Que Será, Será

In my first blog post, I’ve decided to focus on our constant struggle for improvement, mainly our desire to better ourselves. Some of us make promises at the start of a new year, oftentimes-unrealistic ones depending on our financial, personal, social, and/or political situations. It seems that for some of us, what we promise ourselves at the start is suppose to make the New Year better than the previous one. But, it seems that we rarely celebrate what we’ve accomplished.

For instance, I just returned from a short, holiday visit with my parents, where I spent a few lazy days (but somewhat productive in my head) considering some of my plans for the upcoming year: (1) lead a healthier lifestyle, (2) call my parents more often, (3) try to ignore the office politics, (4) limit my Internet and gaming time, and (5) tackle my work-to-do list with efficiency and enthusiasm. I followed the ritual of planning to improve myself for a better year, but I didn’t spend any time reflecting on my previous year’s accomplishments.

You’re probably wondering why this matters. Perhaps your list is longer and a lot more intensive, and perhaps you’ve celebrated your achievements. But, for those of us who stress about the future, I wonder why we do this to ourselves in the first place. And, why do we feel the need to write mental lists at the start of a new year? It seems that we spend a lot of time contemplating what we’ve done wrong, what we could’ve done, and what we should do. My list reflects what some might perceive as faults, deficiencies, negative and/or obtrusive practices. Yet, I’ve managed to neglect all of the positive actions and outcomes, such as having built new friendships and strengthened existing relationships.

Why do some of us always worry about the future? Why do we fail to recognize the goals that we’ve met? There’s a song covered by Otis Heat called, “Que Será, Será,” which means, “What will be, will be.” Maybe some of us should stop worrying and make that our New Year’s resolution: “What will be, will be.”

** Otis Heat covering “Que Será, Será” at the Emerald of Siam in Richland, WA **

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Vanessa Cozza

Vanessa Cozza

Originally from the Philadelphia area, I studied at Bowling Green State University in Ohio where I earned my PhD in Rhetoric & Writing. An assistant professor position at Washington State University Tri-Cities (WSUTC) led me to move farther west. At WSUTC, I teach first-year writing and advanced rhetoric and writing courses. Although I have a variety of research interests, currently I’m examining the literacy practices of public street artists and murals, including graffiti and photography. Specifically, I’m looking at how this type of visual rhetoric tells a history, addresses political controversies, and makes art more accessible to a broader audience. Aside from academia, I also spend a lot of my free time crossfitting, sous cheffing, and couch potatoing.

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  • Suzy Garza Higley

    I agree. i do not make resolutions anymore. i just live and keep trying to do better. 🙂 if i do anything with a ‘resolution’ type feeling this year, it will be to find time to do things that help me remember who i was before i was a grown up with responsibilities. i plan to start yoga and take some art classes this year…just for fun.

  • Becca Lingley

    I hear you. I’m great at setting goals for myself, and for analyzing the things I didn’t accomplish. I’m not very good at all for celebrating my successes, no matter how big or small. Thanks for the reminder that we deserve to celebrate our successes when we’re reflecting.

  • Sara Taylor

    I used to steel myself against positive comparisons of myself vs. my past; like, “look how far you’ve come.” I didn’t want my biggest accomplishment to be moving beyond the cesspool of terrible decisions and resulting circumstances of my youth.
    There is merit, though, in looking back (as long as you don’t do it perpetually). Being able to say, “hey, I did that!” is a luxury I should allow myself.