The Not-So-New Year

I've been here before. I've been under the same tree as yesterday. The sun hits me the same way it did last year, under that same tree as before, during that same month. The new year isn't new. It isn't real. It's a way to re-imagine myself. To re-imagine the things I've imagined: to be thinner, to be happier, to be more financially successful and to be farther along in my career.

I'm going to charge ahead and try not to think about the things I didn't accomplish: the stack of books I wanted to alphabetize, the love handles I wanted to reduce and the novel I wanted finished and represented. Instead, I'm going to keep the faith that these things will get done. I'm going to stay focused on their return, on the commitment I've made to "make this shit happen."

I'm not interested in the articles like "Top Ten Things You Should Not Do in the New Year." Because I'm going to do it all. I promise. I'm going to mess up lots this year. I'm going to skip the gym, not get a "good night's" sleep, piss someone off, write a bunch of poems, make love in the deep of a forest, and maybe pick the clumped underwear out my butt in my office while everyone is looking. I will be completely un-phased.

This year, there's no such thing as promises. I live.

I think about the last year as if it were an old friend I haven't seen in a while. I don't forget it or talk shit about it. I think of its rough face and long fingers. I think of its smile and large arms under a blanket. I write letters to it and remember it as a happy disaster, as the year when I learned how to spackle a wall, survive a life-threatening illness, and stand up for myself. Last year will be missed. It will be a memory, a place where I will remain nostalgic. I will want it to stop by every now and then to help me remember.

This year. This year. This year. I say it like I know it already. I say it like I remember talking about this year with last year. Like I remember its smell: pork dumplings in Chinatown, my nephew's milky breath, a cracked can of cat food for Doris or Jack Kerouac the Cat, or even Joe's cologne. I think back to these smells of before, and wonder about the new ones.

I don't make any plans with this year. I don't put pressure on this year to better than last year, or worse, the same. I want this year to be itself. I want it to take me to a rooftop party in Brooklyn, or back to England, or to volunteer at animal shelter, or to pick out pea shoots from a wicker basket. I want this year to remind me of last year when I'm not looking.

I want this year, this next year in a string of years, to keep inspiring me. Each year shows me evidence of a continued life, of a life in flux. I will continue to love last year, and the year before that, and the year before that.