The truth is hard to handle and delivering the truth is an art. Therefore I’ve made it my goal to let everything in 2016 go through purity, honesty and writing. I look forward to 2017 being a year where I wear my heart on my sleeve, and hope that you do too. A year where I forget about secrets, speak what I know, send reckless text messages and tell people that I love them or that I can’t believe they exist. I love being horribly straightforward, but often fear has stopped me from being so. 2017, I will live my life as straightforward as possible.
I’m going to stop apologising for all my soft. I won’t apologise because I miss you, or because I said it, or because I texted you first, or again. I think everyone spends too much time closing themselves off. I don’t want to be cool or to conform, I want to be honest. This brings me to 5 factors, and sometimes hurdles, in my life this past year – Education, Friendship, Social Life, Work and Connections.
Stressing through my final year of High School, I found myself often forgetting that education is supposed to be a tool to help me on my way to greatness, not the definition of how great I am. Constantly second guessing what I know, the final exams proved to find me in a state of self-doubt until we received our results. That’s when I looked back and realised every second I spent angry or upset or worried was a second of happiness I could never get back, and all for no reason.
“What’s the point in worrying about the future? Who says there will even be a future? What happens if you die tomorrow and all you ever did was sit in math classes and play the clarinet and moan about your family? What good is the future to you then?” – Dawn O’Porter
From worrying about the quality of my writing in advanced English, my skill as a performer in drama, or my marks in history, life has become immeasurably better when I stopped taking it so seriously. Although these exams were significant, there was no need to think about failure. Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo. I am learning everyday to be inspired by the space between where I am and where I want to be, instead of being terrified. Being everybody’s final year, it was clear to see that many people were concerned about their friendships lasting, drifting or changing. But, you know, that’s also the hardest part. “Growing without growing apart. Or changing without it scaring the other person.”
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
“There are 2 kinds of boring: the actual boring and friends, who are our favourite boring.” It took me a while to understand this quote but the meaning became quite simple to me. As long as we live, we will be looking for people with whom silence disappears. Eventually we may get bored of everything in our lives, and that’s why those we surround ourselves with are important. We are only going to be as good as the people we surround ourselves with, so be brave enough to let go of those who keep weighing you down.
Stop trying so hard for people who don’t care – straightforward and relatable, this is something I’ve learnt through experience this past year. “Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you even when you don’t see it yourself.” – Edmund Lee.
It wasn’t even after High School but two weeks prior the end that I felt one of my strongest friendships coming to an end. What I thought was being distanced and isolated from one of the closest people in my life, led to much stronger relationships and connections with others who are more true to not only themselves, but me. All endings are also beginnings, we just don’t know it at the time. That friendship went a bit rocky but “I forgive people but that doesn’t mean I accept their behaviour or trust them. I forgive them for me, so I can let go and move on with my life.” – Meg Jarvis
2016 allowed me to mentally disconnect myself from a few, to be able to grow and develop with people who I now realise are more compatible with my personality. With University and adulthood fast approaching, we have to accept the fact that things will change, people will leave, and life will go on. I’m a strong believer that whoever is meant to be in your life will be, regardless of how far they wander.
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel, or not to feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.” – Jim Morrison
I think it’s important to get away from where you’ve grown up for some of your life. One of my biggest passions, aside from writing, has always been travel. With limited opportunities to travel due to studying and saving up slowly, I’ve compiled a journal full of travel ideas and plans for when I’m ready. For now, I’m sticking with Sydney, close friends, and new ones. We all know how difficult it is to make plans with people due to such different lives, that has been one of the more stressful parts of visiting places and meeting up with friends during this long holiday break. Staying at home and doing the same things can bring us down, that’s why it’s important to change up our routine, even if others are busy. Make your life a story worth telling. I’ve been at work often, going out with my close friends here and there but there was a period of time that I spent at home not knowing what to do with myself for a while. I knew I had to change this.
This is when I took up the challenge of doing things just for me, going to the gym and looking after my well-being, starting a new book, a new TV series, going out to places on my own, and most of all, returning to writing. I began to live life again and I realised I didn’t need others to help make my day feel accomplished, I could do it all on my own. It’s amazing how when you start living your life again, you notice that the less you care, the happier you’ll be. Doing things for myself made me see how often I do go out on adventures with those that are close to me, how often I work and contribute to the world. Making plans helps you feel productive, so here are a few goals of mine for the next couple of weeks that could become your own:
- Visit secluded beaches (http://www.bestsydneywalks.com/secluded-beaches-sydney/)
- Slow dance on a rooftop (or somewhere epic).
- Go where you shouldn’t be.
- Explore abandoned places:
– The tunnels of Old Helensburgh Station
– St John’s Orphanage in Goulburn
- Go on a few coastal walks (http://concreteplayground.com/sydney/travel-leisure/leisure/the-ten-best-coastal-walks-in-sydney/)
- Visit an underwater cave (Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains).
