A New Year’s Resolution

“I know that it’s true
It’s gonna be a good year
Out of the darkness
And into the fire
I tell you I love you
And my heart’s in the strangest place
That’s how it started
And that’s how it ends” — “In the New Year” by The Walkmen

I might not have known how to celebrate Christmas Eve, but I always knew how I would celebrate this New Year’s Eve: the same way I have celebrated so many New Year’s Eves over the years, with Chinese food and Star Wars. I can’t remember when or why this tradition started (despite my mom and I both liking Star Wars and Chinese food), but I have cudgeled many a loved one into joining me, including on one memorable occasion my dad, who would certainly hesitate to describe himself as anything approaching a “fan” of Star Wars (as I recall, I got sick from eating too many scallion pancakes, but at least the tradition survived!). For whatever reason, this might be the personal tradition I’m most fond of (maybe because it feels so particular to my childhood?), and so there was no way I would break the streak just because I was a continent and six hours away from home.

A New Year’s tradition I have *not* ever really ascribed to is the “New Year’s Resolution”. Maybe because my calendar as a student for 17 years of my life started in September and ended in August — the significance of the new year was more about remembering to write the correct dates on homework assignments than anything else. And now time is really in flux for me. Weekdays and weekends really have ceased to distinguish themselves; months blur; even the hours of the day really only matter if I’m catching a bus or visiting a museum. So what does a “new year” mean for me, especially when *last* year was so starkly divided into “America” and “Europe” (almost six full months in each, too)? What resolutions can I make that aren’t inherent to my continuing to travel and explore?

I can’t think of any really. I resolve, as always, to be the best friend I can be. I resolve, as always, to be the best person I can be. I resolve, as always, to try to grow as a person. I resolve to be kind and patient but also selfish and impulsive. I resolve to take risks but never forget where my constant is. I resolve to keep writing with (mostly) unfiltered honesty. And I resolve to remain true to who I am *and* who I want to be.

All of that is par for the course, but committing it to paper here feels like I am making a contract with you. You have borne witness to these promises, and now I am responsible to someone besides myself if I fail to live up to them. So I suppose I better follow through! Thank you all for reading these past 5+ months, and I will see you in the new year.