Issues and Challenges

New Year, New Resolutions

New Year resolutions are all about bringing a positive change in yourself, by learning from your mistakes and building on your achievements in the past year. 

New Year! What a beautiful time, isn’t it?  It is the time for hope, new beginnings, and time for making new resolutions. As 2021 was ending, I started working on my years old tradition of making New Year resolutions, just to forget them on 2nd of January. So, like every New Year, I made my resolutions, most important of which was to break the years old tradition of not working on them. Some of my resolutions are career oriented, some are beauty oriented, and some encompass the whole society. Yes, you read that right: the WHOLE SOCIETY, thanks to the saviour complex that I inherited from this society, which motivates me to help others and bring out the best in everyone and everything. It gets me thinking about my job, and how it is related to my last year’s resolution.

So, here is what comprises my resolutions for 2022 and what has already become of some of them. I set some goals for myself, one of which was to get enrolled for a Masters degree. I applied for it, got admitted and guess what? I decided not to get enrolled after all, following my years old tradition of not keeping my New Year resolutions. Well, this is how it was destined to be. Fortunately, I have a job in an organization, which works in low income community schools. I always try to give my best to my students, belonging to underprivileged families, giving them all the love they deserve. But I too need to be saved, from the petty staffroom discussions of how to treat back pain without having to see the doctor, how to have a smooth married life, how to treat diseases with home remedies, and how kitchen serves the purpose of a beauty parlour as well (use toothpaste to treat  a pimple, turmeric or tomatoes to remove a tan, leaving skin healthy and fresh, and many such cringe worthy beauty tips).
These beauty remedies bring me to another resolution of following a nighttime skincare routine, this year. I have come to realize that my smart life choices such as, leaving Masters without any reason, having such a healthy work environment, travelling by local transport of Islamabad and waiting for it under the beautiful, scorching sun have not done much harm to my skin. Only my forehead looks as dark as night, and the area around my chin is gradually changing from evening to night thanks to hyperpigmentation. I do not know if I should be thankful to COVID-19 or not, because the masks though saving me from tanning, have led to a break out on the area they cover. My cheeks look as bright as day and the stars on them, in form of pimples sparkle in daylight, enhancing my beauty. Pigmentation, pimples, black and white heads, clogged pores, and all the dead skin have added to my beauty. Before my skin gets any healthier, I have decided to follow a proper skincare regimen this year, and get silky smooth skin like that of a newborn. The purpose of emphasizing this is to clarify that, I do not endorse whitening creams and fully support the beautiful dusky complexion we Pakistanis have; people abroad love the dusky complexion, us brown people have and yet we decide to use whitening creams. This too is a part of my New Year resolutions: to normalize dark or dusky complexion in our society, which is too caught up in the gora complex.
While I am discussing healthy skin, I feel it’s only right to bring in the subject of healthy diet as well. My New Year resolution of maintaining a healthy diet in order to lose 6 kgs shows my consistency as I had the same goal the previous year. The only difference is that I was 54 kgs last year, and now I weigh 60 kgs. Rather than losing, I have gained 6 kgs. I believe one must look at the bright side that I have made a change of 6 kgs on the weight scale, so what if it is not less but more. Part of the resolution is also not to advise everyone to lose weight and give them diet plans, because not everyone is as concerned and consistent about their health as I am. Honestly, I also do not want to advise anyone to lose weight because I acknowledge it is not my place to tell them. I learnt this the hard way when an auntie criticized me at a derma clinic. I am not sure why she was there, because she was highly critical of spending money on the dermatologist. She told me to offer regular prayers, wake up early in the morning and stay in a state of wudu at all times, saying this would resolve all the skin problems I have. She could have written this prescription for her daughter and asked her to stay home rather than coming to the clinic with her but she probably thought helping me was more important. Her unwanted suggestions literally offended me, and I learnt that it is inappropriate to give advice when no one asks for it. I wish I could tell this to the auntie, but I preferred staying quiet. This year, I really want all the aunties not to tell us acne solutions and other skin remedies while sitting in derma clinics. I want them to understand the problems of this generation and support us. 
This brings me to the conclusion of my New Year resolutions. I wish, as a society we start to focus more on ourselves rather than telling others what to do or not to do. I hope our educational institutions decide to discuss more constructive topics like student learning, ways to enhance students’ mental growth, instead of discussing advantages of turmeric, and competency of desi remedies over science. ‘Grow and let others grow’ is my resolution of this year. HH

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