Happy New Year!
It’s me, back from the seemingly-endless abyss to grace your computer screens (or mobile/tablet, I don’t discriminate) with my witty, fire-fuelled repertoire (lol).
If you’ve been here for a long time, you probably know that New Year’s is kind of a special time on this blog. It’s a time of rebirth, almost – it’s like every time the clock strikes January 1st (okay, technically clocks don’t tell the date – but let’s just pretend for a second), my blog ‘reincarnates’ itself into some new type of blog-form – which is pretty much always a rapid succession of like 10 posts in a month, followed by a few sporadic posts in summer and a kinda half-hearted apology by November. Well, this year’s going to be different (new year, new me – am i right?)
Before I get onto the whole ‘2017’ thing – I thought that I would take a (not-so) pleasant trip down memory lane to 1st January 2016 (wow, that’s so long ago) to see what my naive, 14 year old self thought 2016 would turn out like. Let’s see…
It’s Tolu, returning from the abyss for the first time in 1236473 (well, more like 4, but still) months.
I’m not going to lie here, I honestly find it hilarious that I’ve managed to use the phrase ‘returning from the abyss’ at least twice this year. I guess some things never change… Anyway, here’s the basic message of the last post:
Maybe you didn’t complete all, or even any of the things you wanted to do last year – I, for one, can say that I identify with this. But don’t look upon 2015 as a failure – look at 2016 as an opportunity. An opportunity to take up painting. An opportunity to collect stamps. An opportunity to do anything you want to do.
Guys, I read the rest of this post – and I almost cried (read the rest of the post here) Little did I know it then, but it’s actually pretty inspirational. Okay, so maybe I didn’t follow the advice to its greatest extent in 2016. But that’s just the beauty of words – as easily as they can be written, they can be changed.
‘2016’ is never set in stone – it could easily become 2017, 2018 or even 2019. The point is that it’s never too late to give up on a goal, or aspiration or target. Everyone (myself included) celebrates the passing of each year as something uniquely special – like the act of dates changing and throwing out old calendars is something inherently sacred – but the truth is, it’s not.
The coming of a new year means just that – the coming of a new year. All too often, people expect that merely the date changing from 2016 to 2017 is enough to kickstart their aspirations, or magically transform them into a kale-loving gym rat (me). But it’s simply not enough. Whilst the coming of a new year can be motivational for some people (a little kick up the bum can never hurt), it’s still true that it’s you who has to be the driving force behind your own destiny.
I admit, that at certain points, I have failed myself in these respects. There have been times where I have felt completely lost and fed up of this mind-numbing existence we call life; times where I have wanted nothing more than to curl up in a ball in some cozy corner and doze off for eternity. But while it’s nice to escape from the outside world a little, there always comes a time when we have to shake off the duvet covers and stand up to the big, bad world. To tell the truth, it’s okay not to be in control 100% of the time – or to not have your life figured out when everyone else around you seems to have their future set in stone. As long you keep fighting, you’re still in the game – and that’s all that counts.
I mean, there are times this year that I’ve wondered if the world itself has curled up in a fearful ball, lamenting the choices that we, as a population, have made. In June, I, being a simple-minded Briton – thought the only thing that could beset the year’s fortune was leaving the EU. I was wrong. After the election of a sexist, misogynistic, racist, xenophobic (the list goes on) fake-tanned rat to the presidency of probably the most important country in the world (he’s also known as Trump), the indescribable horror and suffering observed from the refugee crisis and the disgusting, inhumane acts of ISIS and other radicalised terrorist groups/individuals – not to mention the tragic deaths of some of the world’s most iconic legends (Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, George Michael, David Bowie to name a few…) – I can’t help but wonder how the earth isn’t cowering in some dirty corner, a shadow of its former self (maybe it is – who knows?)
You might’ve seen this coming – but perhaps the Earth is like a person too? Sure, we’ve had some major problems this year – yet we must prevail in some way or another, and dig our way out of the 6-foot hole we’ve dug for ourselves. I know we can do it. Why? Because it’s been done before – and it will continue to happen again, regardless of the subject: the Earth, a random person or otherwise.
On a more personal scale, 2016 has been a tough year for me too. Yet, I have a hardened sense of optimism – which, although seemed to completely disappear at times – has persisted until now, and hopefully will continue to persist into the future. I can see the challenges stretched out ahead of me for this year like an long, endless road: mocks, turning 16, GCSEs, summer, sixth form… If I think about it all at the same time, my eyes go sort of blurry and my head starts to hurt. But hey, soon it’ll be January 1st 2017 and I’ll be wondering – ‘how the hell did we make it through that year?’ again.
2016, you’ve been good to me. 2017: bring it on.