noun [ C or U ]
UK /ˌɪt.ərˈeɪ.ʃən/ US /ˌɪt̬.əˈreɪ.ʃən/
the process of doing something again and again, usually to improve it, or one of the times you do it.
In 2022, I got into TikTok.
Not as a creator, only as a consumer. I enjoy its casualness and hilarity.
I saw a blast from the past come up there in the form of Victoria Beckham and Dane Bowers’ space-inspired, dance-bop Out Of Your Mind. Ah, the year 2000. When autotune became a genre in its own right, music videos were still a thing, and God forbid any song that could be construed as falling under the “urban” category, not have an Audi TT featuring heavily in it.
The word iteration followed me around in the last couple of months of 2022, as the end of the year approached and contemplation of the things ahead in the next arose. Rather than resolutions or even words of the year, I am keeping the word iteration close by, as I remind myself at this time of year that each year isn’t necessarily a self-contained chapter, but a continuation.
Yes, it’s a New Year, but I am but an updated iteration of the same person I have been, with 365 days more experience than when I was last here.
We need all the past versions of the people we have been. We need that knowledge and those happenings to become the next version of who we might be. No skipping, no wiping of slates. If 2022 was a particularly crud-filled year, I can see the temptation to put a hard close on it, but we needed those experiences and that information to be able to come to that conclusion in the first place.
I don’t have a word for the year. I didn’t last year either. But even when I have come across words that have felt important each year, I haven’t disregarded them on December 31st. Instead, I find myself gathering them up and forming a sort of compendium of words exclusively for my life. Ones that I can call on any time I need them.
Last years were soft and open, but rather than leave them in 2022, I’m bringing them into this next iteration of who I’m becoming. Especially as I didn’t have them at the start of 2022. I don’t feel like I’ve had the chance to get all of the juicy flesh, knowing and lessons out of them yet.
A year is a long time, and personally - more and more often, a word of the year feels like something I’m moored to, rather than guided by. It also can end up feeling like something else to feel guilty about when I have forgotten what it was by April. Soft and open came to me the further I travelled into the year - emerging only once I recognised that I’d already been living them for a while.
So that’s how I’ll progress and travel down my road. By building on, not starting fresh each year. Who even has time for that anyway? Do you know how hard some of these lessons have been to come by? For me to wipe the slate clean, and along with it, all that toil? I think not.
And if Victoria Beckham can come out of the other side of that Out of Your Mind moment into the slick fashion house maven we know her to be today, we can all take comfort in knowing that we have many more iterations of ourselves to come. We’re living these moments and carrying the lessons from the iterations of the past, exactly so we can become what’s next.
I don’t know about you, but this year - in what feels like a continuation from last year’s Summer of Fun - rather than goals, I simply want to get lost in living.
A continuation is definitely a healthier way of looking at it, otherwise I think we can crumble under our own expectations of January. I will definitely be trying to build on some foundations I laid last year, and not being hard on myself for not having skyscrapers already from those foundations, just because it's a New Year and I *should* have accomplished more by now. What rubbish...
"I simply want to get lost in living." THIS! And thanks for the vivid reminder of life in the early 00s! What a time it was to be alive!