A Poem for 2018
It’s New Year’s Eve.
With every firework you
are supposed to feel another drum beat
that hits your heart
and shames you into the revelation
that tomorrow you need to get fit
get whatever you think you need to get
to be good enough.
With Auld Lang Syne
you are meant to lament the passing of time.
Ideally wonder ‘what have I done with mine?’
Think ahead to what’s to come.
But I know you.
I know your name
I know your love and your pain.
I know every list you have ever made.
And I know that when the dawn of 2018 breaks
You will run a finger across the scratched ink
Of the things you want to do
And you will think of those that have come before;
Wry smiles at the time you reckoned ‘getting a boyfriend’ mattered more than anything
And the sadness that it was always followed by ‘lose weight’.
No matter what.
At all costs.
Even when it isn’t on that paper
It writhes in your mind.
When you thought for years in a row you would move out this year
When did resolutions become to do lists that drowned you?
When did Auld Lang Syne become the chant of shame
For never being enough
For the dresses too small, you too big?
Bags of material unstitched
Books unwritten, and you, in your mum’s house, hiding out
Having decided against dieting and boyfriends-
Favouring girlfriends and feminism,
What else is there to do but thumb next year’s list?
A better idea: sleep through the dreadful singing, give up on the pressure-
I promise you you will feel so much better.
Happy New Year.
This poem is one of those written more as a letter to myself than a poem! I often write for catharsis and this is a loud example of that. I also tend to write very honestly and don't filter much out; having 'get a boyfriend' was indeed a resolution of mine for a few years, and having been in a relationship with my girlfriend for almost 9 years, it makes me grin to think about how much life has changed! This poem is really a letter to my past self, telling her it's going to be ok, as well as a letter to present and future me telling me that...it's still ok, that there is no need to drown in pressure-filled resolutions and that dieting doesn’t solve anything, and that there is still time to do what I want to do.
I hope that it resonates with others too...as for the last stanza, I will most likely sleep through all of it and will be spending a bit of New Year's Eve writing down what I want to do this coming year and how to do that while remaining healthy mentally and physically!
How is New Year for you? What do you feel about it – are you celebrating in the usual way? Or an unusual way perhaps? Let us know your resolutions and reservations. We hope 2018 is amazing for you.