Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The New Year's Kiss Superstition

Last New Years, an age of simplicity for me, I wrote a blog post about my writing resolutions. Nothing seemed more important than finishing my novel and banging out a blog post every now and then.

This year, my list has grown vast with all the complexities that a year makes:

At the beginning of 2011, I was teaching at one school,trying desperately to write a novel at night and performing at your occasional open mic. Easy right?

Now throw two more jobs, more freelance work, another novel and a full-fledged relationship into the mix.

Not so easy.

With all the stress of work, life’s ups & downs and other unexpected tribulations; things with your significant other can get sketchy. For a woman/man who desperately wants to change the dynamic of their trying union, the holidays and the New Year are everything.

There’s this silly superstition that a kiss for the New Years will set the tone of your relationship for the rest of the year. I have few friends who are looking forward to taking their boyfriend or random-sloppy-drunk-dude-they-just-met to an isolated corner for a midnight pucker upper. They’re convinced this will change their love life dynamic for the New Year. A co-worker even told me:

“There’s something about when the year comes to an end.Relationships take a turn for the worst in December. Everyone’s anxious about not completing their resolutions and is frustrated about how they will change for the upcoming month. The holidays change everything though. People get back to happy by January. It’s a cycle and I see it happen with plenty of couples every year.”

Not to diss my co-worker’s philosophy, but I don’t agree.

What’s with everyone believing that the issue you had at 11:59pm will dissipate by midnight?

If you had issues with your man/woman on Christmas, they’ll still be there on the sunrise of January 1st. Whether or not those problems are resolved, isn’t up to superstition. It’s entirely up to YOU.

I’ll take a page out of my personal book. (In fact, my boyfriend and I are planning on writing a joint blog post about this. Look forward to that.) Black women, and women in general, carry a lot of weight around. I’m not talking about our thighs and hips, but our emotional baggage.
I’ve had plenty of brothers lie and cheat on me and I’ve forgiven them. However, my suspicious nature sometimes carries over to the new party. Kind of like rollover minutes.

For the fall and some of winter, we haven’t fought fair.During arguments, I’ve brought up previous relationship incidents, which have nothing to do with him, to justify my behavior. He and I have also assumed one another’s reactions, before the situation plays out, based on past experiences.

None of this was healthy. During one of our final disagreements for the year, we came to a mutual notion. Holding onto the past was not allowing us to create our own memories. We decided that we would hold each other accountable through things we’d learned about one another, rather than through other partners. In doing so, we plotted how our communication will grow during the New Year and immediately started to enact it.

We didn’t do this post-kiss or the night before January 1st.We did it right there and then. We didn’t preface our commitments with “for the New Year…”, but chose to rectify our issues on the spot and carry them into the new era with us.

By doing so, WE controlled our destiny for 2012. No one else.

For all the women and men, who believe in new starts and do-overs, the power to change is buried beneath your internal butterflies. Don’t let birthday candles, a shooting star or a New Year’s kiss dependency get in the way of what you deserve.

Superstitions?

Only we can mend ourselves and our situations.

Super stitch that.

-riv-