“Why is January so dangerous?”
Neil Gaiman just posed this question on , and the answers are fascinating. But what is more fascinating is the idea that January is a revelation. It is a beginning, a clean slate, a new year. And yet, if I were to think about it seriously, I would say that January reveals us to ourselves. It shows us who we are, what we want, and the things we love – but only if we really pay attention. Only if we are invested.
It is a box made of mirrors, reflecting and refracting the truth of our hearts. Sometimes, we surprise ourselves, finding that we love or want something or someone. That perhaps the plans for the future must change, or are changing. Perhaps we realize that we are so dangerously close to getting all the things we’ve ever wanted – and yet, we are afraid of just that. Because getting what you want/need can be scary. Sometimes, we think we don’t deserve it. Sometimes, we feel like the monster in the middle of a maze: horrid and undeserving. After all, if we weren’t – if we are worthy – then we wouldn’t be where we are, right?
You learn things in January. Unexpected things. And all at once, everything is different. It can be daunting, but there is no turning back. Not really. There’s only the truth of what you discovery and the bravery inherent in it. January is the foundation for the new year, a starting place – not a stopping place, like December. The things that gather aren’t dead, frozen, or ended. They are almost spring, they are just beginning. They are potential, wrapped in possibility. There is always a danger in it. Roads are slick with ice. The wind is a chilling creature. And yet, in the middle of the snow, you’ll find a Bluejay pecking at the ground. A pop of color against the absence of it.
That is January. All the beauty and all the danger of it. If it wasn’t dangerous in some way, it would also not be quite as true. All great things – inventions, hearts, loves, and art – have an element of peril. Everything created is a risk. A strength born of the most fragile of things. It is a vulnerability you dangle out into the world, expecting nothing while opening a door. The door has no lock. If there was lock, it is now broken. You cannot shut it out, again, whatever you have released. Whatever words you’ve said, you’ve said. Whatever words you’ve swallowed, they rise and churn. All things will out.
This is the promise made, when you realize exactly what you want. This is why January is so dangerous.