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A New Year, A New Decade

Originally posted 22/01/20
People mingle as the joyous occasion is celebrated. Time ticks toward the new calendar day while the sound of drinks clinking together, laughter reverberating in the crowded area, and fireworks igniting the night sky in a dazzling throng of colours happens all at once. It’s that time of year where loved ones promise to show more affection and intimacy than the previous year. It’s that time where many people create resolutions, and reflect back on the past reminiscing of what once was.

Memories are a bizarre and wondrous thing, especially when reflecting on our past. As humans, it is in our nature to compartmentalise the events which shape and change us, the ones that truly define who we are today. For most people, the New Year is a time to look back and appreciate what you have now, but for others it may be something to ignore. It all depends on your perception.

For me, self reflection is a wide topic. I’m constantly changing what I want to do and move onto the next thing that life throws at me, regardless of if it’s lemons or rainbows. However, life has never been short of being boring for too long. Although some aspects do become mundane, I always strive to excel or better myself. Sometimes depression and self doubt can get in the way, but that’s natural. Everyone has their ups and downs. We’ve all had our fair share of that.

If you’d told me a year ago I would pursue a new career path, return to schooling, and try to create my own product to sell, I would’ve told you that sounded a little far-fetched. That there would be no way I would sacrifice a steady income and live a lot more on the edge of life’s knife. However, in a few short months of 2019, that’s exactly what I did.

Do I regret it? Not. One. Bit.

Sure, the first month or two was a little rocky since I didn’t have the foggiest idea of how to pursue what I wanted to do—what I truly wanted to do—but after taking a short break and internalising, I felt a change was needed. A big change. This led to researching more into the world of editing, and what the industry is like for a freelancer. I took up study again (which, to be fair, still feels very odd), and started freelancing through a site called Fiverr, which enabled me to slowly pick up clients and start a name for myself in this new adventure.

Now, why am I telling you all this?

I’ve decided that to be honest with myself, I must also be honest to those around me. With voicing my thoughts this way, I feel as though it’s a good way to track my progress while I continue onward down this unknown career path. Who knows what could happen?

However, after New Years Eve, something happened that I didn’t expect. My grandmother passed away on the morning of New Years Day. It was a bit surreal to hear that when waking up, but questions plagued my mind, wondering what was the cause of her passing. The last time I’d seen her was during Christmas, and although she was a little tired, she seemed to be lively and responsive. Hell, she even had a drink with me. I didn’t think that was too bad for an 86 year-old.

The one thing that resonated with me was the last conversation I had with her. Although we’d had our ups and downs every now and again, Nana told me how proud she was that I was pursing a new career path. She mentioned how much happier I was, and hoped everything would work out for me, knowing I could make it possible. As for myself, I always have my self-doubts, so being paranoid about my self-perception is my greatest weakness. Maybe someday that can turn into a strength?

Yet, on New Years Day when I’d received the news of her passing, it never really hit home. But once I’d heard of how she passed in her sleep, I felt that was the best thing for her, for anyone. Although her health had been up and down, I didn’t know at the time. It reminded me of how distant I’d been with her since I’d finished high school and coursework, keeping myself busy working for the sake of working to save as much money as I could. Unfortunately forgetfulness and determination can do that to a person. It can help make you forget who the important people in your life are, especially those you don’t see often.

Fast forwarding to the funeral, everyone who’d come from other towns and cities were sitting about, talking about the good times they had with Nana. Generations were communed to this one person, a person who’d not long passed. As I stood there observing, I reminded myself that emotions can be an unusual thing. It affects every individual in their own quirky way. Some people deal with loss by weeping to their hearts content, while others look at the positive side and remember the good memories, or others remain stoic unsure of how to act. As you could probably guess, I’m the latter.

But reminiscing the past does bring back an odd sense of awe, but logically, I know it’s gone. Something that used to be, but stays as a memory can be pulled into focus at any point of ones existence. Emotional attachments and responses linger on such things, like how particular songs remind the listener of one specific event in their life.

What is my point here you ask?

Seeing my extended family mourning our latest loss (and mind you, it’s been a long time since the family has had a loss), I was reminded of how much of an impact my Nana had on all the people she cared for and looked after. She’d celebrated with each person their most monumental events in life. She was a woman who took no shit from anyone and went through the hard yards, inspiring future generations of her family to do what they love. Although she was rather loud at times (especially at rowdy parties), her heart was always in the right place, always considering others before herself, striving to help shape what they wanted to become.

But when it came to me, I never truly knew what I wanted to do. Distractions provided an outlet to never ponder on the future. I had busied myself to the point where years had gone by when they felt like a few months. Only one thing made sense though, I wanted to create something.

There was always a strong urge to do that, and perhaps inspire people in some way along the line. Although I’d previously tried to work with digital photography, I felt this time I could make something of myself. I’m a different person to who I was ten years ago. Surely I had changed. When I’d pondered five years ago about what I could do creatively, I never thought I’d return to my first artistic passion that entered my life: writing.

When reflecting back to everything I’ve done in life, for the first time I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I told myself that to strive for something you have to do the hard yards, struggle, and survive to live another day. Forget about the negativity that swirls about inside your head. Fuck all the doubters and naysayers who tell you there’s no point. How are they to know unless you try? Hell, no one can predict the future. So here I am trying my best with the resources and know how that I have.

I learned from this sudden passing how life can stop in an instant. We only have one attempt at striving for new purposes and new hopes. This one thought inspired me to work even harder than before, to try my best at what I want to do. And if I fail, well, at least I can say I tried. But if I manage to make a living from this career shift, then isn’t that worth everything I’ve sacrificed to get this far in life? Isn’t it worth to be happier in life, doing what I really want to do?

If everything aligns properly, and I do manage to obtain consistent freelance work while considering myself a writer, then I guess I’ll be living the dream. It will take a lot of hours and hard work, but I’m willing to make the sacrifice. It is something I want.

And if I somehow achieve this, I thank you for being here reading this blog. And when you look back at this particular moment and find out I somehow did succeed, you too will know that dreams can come true. It’s not a fairy tale or misconception. It can happen. And it’s those stories that are what truly causes inspiration to stir within us all, to remind us that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.