Since we’re in the season of embracing a new year and all the possibilities that come along with it, I thought it would be a great time to bring this up. For quite some time, I’ve grappled with the idea of “new year, new you,” wondering if it was really worth the hype. Was I doing a disservice to myself by not adopting this mantra? Was Jan. 1 really supposed to mark some monumental change in my life? What about the other 364 days? Shouldn’t they count for something?
Truthfully, entering a new year always felt a little overwhelming. So, this year, I decided to focus my efforts on what I do best, and that was taking a good chunk of time to simply reflect upon. As I really started taking inventory of my days spent in 2018, I began to receive some clarity on those questions I left unanswered for so long.
2018 was an entangled web of beauty and chaos, heartbreak and love, and a million other little moments that have led me to the here and now. I started picking out moments from my year that molded and shaped me into a more resilient human being — the ones where needles stung me and hospital gowns clothed me, and even the ones that tested my strength. I began to recognize a pattern. All of these moments, the moments that completely stood out in my mind, created space for me to become a better person.
They didn’t extend an invitation to become someone new. They simply made room for growth. They showed me that the person going through those moments was enough to get through them. But the person who was going to emerge from the dark and onto the other side would be a better version of herself than she ever thought she would be.
That was when things began to click and I realized something profound. Why are we fed this idea of becoming a “new you” when the “you” that has come this far has clearly been doing something right? Shouldn’t we celebrate that as well?
When taking my own life into account, I realized the “me” that guided me to this exact moment was someone worth recognizing. Living with SMA has presented far more challenges than I have ever wanted to endure, but amid the chaos and unexpected turn of events I face every day, only one constant has truly remained. The “me” that has arrived at this new year and traveled through all years passed is more than enough to carry me through the next.
So, while the overhyped adage might be trying to tell me otherwise, I’ll be here celebrating the new year with the same me and anticipating all the growth that’s in store.
Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.