there’s another way to look at it.
Wasn’t it you who survived all that hell and came out on top?
It wasn’t the new name that can claim credit for emerging from the darkness and embracing a new life. It’s the person.
This year, I’m embracing the New Year by proclaiming I’m the same me. Are there ways I’d like to grow and improve? Absolutely. Will I be working on taking steps to move in those new directions? 100%.
But you better believe, it’s the same me that has been here all along that will be showing up to do that work.
What about you?