It’s a popular debate, whether to diligently write out your annual resolutions or to resolve not to change a thing, regardless of all the hype. Either way, you can’t deny the oxymoron behind it all.
I’ve recently found myself creating a habit of changing my hair every six months or so. At the beginning of 2017, I donated 12 inches of my hair to a cancer charity. The following September, I decided to try out a fringe – and consequently spent the next week unrecognisable to my friends who took a while to adjust to my bangs. In April 2018, I dyed my hair for the first time – just a few blonder tips at the ends – and last September I snipped it off just above my shoulders. On Saturday, I cut it again and dyed it a shade lighter than my natural blonde.
“How is this relevant?” you might ask. Well…
In Defence of New Year, New Me
I’m one of those people that itch to shake things up when the new year rolls around. There’s no milestone like the final countdown, no pebble cairn quite like the first of January. It’s the perfect occasion to remind yourself of what you want to do with all the days ahead of you; the opportune moment to reinvent yourself.
But plot twist: reinventing yourself is hard.
The new year doesn’t roll around and clean up all the chaos muffled under the holidays. Rather, everything returns to schedule and you’re fumbling around with the same routines and bad habits – and a little disappointment that everything is not suddenly all put-together. There’s a lot of silent toil hidden underneath – and it’s not as glamorous as new years resolutions make it sound.
Let Yourself Mess Up – You’re Going To
Maybe as hard as you try, things go wrong. You make a mistake. You burn out too quickly. A bombshell drops. Your cat dies on the first of January. Your house is infested with maggots as midnight strikes. You underestimate where the tide comes in and your tent is washed away at two in the morning so you bring in the first sunrise of the new year with damp blankets and soaked pyjama pants. (True stories.)
Point is: mistakes happen. Situations get hairy. And the amazing thing about hair: it grows back. If you cut it too short, just wait it out. If you dyed it a funny colour, rinse and retry. The worst thing that can happen is you don’t learn from your mistake and you’re left with the same bad hairstyle you had last year.
There’s A “Me” in Momentum For A Reason: Embrace It
There’s a reason why new year’s gets so many admirers and resolution devotees. It’s the perfect trampoline. It gives off the illusion of wiping the slate clean and lays itself out for you to jump off. If there ever was a day that so perfectly embodied the spirit of momentum: it’s new years day.
Remember a few paragraphs ago when I said reinventing yourself is hard? It’s easier if you don’t try to do it all at once. You don’t have to have everything set out on the first: plans ready to slip into and run with.
Coco Chanel once said, “a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life”. As another Chanel, I second that. Maybe it’s exhilarating to write down twenty-nineteen instead of eighteen. It’s just as refreshing to look in the mirror and see yourself in a way you’re not quite used to yet. Reinventing yourself doesn’t have to be a huge event. Sometimes it can just be an inch off or a packet of dye.
You Can’t Help The Human Condition – And You Don’t Have To
I am in no way the oracle of the new years resolution making world. We’re already half way through January and I’m only now publishing my first post of the month. All I am is a girl with an uncanny ability to remember dates and draw patterns from them, a tendency to switch up her hair on a schedule – and to really stretch the impact of it – , and a belief in the power of the wonderful paradox of routine change.