- Learn how to ice skate better.
- Go to a bookstore and leave notes in your favourite books for future readers.
- Visit a psychic.
- Eat somewhere out of your budget.
- Go to a restaurant, order and eat dessert first.
- Buy lunch for a homeless person, or better yet, take them out to lunch.
- Go to a local shelter and walk the dogs.
- Give your honest opinion instead of a canned safe one.
I did worry that I wouldn’t have time to be able to complete even half of those things, but I don’t anymore. There is always time, and if it is truly important to me, I will make time and do it on my own if need be. The future is way too unknown to worry.
“There are 7 billion people on this planet who I have not met, and 195 countries I have not visited. Yet I am stuck in this insignificant town, being pressured into making decisions about my future when I barely even know who I am.”
Working at the cinemas has highly impacted my senior years at school and life in 2016 in general. Being someone who constantly watches Netflix, it’s the perfect casual job for me until I begin my own career after University. Having a job has made my life so much easier financially. It makes you feel independent, and it feels so good to be able pay for things on your own, instead of relying on your parents or others. Originally I believed work would make school more difficult, but it actually motivated me to stop procrastinating and allowed my time management skills to develop. Normally being someone who does procrastinate, it was those ‘inconvenient’ work shifts that actually pushed me towards greatness.
Lately I have been incredibly thankful for my job, not only because of getting paid, but because I realise it gives me something to do and think about. If it wasn’t for work, I would spend a lot of my time at home, and I know that would lead to making me feel unproductive and possibly even miserable. The connections made with people at work are quite different to any other, they are people we can relate to and often have similar life routines to as well. This is probably why we feel so close to a few that they end up touching our personal lives too. These are the relationships outside of my social circle that I find interesting and intend to keep for a while.
“You will be shocked, kids, when you discover how easy it is in life to part ways with people forever. That’s why, when you find someone you want to keep around, you do something about it.” – Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother
“Nothing haunts you like unexpressed feelings.” – Hedonist Poet
I wish people could just say how they really feel like ‘Hey I really miss you and constantly think about you’ or ‘Hi I’m in love with you’ or ‘Hey I don’t like it when you do that to me’ without sounding so desperate. It would save people the trouble if we were all painfully honest about how we feel, but I know that for me, having so much to say but being unable to say it has been my lifelong curse. While building connections with people in 2016, I’ve been building the courage to be more honest and straightforward about how I feel about them. Whether I like you, think you’re talented, annoying or quiet, I’ve began telling people how I feel and it has made life so much easier, for everyone. That’s why in 2017 I aim to continually build this honest and pure way of life, hopefully encouraging others to do the same. There will always be someone in our life that we fear to be completely honest towards, but with 2017 coming up, it’s time to be vulnerable.
“I think I fall in love a little bit with anyone who shows me their soul. The world is so guarded and fearful. I appreciate rawness so much.” – Emery Allen
To make 2017 much easier, calm and time-saving, I’m going to revert to John Mayer’s quote, “Just be f*cking honest about how you feel about people while you’re alive.” However, the reason I’ve left ‘Connections’ as the last factor in this post is because it will be one of the last things on my mind this following year. My education, friendships, social life and work are more significant in my life right now, I’m going to work on me. I love building connections with people but sometimes I get so far into my head, I forget anything else exists. I’ve recognised that we never really love anyone, but we love the idea we have of someone. “It’s our own concept – our own selves – that we love.” – Fernando Pessoa
“Honestly the best piece of advice I can give to younger girls trying to figure life out is to completely ignore men. I’m not being quirky or cute when I say that, I mean it seriously. Ignore men’s judgments of you, ignore their insincere compliments, ignore their half-assed romance. Focus on developing yourself. Practise your art, play sports, do theatre, volunteer, spend time with your friends, but do not put substantial effort into pleasing men. They’ll be there for you to pursue when the time comes and if you want to. But nothing will waste your youth more than fighting for male acceptance.”
It’s a beautiful thing to find someone who makes you forget your troubles, but don’t lose yourself because you found somebody. I read a blog post earlier this year (check it out here) and what has really stuck with me is the following:
“When you hold a man’s hand and he makes your heart beat faster and he makes you feel giddy and excited, walk away from this man. He is not the man for you. If you hold a man’s hand and he makes you feel warm, safe and secure, hold onto him. This is the man you are going to marry.”
I always resonate back to this point made in the post because I understand and agree with what’s being said. So while working on myself and my own life, when the time is right I believe eventually, hope will find us holding hands in backs of movie theatres.
Each year that follows, we are endlessly creating ourselves. 2016 has been a challenging year for most of us, and there is no doubt in my mind that 2017 will be a massive challenge either. Although with the experience and motivation we’ve gained, I think we can have enough courage to say, “bring it on 2017.” Let’s do this.