1/1/20

By Caden Shapiro

It’s a little cold at the moment in Dunedin, Florida. Then again, I feel for you if you’re in Toronto. 2020 just hit, and no one was more excited than the elderly lady next door. I got a little tired around 10:30 but rallied to check out some of the fireworks from our window. They were nice, but that lady got ahold of me in a conversation that kept ending right back where it started. I suppose the bottle of champagne she was clutching didn’t help the matter. Eventually I was able to get away and thought to jot down a few of my thoughts for the new year.

  1. Same Sh*t

C’mon now. Will tomorrow be the day you start hitting the gym? Start learning a new language? Work on a new project? Explore? If you were serious about it, you would’ve started already. And I hope that if the new year does bring new objectives, that these goals are those personal to you. I hope the goals are your own; while chasing these goals, think to build habits. Visualize reaching the finish line but acknowledge you must run the race first. Therefore, do not pursue results. Focus on what you can control. Master the controllable and you’ll look up and laugh, realizing you’ve already crossed the finish line.

  1. Life is for the Living

Do what makes you feel alive. At the end of the day, life is for the living! We’ll do our studying, our job, our chores, but in the end, we must let go. “The only path to serenity.” 

  1. Bigger Picture

If you’ve had History with Mr. Moon, then you might be familiar with this bit. Once a year, or after a discussion of mental health, Moon tells the story of a colleague during his time in Hong Kong. If I remember correctly, the man threw himself off a building.  “No one knew why,” Moon said, and attending the funeral was disturbing. He had so much ahead of him, he was so young, and yet he took his life. Moon describes returning to his apartment and just being stunned, the loss of life unexpected and startling. He adds, “fellas, if you need to talk to somebody, talk.” Nothing is more important than your mental health. Talk to a friend. Talk with your family. Reach out. Talk to your dog! I find this helps. The feedback is very positive and encouraging! In all seriousness, put aside your work and your studying. This stuff is essential. Deal with it first. 

  1. You

Spend some time with yourself. I think it’s tough, if not impossible, to find some level of contentedness without being at peace in your own company. You’ll be more present for the people in your life. There is something attractive and alluring about being in the presence of one who is at peace with oneself, a feat that is significantly harder to pull off if you are never alone. Knowing yourself is enlightenment. Spend some time on you. 

  1. Energy 

“No negative energy in 2020,” my sister said to me before another girl walked into our house. I rolled my eyes and attributed it to the delirium of no school and the available freedoms. But a friend walked through our door, one that Sierra had not been in contact with for over a year. She repaired the friendship that day — pretty cool. Okay, Sierra, no bad vibes in 2020! Reach out to someone. Rekindle a sour relationship. ‘Squash your beef.’ If there are none to revive or repair, do something to help someone else. You might find it even more meaningful to you. 

New Year’s serves as an acknowledgment to the passage of time; ultimately, we make a celebration of it. Celebrate, sure, but reflect. Utilize this marker of time — New Year’s — for reflection. In 2020, I hope we fail. “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” I hope we learn, and I hope we succeed. I hope for the abolishment of June exams and the reintegration of Moses into assembly. Yes, if you’ve made it this far, you deserve that at least. All the best and Happy New Year, fellas!

If you want to become whole,

let yourself be partial.

If you want to become straight,

let yourself be crooked.

If you want to become full,

let yourself be empty.

If you want to be reborn,

let yourself die.

If you want to be given everything,

give everything up.

– Lao-Tzu