Now I know that I have been a terrible blogger as of the last six months; hell, this may be the last blog post that I ever write for all I know. But there is something about the New Year that brings all of us slack blogger types out of the woodwork. It makes as all a little melancholy, a little contemplative; ready to reassess our lives and make plans for the future.
I can’t stop thinking about who I was a year ago at this exact time. I was so naïve and so young. And so very unhappy. Despite the fact that I was in Europe with my love and my wonderful friends and family just a Skype call away (and we did indeed Skype many times), I was so dissatisfied with myself and my life. But on New Year’s Day I was feeling so positive. I had a little notebook filled with all of my resolutions and goals. Filled with all of the things I was going to change about my life and all of the things that I was going to change about myself. I was going to follow my dreams and finally make my way in the world.
But the year didn’t go as planned, and I was forced to grow up so incredibly quickly that I don’t even recognise the wide-eyed girl who had so many dazzling plans for the future. And I’m glad. I’m glad I don’t really resemble her anymore, because she had the completely wrong idea about life and what is important. She placed so much value on external things, on little golden achievements to hang on the wall and show off to others; on degrees and jobs and houses and the amount of friends on facebook and how many little hobbies she could accumulate.
Because while this year sucked, it is also the first time that I learned how to be truly happy. Ever since grandmamma died and dad got cancer- and especially after the surgery didn’t work and the new percentage being thrown around dropped down to 50%, I realised what is truly important. And it’s not what we do from 9 til 5. It’s not new possessions and it’s not seeming spectacular or interesting or anything other than the norm in other people’s eyes.
It’s how we spend the little time we have and who we spend it with. It’s the rainy days playing boardgames and drinking too many cocktails with family. It’s impromptu road trips and singstar sessions with lovely friends. It’s travelling the world and going on adventures and soaking up every single second of life, even the boring bits that we ALL have dotted throughout. It’s letting go of worry about things that are so unimportant in the big picture- like assignments or not having that dream job. Because compared to losing a family member, nothing else seems worth even one second of worrying thought.
It’s making sure to give your time to the important things: namely those that we love.
And it’s not only me that has undergone these changes. Since the diagnosis there has been a change in the entire family. My sister and mother are having waterfights in the house. My parents are holding hands and going to concerts and booking exciting overseas holidays. My family are closer than we have ever been- we are all taking more time for each other and trying new things together. We are, for the first time, taking the time and, more importantly, making the effort to be happy.
Because, like so many others, we used to simply postpone our happiness- ‘I’ll be happy when’ and ‘I’ll be happy if’. We forgot that if we just took a second to really look at what is beautiful in our lives now, that we actually had everything that we needed to be happy in the present.
So this year, unlike all of the others, I don’t have a long list of resolutions. I don’t have amazing goals or yearly plans or anything of the sort. The only resolution I have this year is to live- to live with my heart open and to take every second to appreciate the wonderful things that I have now, in the present. To be happy now, and not wait for the perfect conditions that will never arrive because they are forever changing and growing and moving further away.
And whoever you are, wherever you are, I wish with all of my heart that you too will enter this New Year with the same resolution. To not wait for everything to be in place before you allow yourself to be happy, but to be happy now, even with all of the imperfections that are a beautiful, messy, crazy part of life.
So here’s to the New Year and all of the happiness that it will hold.