I know that at this point saying you don’t do New Year’s resolutions is almost as cliché as the resolutions themselves. But I usually feel that if you really want to change something, surely you don’t have to wait until the New Year to do it.

This year, I can suddenly understand the sense of renewal that a New Year gives people. The days only get lighter from now on, and spring in on the horizon. Though I know that a whole year can’t be perfect, there is plenty of that frightening word: potential.

This December was really difficult for me. The seemingly never-ending days of winter hit me like a tidal wave. On New Year’s Eve I felt dragged down by life. I hadn’t felt well in body or mind for a while. My brain, of course, sprinted to the worst thought—that I would feel this way forever. Unwell, half a person, stuck like I have been before. Fortunately, I had a party to go to.

A voice in my head just said fuck this and I put on my black dress and headed out, shaky but determined. I wasn’t planning to have “a good time,” but anything would be better than staying at home trapped with my bad feelings. The evening had potential.

When I got home in the early hours of the next morning, after kissing my friends at midnight and being walked home by a good guy and admiring the moon glow from a ramp in a skate park, I no longer felt that my life was (once again) falling apart at the seams. I was reminded of everything I did have, of things that had taken me so long to build up from a place of almost nothing.

I couldn’t sleep very well that night—too much blood pumping through my veins. But that meant I saw the first dawn of 2013, and as the sun spread a new light over the dead leaves and twigs of my garden I realised that you can’t make many plans. Life simply hands you stuff—things that you didn’t imagine or expect. It would do me good to remember this. My sort-of New Year’s resolution. ♦