Change and success take work

Bianca McCarty, Assistant Editor

So much can change in a year, it’s hard to believe that you’re the same person you were in January of 2018. Personally, I look back at photos of myself taken almost a year ago, and I don’t recognize the girl I see. Now, my hair is shorter, my skin has cleared up for the most part and I finally figured makeup out (more or less). That’s only the outward differences between the me now and the me a year ago. 

It’s almost like my insides have gone through intense remodeling throughout the year. I’ve changed so rapidly that even I can’t keep up with my thoughts and feelings. Once I pin something down, something else pops up. 

I’m a completely different person, for better or for worse. 

Millions of people around the world make New Year’s resolutions, hoping to become better people come the New Year. I’ve never made one, as I always find the new year is filled with too much pressure to change, and I know I’d give up on them a week into January. 

Even though I’ve never made a resolution, I’ve watched the people around me do so every year. There’s so much hope surrounding the New Year. It’s heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time. Heart-warming, because it’s always wonderful to see other people happy and excited for a new start. Heart-breaking, because many of them will give up on their hopes for the better person they could become sooner than they should. 

No one can achieve long-term goals as easily as we often expect ourselves to. Loosing weight, getting better grades and becoming more confident takes self-discipline and lots and lots of hard work. The person you see achieving their goals, whether it be your sibling, best friend or enemy, is working hard behind the scenes. It doesn’t take a week to become the person you want, it takes years and years of learning and growing. 

As a society, we like to hold the beginning of a new year as a time when anything can happen and you can become anyone, but in reality, it’s just another day. 

Change within oneself isn’t sudden. No one gets up one day and realizes that they are completely different person. Rather, when it comes to people, change is gradual and we often aren’t even aware it’s happening, but it always is. 

Success isn’t a positive linear graph like the ones in an Algebra One book. We don’t start at bottom and steadily move up and up until we die. It’s more of a connect-the-dots game. There are highs and lows and everything seems like a mess until we’ve completed the picture. Expecting yourself to constantly be better than yesterday just isn’t realistic. Life likes to throw things at us when we least expect it, things that will derail our upward path. When that inevitably happens, don’t beat yourself up over it, just know that someday you’ll succeed again. 

I wrote a column very similar to this one for last year’s Christmas edition of the paper. Even immediately after I finished it, I wasn’t satisfied. I felt like I wasn’t able to properly express what I wanted to say. Now I know that was because I hadn’t lived enough. The girl who wrote that column couldn’t have fathomed what the next year would have in store for her. As the end result of that year, I can say with supreme confidence that in a year’s time, I’ll read this back and laugh at myself. 

Change never stops, and it never will. We will learn and grow until we are six feet under the ground.