New Year’s has the mystique of being a clean slate or blank sheet of paper, a tradition that has been followed for years. The chance to start fresh and be someone different, someone better. You can maybe see how this would appeal to someone like me, someone who would change so much his own aspects if he could (rock hard abs wouldn’t be all bad). But how does this tradition appeal to someone with social anxiety actually? Is a clean slate all it takes for me to be able to walk into a room of people I don’t know and start talking like the life of a party? Or is “New Year, New Me” another obstacle for me and some of you to run away from?
I’m sure I’m not the only one who one day got out of bed and thought to himself, “Today’s the day, I’m not going to be scared anymore.” I do often have these sessions of confidence, it just comes into my head inadvertently, especially around New Year’s. Maybe this will be my year? is the thought that runs through my mind. It never works, at least, so far, not for me. It seems that with every passing year, people get more and more scary. Especially if you grow up around the same bunch of people. Maybe the clean slate would be easier if the people were also clean slates. But it’s the same people, who already know you and some of the weird stuff you do, the ones who have already judged you. I find it hard being a new person around the same people as most of the time “New Year, New Me”, while it makes a great hashtag on Twitter, rarely happens in reality. I go and sit in a large group of people I know and I’m still the one nobody talks to because, the harsh reality is, I can’t have just changed over night. I didn’t become astoundingly more interesting when I woke up January 1st. That’s not how it works.
To be able to change who you are takes time, maybe sometimes more than a year. While people are saying they’re going to change their ways this year, you might still be trying to change who you are from last year. The truth is changing yourself isn’t easy but the only way to make it easier is to be true as to why you want to change. You shouldn’t change who you are for others. As long as there is a soul in your body, you should focus on appreciating who you are. Accept that you are quiet in large groups and will talk if someone asks you a question, accept that you prefer to be indoors and don’t want to go out just because all of your friends are. The things that make you ‘you’ shouldn’t be looked down upon by others and least of all yourself. Each person is different and you should love what makes you that way.
Maybe you won’t change this year but maybe, just maybe, you slowly will over time. Maybe one day when you’re sitting around, a friend will be call you and say, “Hey, you want to go to the movies? my friends really liked you the other day and asked if you could come.” Don’t try to change, just be a good person, people like good people. The only way to branch out is to accept who you are and accept the changes as they come, not force yourself to become someone you’re not for the sake of others.
Happy New Year, guys.