I’m a bit of an odd duck. I don’t celebrate the Gregorian calendar’s new year.

I am, in fact, so self-centric that I celebrate the new year on my new year – on my birthday. It’s conveniently close to the Gregorian version – January 15th. Every year, I have this two-week period of in-between, where everyone’s new years have started and mine is still on the way.

I also don’t make resolutions for the new year – I set goals. I started doing this as a teenager, asking myself the all-important question: “Next year, when you turn n years old, who do you want to be?” And so I would figure that out, and then determine my goals based on where I wanted to go with my self-cultivation. It’s turned out to be an incredibly useful way of passing the years, and I plan on continuing the tradition indefinitely.

With that in mind, I am welcoming the new year – a little early, of course, but that’s okay. I am looking ahead, questioning where I am and where I’m going, and playing connect-the-dots.

This year will be a red year. Last year was, as well, but I didn’t choose it, so it rode roughshod over me while I was trying to play by yellow’s rules; this year, I choose the red and all that comes with it. It’s the color of the mother’s fur, dark and rusty and brick-red. It is the color of hearth embers, the red you see behind your eyes. It’s a color with passion and power, fierceness and strength – it can protect the weak spots while they strengthen, the hurt places while they heal. It can stretch the scar tissue past the initial pain to regain functionality. It is independence without solitude, might without hostility, anger without malice, peace without vulnerability.

I am not a red person. I have been magnetized to red influences in my life, both as people and as concepts; myself, I am made of cooler colors and water, not brightness and fire. I understand, on an instinctual level, what I lack and what complements me. Much like the human body needs salt to survive but cannot create it, I need aspects of red to be balanced, but must seek it outside of myself and continually consume it.

This year will be about correcting my deficit of red and learning how to take action.

What will you do this year?

PS~ About half of this post is written in the language of me; I rely heavily on elemental and color symbolism. If something confuses you, please do ask and I’ll be more than happy to translate!