Taking stock in 2017

Taking stock in 2017

For me, heralding a new year in January has never been a time for renewal, new beginnings or serious resolutions. That happens on my birthday in July and sometimes in September which always feels like the beginning of something new (new school year, new job etc). January marks the half way mark and measures progress against promises. In 2016 my promise was to follow my instinct, be brave and be who I am.

I think that was pretty ambitious and over the past 6 months I have faltered, doubted and hidden but that’s okay – it's all part of the journey.

What is delightful and more important is that I have done right by the promise more often. Making decisions has become easy because the answer always seems so obvious and my instincts have been right. This is very reassuring. Being brave and being who I am has been much harder but I am also doing so much better than I was 6 months ago. It strikes me that, what I have learnt most about myself through all of this is that it’s not all about me. To expand on this, I have to take you back a few years.

During university, I realised that I had to fight for my future because nobody else would. And so I began the never ending journey of building the blocks that form the structure of my life. I did what was right for me, voted for the party that best represented my interests, bought the cheapest clothes and generally followed a self-centred approach. I believe we can be excused from being lambasted as "selfish" during our 20's because we probably don't have major responsibilities to others and so we become our most prescient responsibility. Furthermore, I believe we should grab this opportunity and make the most of it because it only gets harder and more complicated to put yourself first. 

Now in my late 20's, I can feel the cogs turning and my world view changing to look outwards and recognise the suffering of others more. There are great injustices in the world that have been right in front of me all this time. I feel compelled to do something and to help and it's become agonising and absolutely impossible to ignore. My own trials and tribulations pale in comparison and I search for meaning in things that are greater than myself. 

Back to new years eve and it's a mixed bag of emotion because I can't deny that I have had a great year but it's hard to ignore that it's been a terrible year for many. I saw this clip and it reminded me of all the things that went down in 2016...

The man who slept through 2016

On another note, The Sound of Music is one of my favourite films and I think the lyrics to one of the songs is quite fitting at this time:

(Rolf)

You wait little girl

On an empty stage

For fate to turn the light on.

Your life little girl

is an empty page

that men will want to write on.

You are 16 going on 17,

Baby its time to think.

Better beware

Be canny and careful

Baby you're on the brink.

You are 16 going on 17,

Fellows will fall in line.

Eager young lads

And grueways and cads

Will offer you fruit and wine.

Totally unprepared are you

To face a world of men

Timid and shy and scared are you

Of things beyond your ken.

You need someone

Older and wiser

Telling you what to do

I am 17 going on 18

I'll take care of you

(Leisl)

I am 16 going on 17

I know that i'm naive

Fellows I meet may tell me I'm sweet

And willingly I believe

I am 16 going on 17 innocent as a rose.

Bachelor dandies

Drinkers of brandies

What do I know of those.

Totally unprepared am I

To face a world of men

Timid and shy and scared am I

Of things beyond my ken.

I need someone

Older and wiser

Telling me what to do

You are 17 going on 18

I'll depend on you.

#Month 6: Quitting fast fashion - a 12 month challenge

#Month 6: Quitting fast fashion - a 12 month challenge

Christmas these days

Christmas these days