2018 is not your savior.
It is not a completely new, blank canvas, after all. You will carry over everything you had in 2017, good and bad. You are still you. Your insecurities, flaws, and fears will still exist. The toxic people in your life will still be there, as will all the problems, responsibilities, and other crap that you had to deal with in 2017 and before.
Trump will still be president. Hatred will still penetrate far too much of the population. There will still be racism, homophobia, sexism, and outrage. People will still get sick. People will still die. People will still be violent towards each other, kill each other, and judge each other.
So hoping that 2018 will be better does nothing, really. When the clocks flip from 11:59 to 12:00, it doesn’t change the world. We will not awaken to something new and better.
But what you can wake up to on Monday is the 2018 you. That is the part of the world that you can change.
If you’re hoping that 2018 will bring you happiness and opportunity, you have to do your part to make that happen. Step out of the rut. Work on yourself. Learn to identify toxic behaviors and people. Take risks. Get help. Fight.
If you are sitting and waiting for 2018 to drop happiness into your lap, it is going to be just as disappointing as every other year previous. If you have already decided to force yourself into the box that society has provided for you, you will still struggle to fit inside that not-you-shaped box. Open your mind. Figure out what’s important, what's really important, and again: fight for it.
You are still going to get hurt. You are still going to have setbacks. It is still going to be hard. You are still going to fail.
But that is not the fault of a 365 day period. That is life, and all are lessons that you needed to learn, or just part of the journey.
The time you spend fantasizing about how you “would be happy if…” is pointless. Be happy now. Find happy with what you have, while you work on the things that might take some time.
Life is short, and getting shorter all the time. Don’t wait for the what-ifs that might never come. Be the now you need to be happy.
We can all hope for a better world, someday. We can hope for peace and love, recovery and healing. We can hope for money and success and a break from hardships. But hope doesn’t always work out. All you can control is YOU, and how you deal with your reality.
So if your 2017 was shit, like mine was?
Throw out those expectations for 2018. It’s time to get to work.