By Warsha Autar
Warning: This letter contains spoilers of the first episode of Deep Space Nine and the movie New Years Eve.
Dear No one,
The loud whooshing noises are deafening and the stars are dazzling. “For the love of Godiva, Don’t push that button!” I shout at my screen. Thankfully Bashir listens to my expert advice and doesn’t do it. Or maybe it was Dax’ choice to craft a device to stop the brainwashing. Either way, all is safe at the space station.
To avoid the cold I strongly recommend staying inside and watching reruns of your favourite tv shows whilst sipping on a hot beverage. My netflix show of choice, Deep Space Nine, is an old tv show from the Star Trek series. It follows the adventures of captain Sisko and his team during their stay on an intergalactic space station.
When watching the first episode of Deep Space Nine, I became intrigued by captain Sisko’s development during his adventure – he has to relive his past in order to move on from it. After the episode, I decided to watch some old holiday movies, and settled on New Year’s Eve (yep, the story in which everybody keeps talking about New Year’s resolutions). I’m not going to lie to you: I personally think that setting New Year’s resolutions is a big hoax.
Resolutions are meant as a way to demand yourself to do better. Normally, I’m all for setting goals, but in this case, it doesn’t sit well with me. The year hasn’t even begun and people are already making plans to drastically improve their lives. They vigorously start going to the gym, or stop swearing, or give up smoking and alcohol…. For a solid month.
Then they usually fall back into old habits again. New Year’s resolutions almost always end in stress and disappointment. Not only that, you tend to make these big, bold, life-changing promises, without honestly looking at and processing the things that have caused you to not reach these goals in the past year.
There was however a repeated theme in this particular movie that struck my interest. Moving on and letting go was often discussed by the main characters, just like the DS9 episode. I have already written about accepting and moving on from your horrible mistakes in the present and not being overwhelmed by the pressure of the inevitable future. One would assume that I have nothing more to write about time. There is however one part I left out: the past.
Whenever someone tells you a story about their past, they usually admit to their own flaws, or laugh uncomfortably when they recall their own inexperience. Granted, the stories people share tend to be the most shocking ones, and they might be a bit dramatized. However, the storytellers never fail to reassure you, by telling you that they aren’t the person they used to be.
I think that’s an insult to your past self. The poor thing didn’t know as much then as you do now. Disregarding this usually leads to making fun of yourself. Now don’t get me wrong, a little bit of humor and not taking yourself too seriously are great qualities to have, but you shouldn’t forget that the people we were have made us the person we are today.
What if, instead of condemning your younger self, you forgive him/ her?
What if, instead of making a list of resolutions you want your future self to achieve, you write a letter to your younger self? What if, instead of being ashamed of all that your younger self has done that year, you forgive and thank them?
I know this might sound strange, but bear with me. What if you write a letter to your younger self? Maybe about the lessons you’ve learned this past year in friendship, school/uni, your career, love, family. What if you could forgive your younger self for some mistakes, and thank him/her for the triumphs?
I’ve imagined writing something like this for a while now. A lot has happened this past year which has had a great effect on me. Some of them were amazing, others terrifying, but they made me the person I am today.
The thought of similar events happening to all the people around you is amazing, but the realization that nobody ever seems to stop and think about their own little piece of amazing, is baffling. Let’s try to remember ourselves as we used to be and to celebrate the person we have become.
Happy Holidays and a very happy new year.
p.s. If writing to commemorate your past year doesn’t work out, you can also just continue watching Netflix.