Why are we so drawn to the idea of New Year’s Resolution?
New Year’s Resolution. “Magbago ka na ngayong bagong taon ah? [You should change this new year, okay?]” It’s such a compelling tradition to become anew every first day of the new year. People start their complex diets, going to the gym, doing a ten-step skincare routine, getting more sleep, and more, but fade away after the second week mark of January. It’s interesting how humans are renewed every time the earth completes a full lap around the orbit. Why are we so drawn to the idea of it?
This thought came into my head after the recent new year’s, my second one in the United States. I’m just like everyone else, truthfully. And me being the overly-sentimental freak that I am, how I celebrate the eve correlates to how my year is going to go. How very womanly of you, Alaine. Oh, stop. Is it really that significant though?
December 31, 2022
The day started with a surprise of endless snow. It hadn’t snowed continuously since the very beginning of winter when my car slipped twice on the ice on the way to Tahoe. I wanted to finish 2022 off the classic way: video games. There wasn’t much to do until digging up the car would be needed for us to go to a friend’s place for the eve.
The moment I stepped into the road my leg sank, and the snow was high enough to reach my knee. Sure enough, the ride to the friend’s house was crazy. The car slipped more than anything my lola — grandma — could handle; try staying calm while your passengers go haywire because of uncontrollable Cirque du Soleil-like turns made by your car.
Our food was delicious, the mac and cheese made by Sarah was hypnotizing. I started missing Filipino traditions at around 9PM when we would usually go to mass before waiting for midnight. Board games kept us amused.
My mind circled around how everything should be perfect when the clock strikes midnight, to symbolize the year coming for me. A toast, rolling round fruits at the doorstep (bringing prosperity into your home), making lots of unwarranted noises with whatever I can and explosive firecrackers blasting in front of each house. And how none of that will happen yet again this new year’s eve.
January 1, 2023
Gosh, I have to get used to writing "2023." Expectations just heighten the chance of disappointment. Our celebration was simple. We gave a toast, ate 12 grapes (a Hispanic tradition I’ve encountered for the first time; they said it means good luck for the next 12 months), and had peaceful fountain fireworks on top of the thick accumulated snow. And I loved it.
Sure, I may have been raised with an entirely different culture embedded into me. But the change of scenery — this new season of my life — isn’t for me to be renewed, but to celebrate my continued growth. Looking at this new year, it isn’t a time for a new person to come through, but for someone to grow and accept the new “olds” that arrive. Like dealing with the snow, coming from a tropical archipelago.
|Alaine Obra from the Philippines is studying for an associate’s degree in computer science at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.|
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