A ramble on the New Year.

by Beth

I am currently sitting in our family living room, watching my dad watch the football, waiting for my mum, so I can begin the long slog of a journey back to Toronto. Having spent the past two weeks either asleep, or surrounded by my wonderful friends and family, my addled mind feels somewhat restored: I feel ready to tackle the new year, and the upcoming term. As such, my thoughts have inevitably wandered to New Year’s Resolutions. To be honest, the idea that January should be a ‘fresh start’ and a ‘clean slate’ doesn’t appeal to me. Surely we are all shaped by our past? There is no way to magically let go of decisions you’ve made in the previous year. Instead, therefore, of trying to make silly resolutions such as a sugar-free diet, or drinking obscene amounts of water daily, I’m going to try and see this new year as just another step in becoming more comfortable with myself. God that sounds pretentious. But with this interpretation of resolutions in mind, my aim for 2014 is this: to be kinder to myself. Having spent the majority of my life criticising everything from my academic work to my lunch choices to the shape of my feet -yes really- I have decided that now is the time take it easy. If I want to sleep in, I will sleep in. If I want a cookie before bed, I’ll have one. If I want to watch Netflix instead of writing an essay? Well, that will depend on how close the deadline is! But you get the gist of it- I just want to chill the hell out. 

With this as my vague goal, I am hoping I will have the courage to try more: to lose my nervous inhibitions, try new activities, go exploring, and to just say yes. 

Neil Gaiman -whose 2012 Commencement Speech at Philadelphia’s University of the Art is just bloody incredible*- sums up my thoughts for the upcoming year quite nicely: 

“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.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”**

 

Happy 2014! 

 

*watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plWexCID-kA

** http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2011/12/my-new-year-wish.html

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