Just over a week into 2018 and I have resolutions on my mind…
If I’m being honest, making New Year’s resolutions has never really been my thing. This might have something to do with my tendency to avoid venturing outside my comfort zone; that anxiety has permeated throughout my short history of setting personal goals each January.
As such, for as long as I can remember, I spend most of each year seated on the sidelines of my own life. It isn’t always a horrible place to be; sometimes it allows for introspection and the kind of attentiveness not generally conducive for a life of flying by the seat of one’s pants. Other times, it feels as though I am watching people around me through a TV screen: I can see and hear them, but they can’t see or hear me. Then, during times when I feel brave enough to venture onto the playing field, I would more often than not apologize for being there; I’d make excuses for why I wasn’t better and try to justify my stake in the game.
After a rough year, where my anxieties have been forced into stark focus, I can finally see the person I want to be and the life I want to live and I will no longer accept it as something which cannot be.
Because there are so many things, big and small, I want to achieve.
Neil Gaiman’s “New Year Wish” from 2011 is just the reminder I needed:
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.
I already have and will continue to put myself out there in ways which previously terrified me because I felt I wasn’t good enough, that I would fail. Because it seemed too hard, too big, too menial, too arrogant, too too too too.
Now, I close my eyes and I see a future: simple and calm and fulfilling. There’s happiness, too, but I no longer feel like I require it — not in the way people often do, particularly young people who have yet to grow and evolve from necessary heartbreaks. I relish those heartbreaks, those tough times… without them I would not have the clarity I do now. Happiness will come, naturally, and with it: challenges and struggles.
I welcome both. I welcome all of it.
So cheers to a year of more mistakes in pursuit of a life where I both call the shots and run the plays.
(Image by Becky Jaffe)