Practicing the Art of Tenderness: For the New Year, for Ourselves

Wake up, bright-eyed girl
The crisp, new air wants to kiss your cheeks
It’s changed overnight, don’t you know?

Draw your curtains to dawn’s early pastel invitation
As hope breaks the day, and past starts its slumber
Eternal sparkling “hello”, ever-rainbow northern light

Yes, time has turned
Ready for you to shake the morning,
dive into its perfect, powdery ground -
carefree when it melts in the fuzzy fold of your sleeve

But grace, dear girl
Let your steps be considered rather than counted
Paced in a rhythm only your’s to keep time to

For when you run out to meet the winter
she’ll introduce herself not as a boxes to be checked
but a space to be filled more fully by you


Each January, we greet the new year with welcome. With refresh and sentiment and sometimes a sighed hallelujah. No matter how we’d describe the three hundred days leading up to it, I think it’s safe to say we all enter this newness with hope. I think it’s also safe to say we quickly color it with a great, not-so-delicate expectation of ourselves.

Be it fitness or finances, instruments to learn or wrongs to right, margins to hit or mistakes to avoid - on just our first day, we start asking a lot of our next-year selves. And I get it - we’re ambitious. Our instincts say, “do everything”, and our theme song cheers, “change the world”. But how far can we get if we keep knocking ourselves down in the face of our own unrealistic standards?

Can we all agree to let the calloused hands we measure ourselves with soften their touch?

There is forgiveness to be discovered where two steps forward intersect with one stagnant. There is discipline to be gained by taking a deep breath and pressing on anyway. There is freedom to be found when we see another’s glowing stride and choose to not sink beneath the covers. Yes, comparison steals more than our joy, it strips our ability to honor individuality.

Your value cannot be quantified - especially not by the amount of resolutions you check off our list. It is infinite. Let’s greet this page-turn with a gentleness towards ourselves and a wholehearted intention. And when some days don’t always go as we hope - you know, as they tend to - let’s return to it with acceptance and inspiration. May we hold our ambitions, our worth, with Tenderness.

Artwork by Steph Renea

Hanna Snyder

Communications Director at Yellow Co.

Hanna is a graphic designer and writer in Los Angeles, and the Communications Director at Yellow Co. Any story well told - whether through design, words, art, or food stirs her. As a romantic about nearly everything, she believes what we bring to our world deserves to be beautiful. Her love is endlessly exploring new ways to express our truest self, and has been trying to figure out her curls since birth.