My New Year began in August. Before then I was waiting, whinging, getting anxious, getting restless. In August, I finally moved overseas and started building a life of my own creation. I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone, I was surprised, I was scared, I was drunk , I was foolish, I was embarrassed, I was down at times, but mostly I felt alive. How sad that seems like a success. But there is a big difference between being alive and feeling alive, doing things that make you feel excited and exuberant and glorious. The kind of humble glory, that comes not from a stadium of screaming fans, but from yourself. In my case, successfully buying the right shopping ingredients, amidst rows of foreign labels was a success. It’s that little inner triumph. Happiness. Why is that so difficult to find? Why did I have to cross oceans?
I think it’s because we’re prisoners to our own habits. Almost like the Stockholm syndrome, we find comfort in the familiar, even if the familiar is stopping us from being free. For me, moving overseas was the kick start I needed; a big change that helped me make those important, little changes. Stop working at a job I hated, stop stressing about assignments I didn’t care about, stop hanging out with people that brought me down, stop being lazy, stop getting by. It’s easy to find satisfaction and excitement and challenge in the new, but it doesn’t need to be such a big change as swapping countries. You can find new in the old; new ways of seeing things, of thinking about things, of doing things.It’s easy to write these ideals down, yet in reality, we all have habits that we know are bad for us or will make us feel like crap, but we do them anyway. It’s hard to say goodbye to patterns, but I don’t want my life to be a pattern. I don’t want to wake up feeling predictably numb or mediocre; I want to feel powerful.
When you start living the life you want or attempting to, you realise how many possibilities are out there. Nothing is that far out of reach. Rather than seeing all the countless pathways and unknowns as anxiety riddling, you can see it as promising, motivating. So this year, I want to feel powerful and I want to feel alive. I don’t want power over other people or power over the world, just over my own choices. This year I’m not going to waste another half year waiting, being a prisoner unto myself. This year I’m going to be alive (well hopefully if I survive New Years Eve!), but more significantly, I’m choosing to feel alive too. To live is a verb, we have to actively do it, to partake in it, to be overwhelmed by it. In 2016 I’m not going to tolerate my life, I’m going to live it.