The clock strikes midnight on the 31st of December every year and suddenly promises fly from our lips, in the form of resolutions, about how we'll be better to our bodies, read more, exercise, eat better, drink less, and be better people.
Our birthdays come and with them we promise, now that we're older, that we will give ourselves the present of shaking off the skin of the person we were the previous year and become a better improved version of ourselves.
Relationship ends or we move or get a new job, and utter those words, 'this is the new me.' We're Constantly in search of fresh opportunities to be the person we always wanted to be, as if we can trade ourselves in, body, mind and soul, so easily, for a new and better us.
Now, there's nothing wrong with doing something to feel better about ourselves: a fresh hair cut to feel a little more free, a change in eating habits to feel less heavy and unhealthy, a change in fashion to open up our self expression. But when it comes to the real deep maintenances of our bodies, minds and souls, we're not some old car we can suddenly replace with all new parts to make us run smoother.
How easy life would be if, as if we were an old car, we could take out our engine and replace it with an upgraded newer one, meaning we wouldn't take longer to start up in winter time. If we could change our limbs like tires so we drove smoother over the rough terrain of life. If we could replace our bruised and battered bodies, and splash on a new coat of paint, throwing away all our emotional scars like scrap metal. A real, brand new us, so brand new that everyone who saw us driving our new selves could only truly recognise us by the license plate of our personality.
But we're not cars, we're living, breathing, fucked up creatures that need more than the change of a calendar day, week, month or year, to rid ourselves of the dents and scars we pick up while traversing the high road of life.
We can try a new coat of paint, and maybe it'll make us look shiny and happy for while, but all paint clips again eventually, revealing the rusted, discoloured, original paint job underneath. We can change our bodies but the real scars run deeper than our skin, and come back to trouble us at the most unexpected times.
We're born and as part of this life we're give one body, one mind and soul that is ourselves to take care of, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. And we need to acknowledge and accept that there are no replacements for the true parts of ourselves.
The true parts are ours for life, but that is ok, the person who we are is ok. There is no old, or new us, there is just the person we are right now, and what we need to acknowledge the most is that we're all in need of repair.
No one on this planet goes a day without seeing something within themselves, or in their life, that they don't believe could be improved upon, or gotten rid of. Life is a difficult, uncertain road, and no marking of time passed is ever going to be sufficient enough to repair our chipped and rusted paint work, lagging engines, and ripped interior. But if we can accept who we are in our imperfect state.
If we can accept that maybe we smoke and drink too much, communicate too little, don't exercise as much as we would like to, and still have a bucket list full of trips we've promised ourselves but never taken, then maybe we can stop trying to exchange and replace those parts of ourselves we're not happy with. Maybe we can accept them as a part of ourselves, and realise that this is who we are right now. And once we acknowledge and accept this, maybe then we can pull over to the side of the road, stop driving for a moment, and begin to repair ourselves.
We have the tools to repair ourselves, they were given to us free of charge, we're just too busy constantly looking at ourselves like an old, run down car that needs to be traded in for a new one, to instead look in the glove compartment and discover all the necessary tools needed to keep ourselves running smoothly down the highway. And yes, some dents don't come out straightaway. Our paint will continue to chip, especially during storms. Our tires will go flat, our engines will find it difficult to start some days. But the thing about learning to repair ourselves, is the more we do it, the better we become at it. Until we no longer need to hear our engine lagging to know we have to repair it, but instead we keep it running well through regular maintenances and checks. We no longer need to wait for dents in our body work, or chips in our paint, as we start to drive with more care, slowing down when we go over bumps, avoiding crashing into others, and making sure we take even more care, or even sometimes take shelter if we think it's necessary, when a storm comes.
So throw away your old computer, shoes or phone, if they're broken. Fuck it, get a brand new one! But remember, everything new becomes old at some point, so do we want to keep holding on to the false hope of trading in who we were for some new version, who's supposed to represent the person we feel we should be at that time?
Or do we want to proudly hold on to who we are, learning instead to repair ourselves, and letting go of false self promises?
There is no 'new' or 'old', we simply are who we are at this moment in time. And if we learn to repair ourselves better and better every day, until we can travel through life with a smile on our faces, then we'll be able to roll smoothly down the high way, no matter the weather.