A community of optimists hosted by Melinda French Gates

Animation of a woman standing in front of a blank canvas, preparing to paint a still life portrait of a plant on a table. by Libby VanderPloeg
Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg


A Note from Melinda

We put a lot of pressure on Januarys.

New years, we are often reminded, are an opportunity for a new start. We’re encouraged to take a hard look at ourselves and our habits and think about how we can do better.

While it’s nice to think that there’s some magic transformational power in the first days of a new year, the truth, of course, is that our personal journeys aren’t necessarily tied to a shared calendar. Maybe the new beginning that will change everything for you happened last fall. Maybe it will come later this spring. There may not be a champagne toast or a ball that drops at midnight, but these pivotal moments deserve to be recognized, too.

In that spirit, Evoke is starting the new decade by asking contributors to share how they’ve approached new beginnings in their own lives.

Happy new year.
Signature of Melinda Gates
Portrait of Melinda Gates
Melinda French Gates