2018: The Year of Negativity

January 11, 2018

Lo and behold, another year passed, and here we are at the dawn of 2018. Two-k-seventeen is wrapped up and heading towards the history books, and what a historical year it was. The year of fidget spinners and crop tops, as well as Donald Trump’s first year in office, and the year chokers made a comeback. For some reason.

 

 

In the spirit of letting bygones be bygones, we shall not dwell on that which once was. Instead, we move forward into the beautiful and uncharted, 2018. First week of January and I have already heard the phrase: ‘New year, new me.’, uttered more times than it should per year. It’s seems like every year the vast majority of people around me become completely new people. If I didn’t know any better, this would be clear proof of reincarnation. Alas, I do know better, and despite the shift from the 31st of December to January 1st, we are still the same crappy people in the same crappy situation. Albeit the sombre tone of the conclusion in the previous sentence, let us try and dive into a positive (-ish), yet controversial take on the whole ‘New year, new me’-phrase.

 

As fireworks light up the sky and we share kisses across the globe when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, we often tend to make promises of bettering ourselves. Mostly, to ourselves. Be it the lingering ambition brought on by the current state of inebriation, or some other factor, but usually by week three of four in January our goals have been devoured by reality. Speaking from personal experience, we tend to set unrealistic goals for ourselves. Hit the gym so-and-so many times, become this, do that, and so forth. But, let us switch the table and work from within instead. For this year, focus on the negative. Bear with me on this one, as we indulge in the beauty that is the ‘negative’ inside you.

 

Usually when making New Year’s resolutions we focus on new skill sets we want to acquire, things we wish to better in ourselves or things we wish to tone down in ourselves. This goes further than a mere New Year’s resolution, when someone asks us to write down three characteristics about ourselves; it is natural to choose the three most positive. But being human means being both good and bad, no one is solely the one or the other. So for this year’s resolution, what about looking at the ‘negative’ side of yourself and trying to understand it and grow from it? I write the negative within quotation marks to emphasize that this is a moment of self-reflection, what you might consider negative, others might not; and vice versa.

 

In order to conceptualise this statement, I will skim personal experience. I know, from both self-reflection and other people’s opinion, that I can be very stubborn, extremely talkative and, in combination with being obnoxious form time-to-time, become a massive pain in the ass. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about how I acted until it was pointed out to me that my behaviour was unpleasant for others. I merely saw all my characteristics as positive. Once pointed out I started noticing how others reacted when I behaved, in my eyes, ‘normally’. As I learned to ‘read the room’ a bit better, I noticed when I needed to town down (or accentuate) certain characteristics of myself. By constantly doing so, it feels as if all of my characteristics are positive, you just have to use them correctly. For example, being stubborn is usually seen as a negative thing, but by standing my ground I usually make sure my voice is heard in a matter. Being talkative, can seem annoying in the wrong scenario, yet a lot times my friends tell me to solve a matter accompanied with the phrase: ‘You’re so good at talking.’. Being obnoxious is one I find hard to spin into a positive light, but I remain certain that one day it will serve me good.

 

To wrap it up, whether you want to make resolutions focusing on acquiring new skills, improving existing ones or turning ‘negatives’ into ‘positives’, as long as it is for the greater good, and a especially, a greater self; the direction is correct. Here’s to a blissful 2018.

Charlie Brown

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