by Veronica Louis

Veronica Louis Portrait with a Pink ShirtToday I turn 32.

As Fun once sang, “Tonight… We are young.” We cannot prevent the fleeting time from escaping our futile grasps, but we can control how we are within. And by Jove, if we feel young, we are young.

For me the New Year always sweeps in a whole new added year of wisdom as my birthday follows it a few days later. It’s almost always a time of reflection, a time to gauge what chapter I’m in, in the story that is my life.

A couple of years ago, turning 30 seemed like an epic event. “30,” I thought, “The beginning of the end.” As it turns out, it wasn’t the end. And as I have comfortably settled into my thirties, I look forward to a year where I’m writing the next exciting chapter in my life… a couple of plot twists, a build-up with rewarding results, a lovely denouement.

The State of Me

What have I absorbed this past year? For what is living if we’re not continually learning, growing and evolving? I learned this: that what I thought I knew, I did not know. Or rather my ‘I can’t’ and ‘I won’t’ crumbled when I realized I could, and that I should. Because in reality all these ‘cants’ and ‘wonts’ are often self-imposed mental prisons that corner us in a never-ending abyss of doubt.

The results were liberating! A whole paradigm shift took place. I started wondering what other negations stemmed from the habit of repetition as opposed to somewhere true inside. As Chet Baker once sang, “Do it the hard way and it’s easy sailing.” Saying ‘yes’ instead of an automatic ‘no’ may be hard, but it’s worth it.

The State of the World

While I was doing well inside, the world was falling apart. The pillaging and rapes, the kidnappings, the epidemics, the beheadings, the wars, the disappearing planes, the authoritarian brutality… If our planet had feelings, it would suffocate from all the inhumanity. Sometimes I got angry, sometimes I cried, sometimes I was in awe at the sheer severity of injustice. Why were we so inhumane to each other? As the Black Eyed Peas once sang, “Where is the love?”

They say apathy is boring, but maybe sometimes it’d almost be a blessing to be apathetic as to go on in this world, blindly, not really having to stomach all the cruelty. But truth is, what goes on in the world, affects us all in one way or another. We are all connected. The state of the world cannot be ignored.

For 2015, it would be nice to witness a year where we are kinder to each other, where one life equals one life. Those who spew violence do not see humans, but collateral damage. Every person, every life, every soul has a story, a history. There is no such thing as an expendable casualty. May we be kinder to ourselves in 2015. As Michael Jackson once sang, “Heal the world, make it a better place.”

And as for me, I hope this year is filled with more ‘why nots’, ‘I cans’, and ‘I wills.’

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