Reimagining New Year Resolutions

Optimism isn’t always constructive.

Marianna Saver
Big Self

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

On December 31st, 1998, prompted by a sudden will to turn my luck, I considered the idea of keeping a journal, as older, cooler graders did.

What made the thought of what I later called a secret diary so fascinating was the prospect of making my wishes for the new year come true, by the sheer virtue of intention. A little sister in lieu of a brother, a friend who’s not imaginary, overnight flexibility so when my gymnastics coach would force my legs into a split, it won’t hurt like hell. This kind of wishes. Wishes because I didn’t know what a resolution was at the time.

I had only learned to read and write a couple of years before and I remember still having problems spelling the word ‘scrivere’ — Italian for writing — and any word containing either a ‘p’ or a ‘q’ (also a ‘b’ or a ‘d’) as I would confuse the former for the latter. So post would often become ‘qost’, band ‘danb’, and so on. To make things worse, I am left-handed, which means that every time I’d put pen on paper — no matter how hard I tried to keep my hand lifted — a black smudge would emerge after each word, extending it, dragging the meaning out of the page and onto the back of my hand.

I liked the clumsy, abstract mess of my texts. It seemed fitting, although my teachers disapproved…

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Marianna Saver
Big Self

I write to understand what I don’t know. I also send monthly love notes: bit.ly/themorningair