Maybe it’s because I can never stick to them, but I really only made one (1) New Year’s Resolution this year in the hopes that I could just focus all of my energy into following through. About a month into the year, I’m probably managing it about 30% of the time, but, you know, I’m a work in progress.
Now, before I tell you what my one (1) resolution actually is, I just want to say that I don’t want to come across like one of those cheesy motivational posters that have a picture of a landscape with some cheesy slogan underneath it that just seems empty of everything it’s trying to say. I also don’t want to come across as some sort of sad, Eeyore of a person (No offense to Eeyore. I love Eeyore.)
It’s just…unless you’ve been living underneath a rock for the past few years, you know the world has more or less plunged into total chaos – politically, economically, culturally, socially, a dozen other “ly”s that I’m not at all qualified to talk about. It’s exhausting. It’s terrifying. It’s also kind of surreal and baffling.
And maybe we’re feeling the brunt of this uncertainty because we’re in the most uncertain times of our lives. I live in a constant state of not knowing what I’m doing with my life and uncertain of the future in general. Throw in the vague possibility of a nuclear war and you’ve got yourself a recipe for existential terror.
2016, I think, was the year when everyone realized that the world was falling apart and therefore started to make memes about dying. They were funny, not really all that serious, but they tapped into this weird impulse in people that I can’t really describe, but I’m going to go ahead and try. I guess it was a sort of gallows humor, making light of a seemingly hopeless situation, trying to find laughter in events that really weren’t that funny at all.
There’s nothing wrong with that. As far as coping mechanisms go, laughter is the best medicine for a reason. But, I don’t know, eventually even joking about the terrible things happening got exhausting. (I, personally, turned to wholesome memes for comfort.)
It died down a little in 2017, but 2017 is also the year we began to truly feel the effects of everything that had happened in 2016 so 2017, I feel, was a year of all of us trying to reorient ourselves to our reality that no one particularly liked, trying to figure out where we stand.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the internet, maybe a little bit too much, but the internet has bestowed upon us the ability to consume every bit of terrible news that happens. It got to the point where I wasn’t even really surprised anymore – horrified, yes, but not surprised – and it formed the expectations that bad things were going to happen.
I’ll get to my one (1) resolution soon, but first, a brief anecdote:
I took a class about postmodern literature last semester because I’m an English major and that’s just the kind of thing we do. One of postmodernism’s things is deconstruction, taking things apart and breaking them down and seeing what makes them tick. Towards the end of that class, I asked myself, “So if nothing is definite and everything is subjective, what do we do now?” It’s not like we can change the fact that everything is a construction. And then I thought my own question, “Well, there’s really only one thing we can do.”
My one (1) resolution is to keep going on and think positively while doing it. I’m trying to go into 2018 an optimist and like I said, I’m probably managing it about 30% of the time, but it’s a start. The world is terrifying and confusing and I am terrified and confused, but nothing about that is going to change if I just go through life thinking everything is going to end badly.
Maybe you’re already an optimist and I’m just saying things that are obvious to you and I sound like a robot who’s learning what love is for the first time.
But if you’re anything like me, who tries not to hope too hard so she won’t be disappointed, maybe a little positivity will make a big difference.
So if you’re going through life asking yourself:
“What do we do now?”
Keep your head high and believe that good things will happen if you try to make them happen.
(I almost made my one (1) 2018 resolution “Get my life together”, but I’m trying to be optimistic, not unrealistic).