New Year, Same Me

For as long as I can remember, New Years has always been about closing one year and starting another, about new resolutions usually surrounding the themes of healthier lifestyles, quitting bad habits, or starting new ones. More recently, we’ve been inundated with the hashtag #newyearnewme. This year, I began to really think about this, at 32 years old, if I lived by this each year, there would be 32 different “me-s!” Is this a motto I really wanted to exemplify?

Turning the page into 2018 comes with quite a heavy heart for me. It has been only three months since my precious brother left this earth. I was not ready to enter a New Year that, for the first time ever, Seth would not be a part of; at least not in a physical sense. How could I go on living with intention, love, optimism, all of these positive ideas that I strived to live my life by in the past, when I constantly felt like something, someone, was missing? One cannot ever prepare for losing a sibling, nor can one “recover” from such a loss. It is a loss that lasts a lifetime. And this loss will follow me into 2018.

So how am I going to enter 2018? Will I close the last chapter of my life, pretending like nothing happened? Will I put everything aside and run after a new life? A “new me?” or will I embrace 2018 with open arms, with a heavy heart, with a sense of adventure, with a gaping hole in my heart, with fear, with intention, with love, with hope, with joy? Will I try to create another version of myself, without Seth? Or will I continue to cultivate who I am, move towards everything I value, in a continuous journey towards being fully me, embodying all the amazing characteristics of my brother? I choose the latter.

I don’t want to create a “new me” every year, rather I want to ignite a new part of myself within. While I like the idea of a “fresh start,” it is not something I will to apply to all aspects of my life. The past five years of my life have been an amazing journey towards self-discovery; embracing Love unconditionally, an attitude of gratefulness, imagining who I am and what I stand for, learning to prioritize self-care, growing deeper in my faith, in pursuit of my passions, all with an open mind. I would not want to erase these steps in my journey by creating a “new me.” I still have a long way to go.

This year I will continue on my path intentionally, push through the hurt and do my best to find joy in the small things. I will seek the comfort of Jesus for my heart, and I will ignite my “inner Seth”; take more adventures into the outdoors, find beauty in unusual places and capture some of that beauty with my camera, I will embrace others with his heart of acceptance, which ultimately comes from God, I will continue my educational path as he always encouraged me, and I will fight for justice for those who continue to suffer in this world. After all, perhaps now Seth is with us now more than ever before.