On Convention

Several days ago I sat down to write for the first time in as long as I can remember. The lull between Christmas and New Years was upon us, offering a time for introspection and admittedly, some self-judgement. I know there were victories in 2022 but they seemed little more than a memory of a glow on the horizon. This may be the fate of someone who so ties self-worth with achievement but objectively, it was a tough year for me. I’m confident I’ll find its resolution in writing one day but I don’t have the energy nor the fortitude to peer deeper and challenge the dark. So I choose to spend time in the light.

This first morning of the new year, I’m writing because I remember a time before resolutions were met with such cynicism. We were eager to share a piece of the world we would create. Resolutions were grand, bigger than we had any right to dream. Maybe we were young and naive to the way of the world but I still choose to believe nothing is so fixed that we can’t change.

I’m hesitant to write too deeply of my personal goals as I believe there are things to save for the self but I want to further explore my one resolution. There’s so much noise in the world, information packaged and repackaged until it becomes unrecognizable. When we reconcile this with screaming louder and louder, the only winners are those who chose to never play this game. This can’t be the answer. The way the answer to the frustration of politics must not be to forfeit your voice. I don’t believe the answer is to better hone our hearing but to quiet the noise and create space to discover our own truths. Seneca wrote if a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable. One can spend a lifetime discovering the port of their purpose without the shifting winds of conventional wisdom.

My resolution, or general theme for 2023, is to skirt convention.

When Ramit Sethi wrote “Spend extravagantly on the things you love and cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t”, he was clearly talking about money but I want to take this same energy to the other finite resources of time and energy. I want to spend whole-heartedly on the things that bring joy to my life even when that doesn’t look like the “balance” the world is so concerned with. I want to eat the foods that I enjoy, that give me nutrients and energy even if the world thinks it’s repetitive and boring. When I find a shirt I love, I want to get one for every day of the week. Wisdom or indifference, I’m hardly concerned with what the world expects of me and in that, I feel a new freedom to be unapologetically me.

There was a time when it didn’t feel so rebellious to simply be optimistic and excited for the year ahead. So as I start this journey into the new year, in which I hope my actions always speak louder than my words, I aim to be so rebellious.

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