This past weekend, my son said it didn’t feel like 2020 yet. He was going to give it another week or so to sink in. 
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And just yesterday, a friend told me that she spends the whole month of January reflecting on the past year and planning for the year ahead. The whole month. S L O W.

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Neither of these people in my life were trying to become *new.* They were simply feeling it.
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What if each day got to be a new beginning? What would it feel like to actually celebrate the small wins?
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Here’s one: My dad is 90. When we ask him how he’s doing, he replies, “I woke up this morning, so I’d say pretty good.”
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When I was younger, I was on constant alert for the BIG win. If, say, my teacher gave me positive comments on my poetry, I wanted this to translate into POETRY PRIZE, FIRST PLACE. Otherwise, it didn’t count.
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HALT!
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As I’m writing this, I’m catching myself in a lie. I still grapple with this very thing. Here’s what I wrote on social media the other day:
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“Sometimes, I feel like I’m screaming into an empty room when I post on social media. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. 

We all want to be seen. We all want to be heard. We want to belong AND be significant.

I wish you all a million followers, 1000 true fans, and at least 1 bonafide best friend and soulmate.

May we all feel like we are chosen beloveds.”

www.instagram.com/hollyholtwrites

Yes, my words tapped into the isolation and loneliness of this modern world. I was certainly reaching out, but truth be told, I also wanted the modern American internet dream. 
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I wanted B I G. Gold star. Prom Queen. Nobel Prize. Pulitzer. One million followers. I wanted validation. I wanted to live the “new year, new you” dream.
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If I could start 2020 with more social media followers, I would suddenly be…what? No different. Same old me.
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But when I looked back on 2019, I realized that there were so many small moments worth celebrating.

  • I met wonderful new friends and students.
  • I kept chipping away on the second draft of my novel and helped others start theirs.
  • My family was blessed with three new members of our household.
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There was that one time I laughed with my husband and son about some silly thing. That other time a friend texted me just when I needed it. That other time I woke up and the sun was shining after three days of gloomy clouds.
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None of these small moments made me a new person, but they made me a grateful one. When I took the time to NOTICE, when I traded in BIG for SLOW, something shifted. 
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Maybe that’s all it takes to become new. Small shifts.
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Let’s forget about becoming *new* people. We just need to be ourselves, together. 
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Wishing you a year of small shifts, tender moments, and big gratitude for the little things. 
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With love and support,

Holly

New Year, New You? Not So Fast.

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