All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
I find the ticking of the clock in my living room strangely comforting, even as it slices my existence into anthropocentric made-up units of time. People treat time as the enemy: it goes too fast when we are enjoying ourselves and too slowly when we want something over and done with. It changes our bodies in ways that we don’t want, we can’t control it, we can’t change it once it has happened, yet we can’t live without it.
“New Year, New Me” seems to be the annual war cry of the masses. It’s like everyone thinks they are going to regenerate at 00:00 1st January in their respective time zones. Either that or they will shed their skins like reptiles. That could get messy.
The thing is, what is wrong with the 2015 version of them? If you aren’t happy with yourself in one year how can you expect to appreciate yourself in the next?
Me, I don’t want to be anyone else, I don’t want to be a new version of myself but I also don’t want to stagnate. I can’t. Over time, I am shaped by experiences (and body chemistry). I have evolved into the person that is typing this today. That process won’t stop until I exhale for the last time. Even then, my components won’t entirely disappear – the energy and matter that is me will just become part of something else en masse. And we are all in the same situation.
Don’t get me wrong: there are plenty of things that I don’t like about myself which may or may not be in my control (and may be so interlinked that I will forever be trying to get to the end of the thread). I am the very last person who will say I am perfect. I am my own harshest critic – compounded by having a fantastically helpful anxiety disorder – but I do my best to be self-aware and mindful of my own head’s workings, as well as others, and I am actually getting better at it.
But.. it’s not something that will happen in the space of seconds and I’ll never be a new person and neither will you. It feels like our species is increasingly becoming accustomed to getting everything now. Maybe it’s better to play the long game, whilst appreciating that every single part of that journey is important, cherishing the good and leaving behind the bad as best we can.
Just a thought.