2017 is finally here.

After one of the most unpleasant years ever, we’ve finally endured into the next one.  We can breathe easy knowing that the beast of 2016 is dead.  2017 is a clean slate, a new start, an open road.

I’ve never cared for that mindset.

I’ve never believed in the idea of a “clean slate.”  Not because I think it’s naive, but because I think it’s ineffective.  It gives one too much leeway to make the same mistakes they made in the last year, as well as causing one to  forget their mistakes, rather than learn from them.

I understand the desire for a clean start.  It’s open, free, you can make new, better decisions, you can shape your life in a new, better way.  The problem with this line of thinking is that in order to grow, there has to be a foundation.  Creating a clean slate extricates that foundation.  There’s no stepping off point, no reference for future decisions.  You’re doing everything based off of a sense of hope, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, there’s more to leading a good life than a sense of hope.

I support the desire for positive change, I just believe that trying to start fresh isn’t wise.  I think taking the poor decisions and mistakes from your previous life, reflecting on them, and moving forward is a far better solution than simply pushing it all away and attempting to simply move without those memories.  I know from experience that starting fresh is a misnomer.  What you’re really doing is ignoring the past in the hope that the future will better.  A better future is up to you, not to chance, not to luck.  You decide how your future will turn out, no one else.

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