What’s more radical or more progressive? Rejecting the New Year’s resolution or unabashedly embracing it? The black and white of the choice is probably what makes the question unanswerable. I opt for bits of myself that I want to tinker and things that I’d like to make space for.
Two years ago I took many mirror selfies, first as a joke and later as a study. I wrote about it here, if you’d like to read about it.
As I was thinking about the whittling away of 2017, I turned to the mirror again. It is a place of self-study, many would say of vanity or deprecation, but all in all it’s a space for study. I thought to look back on what has happened and to look forward on what will be, I will revisit the mirror.
I would like to look frankly at myself this year, to see a clear picture of many angles. But this would be to use my self-reflection only as a dagger, a threat of my own making. With frank acceptance of what is before me, I could be a gentle too. I could include a kindness towards myself and what may become smoother, harsher, better, or lapsed.
2017 was not an easy year, but I heard the same sort of sentiment from many people. Instead of resolutions and goals, which I believe we should have, should cultivate, and should aspire to fulfill, perhaps we can take an extra moment to look at ourselves on the daily, the weekly, or whenever possible.
To stare ourselves in the eye and twist our heads in the light of the window to see how the colors of our irises are as variant as we often feel we are. To know ourselves and allow it to be so.
As I’ve said in my mirror selfie essay, if you will, earlier linked: you never truly see yourself. It is the condition of a mirror and, even, of a camera lens. So in self-reflection, even in a literal sense before the mirror, we do not see ourselves. When I look in the mirror I try to remember this, remember that the information I receive is biased, flawed, and of one single panel at a time. I have to constantly reshift and rearrange what I think I know.
Could someone invent a mirror with cubist tendencies? So that I may see all of myself as one? If only. But life’s pleasure is in understanding yourself, isn’t it?
This is a year of arms wrapped around myself (and here’s to a lifetime habit of the same) and a year of careful study of oneself.
Let’s revisit the mirror with raised eyebrows and a healthy skepticism. Above all, let’s revisit the mirror with arms open, ready to embrace the image and wherever it is in the process of being.
But we are doing some new things here! I want to send you letters every month, something easy and something pleasant. Sign up here and I’ll send you your first one in February.
Bisous et bonne année,