Written by Nita, LL.B.09
Dear reader, happy 2023. As many people might be predicted, this month’s theme is “New Year.” It is an annual occasion once the earth completes its cycle around the sun. We as a society celebrated New year as a means for a new beginning and reflection from the past 12 months we have lived. If you are curious why I named my article “ The classic New Year Story,” it is because my new year story repeats itself every year. So, it is a classic to me.
If I have to be completely honest. My first thought after I was assigned to write about the New Year experience was blank. I have nothing that is worth writing about. Usually, my thought process goes like this. New Year equals fireworks and bright lights. I would say my family never makes a big fuss about celebrating New year. Many times when I come across “ My new year’s resolution or new year’s challenge,” I immediately feel overwhelmed. It signifies that it is time to reflect on the past year and set a new standard for the upcoming year. Perhaps it is due to the fact that 2022 was the post covid era. Hence, we were expecting a lot from 2022. However, not everything will always go as planned. In this short article, I would like to tell you about my new year experience and the lessons I have learned from 2022.
First of all, If life is like running on the treadmill, the new year feels like an accomplishment after a long workout. The interesting thing about the new year is there is no traditional ceremony; everyone seems to celebrate the day in a different manner. As mentioned before, my household never makes a big deal about New Year. Most of the time, we stayed home and had family dinners. If lucky, I can see the firework from my bedroom window. For many people, a new year is a great time to celebrate, travel, have fun, and set a new resolution for the upcoming year. Undoubtedly, the new year is one of many people’s favorite times, including mine. Last year, in particular, I went to my mom’s hometown in southeast Thailand. We used to live there for eight years. So going back gave me a profound sense of memories of my childhood years. The temperature was lower than in Bangkok, So we had barbeque almost daily. I spent most of my time with my younger cousins. I also found reading to be one of my favorite thing to do as a mean to take a break from the busy world. I found myself enjoying the tranquillity of my peace of mind.
For some people, the new year might be a time of dislocation, confusion, and loneliness. The new year is when we have time to reflect on what we have done in the past year. So new year can also create a sense of discomfort or unpleasant mood. One major factor contributing to this is “setting a new year resolution” I used to have my new year resolution on the table and ready to change myself. “New Year, New Me” I have come to a realization that it does not have to be on the first of January to change your life. New year resolution is the act of expecting our future self to complete every goal that we have set. Habits can’t be changed overnight. It takes time. Therefore, don’t beat yourself up too hard to accomplish everything. When projecting our thoughts into the future, it does not cost any benefits to our brains. The truth is we only exist in the present moment. The truth is we cannot change our future until it has arrived. I came across an article online about New Year, and a person commented, “ I just need 2023 to simply be”. Many people are starting to have the collective mindset that this year does not take a turn and flying south is good enough, rather than having high hopes and great anticipation. However, This does not mean we should live life relentlessly with zero goals. Goals are a compass of life but have them from a realistic point of view. In short, high expectations can lead to regrets. Take baby steps.
As a freshman, 2022 was a transition year for many of me. If I take a step back to look at how far I have come. I would say to myself that I’m doing better than I thought. For the first time in my life, I have moved out to live alone and learned to befriend myself. It is completely fine to go out and eat alone, go to the park alone, go to the library alone, or enjoy your time at the exhibition alone. It might sound like an absurd thing to do, especially when friends surround you. The time I spent with my friends is cherishable. But at the end of the day, living alone is quiet. So I started to have thoughts that I should be able to find joy in solitude. Suppose I can not sit with my thoughts and feel content alone. It is impossible to find inner peace within yourself. As a disclaimer, I lived far away from most of my friends, so it was difficult to meet up and hang out with them. I have spent hours with myself. My headspace becomes precise as I tap into my consciousness. In short, be comfortable with your solitude.
Living alone also teaches me one crucial lesson “Self-discipline.” It is a key to having study life balance. Life can feel like a mess sometimes, especially after a long day of lectures. I come home, lay down then the time has passed two or three hours on my phone. Afterward, I immediately regret wasting so much time when I have to get work done. It is funny when thinking about self-discipline because we have two parts of our minds constantly arguing with each other; Where one part wants us to get the work done and commit to the goals we have but as soon as we get close to the goal and commit to it. The comfort side emerges, and try to convince ourselves of the goals. This happens because we feel cozy and more comfortable in this reality. My last remark here is that self-discipline is a form of self-love because, deep down, we know it is for the greater good.