By Ali Vicknair 

 When this time of the year rolls around, one of the most talked about topics is renewal. The phrase “New Year, new me,” is a cliché spewing out of the mouths of many, and although it sounds nice on paper, actually enforcing the vision is much more challenging. Many people use the month of January as a goal starter while finding inspiration in the idea of recreating their lifestyle and reforming old habits. While there are many people who easily find inspiration in seeking body changes, finding a cleaner diet, or simply wanting to alter their look, happiness outweighs the temporary joy resting in physical appearances. Mental health is something many struggle to speak about, yet it is one of the most vital parts of steadily growing as a person. In this day and age, the media portrays merriment in a form of bodily beauty which is utterly wrong and cynical on so many levels. Picture this: It’s early in the morning on January first with the sun perfectly kissing each cheek of your half-asleep face. Since you’ve decided to start off your year with a refreshed mentality, you spring up out of bed the minute the alarm screeches your eardrums and didn’t press snooze four times like you usually do. You feel proud of yourself, but find yourself thinking about how nice those extra five minutes would’ve been as you take your morning stroll around the block. You continue these honorable decisions of waking up early for most of the month, yet after being three weeks in, your bed just seems all too cozy to get out of, and you “will just work extra hard tomorrow.” The ultimate issue with directly using the New Year as a way to change your entire being, is that we begin forgetting every single morning we awake with life, we are granted a new and fair chance at greatness. There is a very misunderstood message behind the idea of change. Many like to conclude that change is only granted to those who are commendable individuals; however, there is never a point in life that one is too far from turning back and choosing the path of righteousness. Making for a much greater story, many big platforms use the tales that are entertaining rather than the raw and authentic accounts of genuine hardships that are overcome through life experiences and gained wisdom. Humans are reactive. If you give them a reason to rise above the circumstance’s life grants them, they will seek out a way, and find an underlying message in the midst of their misery. There are beautiful pictures painted in the creases and cracks of pain, and if one looks close enough, even the most crooked human being can be viewed in a certain light, appearing a masterpiece. It’s all about perception.