Happy New Year, friends!
Something about a change in year resonates for many as an opportunity to do better, try harder, to change, to grow, to make mistakes, to learn, and to look forward. I often fall short of my resolutions, but every year, I make them. Even if they signal the triumph of hope over experience, I embrace New Year’s resolutions, whatever their actual shelf life. The only failure is failing to try.
For some months now, I have left this blog unattended. Life has been somewhat tumultuous, but it’s a new year, and I hope to begin anew in sharing my reflections and thoughts on life as a woman, a Saudi, a third culture kid, an immigrant, a scholar, and whatever else I end up being this year.
Last year, I shared exactly one New Year’s resolution: “Be. Unapologetically. Myself”.
In some ways, being oneself comes the most naturally of any task, but in other ways, it takes the most work.
As Laura Riding put it in a letter to an 8-year-old girl, “To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
I have a few additional resolutions this year, like writing more and saying “yes” less, but that one remains, unwavering, in my yearly list. It is even more difficult for those who live in places where being oneself can have grave consequences. Being oneself can be dangerous, but being someone else is also dangerous for different reasons. Daily, I am grateful that I no longer live in such a place, and I feel that it is my duty to continue to be me in a world that often asks (or forces) us to do the opposite, my privilege to “never stop fighting” to be “nobody-but-myself”.
Whatever they might be, good luck to all of you who have resolutions and goals to steer you through the coming days, weeks, and months of the new year. May 2018 be your best year yet and, perhaps, even your most you year yet.