I wish it was the end of the year. It’s not. It’s not going to be for a long, long time. It’s almost as long coming as it is long gone.
I wish it was new year’s eve tonight though. It’s not. It’s an ordinary day. No one remembers the twenty eighth of June. No one parks their car all wrong on the road to buy flowers, no one bangs the car horn so hard it falls off because they are in a rush to get home to their families. I wish today called for an occasion to celebrate, an occasion to sit back and reflect. Between drinks and dancing and watching the skies turn bright and smoky, I could fondly embrace the time that has gone.
If it was the 31st of december, I could be sitting by the windows, tucked in cosy warm pyjamas, my toes cradled in those cherry blossom socks, curtains drawn, waiting for the firecrackers to go off, but not too soon, for I was still reminiscing. I could be sitting by the window and no one would wonder why. Everyone sits by themselves when the year’s ending.
If a year was coming to an end, I could begin this new chapter in my life with loud, obnoxious, unchallenged brightness. I could let my little secret joys give into and take away from the joys of the bigger world. I could turn every twinkle of a fairy light, every ringing of a doorbell, every chuckle of a close friend into a metaphor for my joys.
If it was the end of the year, I could tell you this has been a heavy year. I could tell you all the ways and all the times it’s hurt, and all the manners in which I’ve grown, and I could whisper between drinks how my head is heavy with everything I’ve known, and you would not say, but wait, it’s just June. You would not say, there’s still six months ahead of you. When the year ends, your whole life is ahead of you. So you would sit back and let me tell you everything that’s been draining and exhausting and frustrating, and everything that’s been giving and forgiving and belonging. You’d hold my hand as I say goodbye, a proper season finale-esque goodbye to a rollercoaster ride that left me jarred and jittery and jaded, and yet joyous.
If indeed, by some miracle, this was the end of the year, a resolution would feel like a resolution and not like a promise to self. It would feel like a tradition, a heritage, an enriching responsibility for being part of organized society to be able to work on myself, to announce my areas of improvement, to show conviction to face the world stronger and wiser. I could share a story online, or call a friend and say, “here’s my five resolutions”, and the first question they’d ask is “why” and not “why now”.
I wish I could start and end years as I willed. Last two months would be a year. Everything before that till before the pandemic started would be a year. Some years would last days, some years would last years. Whenever I would feel I had grown, I would call it the end of the year. Whenever I would feel excited for a new beginning, I would call it the start of a new year.
What if we collectively understood what it means to live a year? To feel like you’ve grown a year? I could tell people, “an year is coming to an end” and they’d know now I feel older than I used to, and it’s got nothing to do with the earth’s rotation.
I’ve lived life years for a year, unknowingly. When I was fifteen and had my first heartbreak, I felt sixteen. After that, every heartbreak felt the same. When I was eighteen, I felt sixteen. When I was twenty, I felt sixteen. Same energy, same wisdom, same worldview. Same core beliefs, core values, core wounds. When I turned twenty and got a job, though, a job I did not want, when I did not get into my favorite film school, when I was working sixteen hours a day just to find a footing into something creative and it wasn’t working, I felt suddenly no more sixteen, and shockingly very twenty one. I felt old and heavy and lost, yanked into another new year of my life. And I kept feeling twenty one even as I turned twenty four. And now, at twenty one, as I found myself forced to learn about the limitations of empathy, of kinship, of kindness, of hope, of integrity, of holding on and letting go, I woke up in just weeks, feeling twenty five.
There’s still time to my birthday. By which I mean, there’s still a few times the earth has to rotate before we can attach a meaningful number to my growth. I will turn twenty five. But I already feel twenty five. I can’t ever yank the weight out of me and feel younger. And so I want to take a break, and I want to get all my loved ones together and celebrate this end of a year, and cheer for the beginning of a new year (editor’s note: I did end up celebrating this new year with my loved ones very shortly after writing this piece). I want to make promises and proclamations, and I want to remember and let go. I want to keep the wisdom, but none of the resentment it came with. Like a bad year, a pandemic-infested year we don’t want to ever name, I wish to let go but to hold it in.
So, today, twenty eighth of June, I wish you all a very happy new year!
May this year be filled with love and growth and kindness!
Happy new year!