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It’s a New Year… And You’re Still an Awful Human

 

Words by Amiyah Golden

2024 is finally here, and I’m not going to lie: I’m a bit disappointed. I expected to see flying cars or time travel by now, but all I’m met with are the same proclamations of “New Year, New Me” littering my Instagram feed; and every time I have to chuckle, knowing this is all to feed into the annual ego boost for many.

 

The New Year always has been the time for people to write out their list of resolutions out of compulsion right before 11:59 p.m. on New Year’s Eve:

 

“I vow to go to the gym this year.”

“I’m going to be better with my money.”

“I’m not partying any longer.”

 

And while these are great declarations and goals, it doesn’t magically manifest into you becoming this 2.0 version of yourself because, let’s face it, most of us don’t even hold ourselves accountable to our own resolutions. 

 

Yes, getting that revenge body is great, not spending your life savings on take-out is also fantastic, and maybe slowing down on the partying every single weekend will do loads of justice for your liver. But when your overall aim is metamorphosing into this new self-proclaimed being, you have to go beyond the physical and the obligatory lists of “I’ll do” and really dig deep into revolutionizing your inner being!

 

And you’re probably like what does that look like (I already added that I’ll give money to the homeless this year on my list). 

 

Well, for starters, it starts with you admitting to yourself that you’re not the Mother Teresa that you think you are and you’re honestly probably an awful human …

 

Your pride may not want to admit to such a “revelation,” but your friends, family, coworkers and partner (current and past) all can attest that you have a lot of baggage to sort through. 

 

You’re quick to anger.

You’re insecure.

You yell at service workers.

You have a tendency to gaslight others.

 

The list can go on and on. 

 

Ultimately attesting to the hypothesis that you lack self-love and emotional regulation — which won’t be magically fixed by you trying to throw out your back lifting heavy weights this January. 

 

It starts with acknowledging that maybe you’re dealing with a lot of unresolved trauma. A conviction that can be scary to accept! No one wants to take their mind back to places you’ve worked so hard trying to escape. But disregarding your own emotions can reflect back onto others. Various studies vouch for the long-term effects of emotional/physical trauma on a person, often commonly displayed as anger, shame, denial and anxiety. 

 

While mental health still remains a taboo topic in many cultures and societies today, it is beginning to emerge as a permissible icebreaker in various circles that I have been in. Many stress the responsibility of the upkeep of your mind and the impacts it has on relationships.

 

Now, I know this can come off as a privilege as many don’t have access to affordable mental health resources but, the Jacksonville area has many great resources available such as: Here Tomorrow, Mental Health Resource Center, Women’s Center of Jacksonville and National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Jacksonville.

 

If traditional therapy isn’t for you, I get it. There are other outlets that you can try such as journaling, connecting with nature, practicing mindfulness techniques and tapping into your inner child. Whatever you need to do to stop projecting onto others, do it! Living is stressful enough as it is; don’t be the person who adds to the woes of life for somebody else. 

 

I stress the importance of emotional wellness as I think about the metaphor that while you can fix up a broken home and slap the freshest coat of paint on the exterior to make it beautiful, it ultimately won’t change the leaking ceiling in the basement or the rotting drywall under the shiplap. No change will come unless you take on the task of healing yourself!

 

Take it from me, someone who bought the beautiful fixer-upper but was met with innumerable problems with the foundation. I was left to fix the damage I did not create. 

 

Don’t be that person, don’t be that home! Inspect your list of resolutions and make sure that it not only profits you but the people around you! Get that dream body but also create your dream mind. Not only will others benefit from your new and improved presence, but you will ultimately be the main beneficiary!

 

So unfortunately I won’t experience beating Jacksonville traffic in my flying car this year, but I do hope to encounter more good people who: don’t cut me off in traffic, gaslight me or just aren’t overall horrendous human beings (that was so last year). Make sure you prioritize your power this 2024 by introspecting your actions, intentions and mind!

 

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