Fresh Start to 2013

Welcome to January 2013!  It’s snowier, colder and less jolly than December, but we are here to make the best of what we’ve got. Are you a student? Great. Unemployed? We’ll take you. Sitting in a cubicle? You’re in, too. 2013 has room for everybody.

January is a good time to start fresh, and I feel lucky to be able to start over. Even if life is generally going well, it doesn’t hurt to officially say goodbye to the past, to feel it receding behind you instead of revolving around you. If you’re still hanging on to memories of a mean boss, a bad grade or even something as irrelevant to your future as a weird comment your peer made, it’s the best possible time to let them go. Negative thinking, as I’ve mentioned in many of my posts, is a sickness that affects the thinker exponentially—the more dark thinking you carry around with you, the worse you feel, even if said thinking is mostly about other people or situations. It doesn’t belong here, not in January 2013. This is your year, so think of greatness to come instead.

Even though New Year’s resolutions can sometimes be, as Mary Poppins put it, “pie-crust promises” (easily broken), they are still worth making. If you can’t be bothered to set some goals for the new year then your frame of mind hasn’t changed. But if you’re reading this, there’s some part of you that seeks change in your career, program or situation.

A lot of us were pretty foggy on January 1st, which is a weird way to start a new chapter in life, especially when it comes to job seeking or a new semester. But maybe there’s something significant about not remembering every detail of New Year’s Eve. It’s kind of like a last-ditch purge of all the wildness we want to get out of our systems before opening the door to a fresh start. Then, suddenly, we wake up to the lazy light of late morning or early afternoon on New Year’s Day. Time, the uncharted waters of what will become our history, slips into our consciousness gently (so as not to disturb the hangover). A new beginning awaits, and hope hovers around us like a halo.

This is the time to fantasize about your truest desires, your loftiest goals. Even if you’re in the same situation as before the holidays, ask yourself if this is how you wish to continue. There’s enough time before the end of this year to really accomplish something, like garnering praise from a big boss or trying a little harder on your first literature review of the year. If you think about your goals enough, even the long shots (being interviewed by Conan O’Brien or Jon Stewart—hello!), it might just take to the part of you that thrives on problem-solving, achievement and hard work.

This year, I’m going to experiment with dreaming BIG. I hope that when you recognize my name during Conan’s enthusiastic introduction, you have already earned an “A+”, a corner office handshake or an interview callback. 2013 is yours. Happy New Year!

Allison Whalen

Allison is a freelance writer and multimedia artist based in Chelsea, Quebec. Since completing her MA at Carleton University, she has focused on professional and creative projects that aim to provide both efficiency and joy.

Twitter: @EclecticRoyale

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