Pacific Beach residents have wide variety of views on New Year’s resolutions

new year's resolutions
(nito /

With each new year comes the prospect of new opportunities, of self-reflection, of taking stock of one’s self and making the desired adjustments.

With the turn of the calendar, a kind of metamorphosis takes place as people the world over resolve to better themselves in a wide array of different capacities.

I set out one weekend in Pacific Beach to poll members of the community on their perspective about New Year’s resolutions. What I was able to pick up from candid conversations on the sun-drenched sidewalks was a patchwork of positive and encouraging outlooks for the year of 2022.

Strolling along the Ocean Front Walk, I met Zarina J (last name not given) and her dog Calvin, who had just marked a full month since they first moved to San Diego. Like many newcomers to the coastal community before her, she’s resolving to learn to surf, among other outdoor activities.

Pacific Beach resident Zarina J holding Calvin.
(Tyler Faurot)

“I usually don’t make resolutions only because I don’t tend to stick to them, which usually makes me feel worse about the whole thing,” she said. “But I think this one is going to stick this year. I think putting yourself out there with like-minded people is the best thing for it.”

Zarina said that in order to keep track of her progress and not bail on herself, she’s going to write things down in a journal to record her efforts.

“I’m optimistic about this new year, especially with the whole pandemic,” she said. “I know it’s still going on, but it feels like we’re turning over a new leaf and living a little more normally than we have the past two years. I’m usually pretty optimistic about new chapters, whether that’s a birthday or just a new day.”

Zarina said that staying happy when new challenges spring up is of the utmost importance to maintaining that optimism.

Just down the boardwalk from Zarina, jeweler Michael Medall was stationed at his pop-up shop for his company, The Wave Gods, selling handcrafted stone jewelry a rock’s throw from the pier.

Michael Medall
Michael Medall
(Tyler Faurot)

Medall’s infectious enthusiasm encouraged me to buy a lava rock bracelet accented with moonstone opalite, which is supposed to instill “stability and persistence in clear communication.” We ended up talking about the idea of resolutions, and he said that it’s something that he doesn’t wait for a new year to take upon himself.

“My 2022 resolution is to continue building this incredible family we’ve built at the Wave Gods, and to elevate myself as a jeweler and an artist,” Medall said. “But I set multiple resolutions throughout a year, sometimes each and every day as a chance for a new beginning.”

Medall said that by challenging himself a bit more each day to find a more authentic version of himself, he usually ends up having success, and a better year overall, as opposed to waiting an entire year to begin a new resolution. He said his goals for the Wave Gods are to see his jewelry in more boutiques and other retail settings.

The advice he would give to those trying to stick to their resolutions is to remember to be patient with themselves.

“As humans, we sometimes put expectations on ourselves higher than the world puts upon us, so it’s important to have compassion for yourself throughout the process,” Medall explained. “I think it makes the journey more enjoyable. The journey is the destination.”

On the way back to my car after pounding the pavement all afternoon, I happened upon Lucy W (last name not provided) as she was chasing after one of the neighborhood cats to try and pet him. I asked her about the idea of New Year’s resolutions, which sounds like a concept that she doesn’t agree with.

“There’s not a lot of holidays that are guilt-free,” Lucy said. “We should try to live every day, to be present in the moment. I think that’s something that’s very popular with young folks like you.”

Echoing the sentiment that Medall relayed to me, Lucy professed a resolve to be the best version of ourselves every day, instead of waiting for a holiday or a new calendar year.

“Do what you’re going to do, and do it now,” she said. “Every day will have new challenges, and just enjoy the moment. Pet a cat, if you can, eat some chocolate, and be kind to yourself and be kind to others.”

A little while later I was standing in line for a cheesesteak when someone behind me noticed my camera. I turned around and met musician and entrepreneur Evan, who goes by the stage name Apex Kato.

Musician Apex Kato
Musician Apex Kato
(Tyler Faurot)

A transplant from Georgia, Evan (last name not provided) moved to Pacific Beach only a couple months ago, and was out and about on Garnet networking for his music and his multimedia production company 24 Frames, as well as his fashion company High Voltage.

“I try to be as versatile as I can, and do all things art,” he said.

Evan said he sees the new year as an opportunity to build on the accomplishments he’s already made in an effort to better himself.

“I want to take this next year to be really clean, to wake up early and go to the gym every day. I’m on that move, but the resolution is to really achieve the best version of myself. That’s where the ‘Apex’ in my name comes from, to be at the top of my game.”

From a colorful cast of strangers on the street, each with a unique but optimistic perspective, I was able to glean a bit of New Year’s wisdom. The efforts to be better don’t begin and end with the days on a calendar, but are instead a habitual cycle that will take time and patience. The best way to stick with them is to give yourself the space, whether personally or with others, and to go easy on yourself when things take a turn.