“So, have you got any New Year’s resolutions?”
I paused for a second, letting the question linger in the air unanswered. Did I have any? What were my plans for 2016?
I’ve never really been one to carve resolutions in stone. I don’t tend to hold myself accountable to one specific thing; in short, you won’t find me dieting intensely for the month of January before succumbing to a coma inducing cheese-fest on February 1st. I find it near enough impossible to force myself to act in a way that doesn’t feel 100% natural to me. Whether that’s a good thing or not, it’s just the way it is.
What I do want to do, what I need to do, is look back over the time passed. To see the areas in my life I have flourished, the ways in which I have developed as a person and gained my happiness, and set goals to keep pushing that forward.
To keep growing. To keep becoming.
2015 was the year of feeling the fear and doing it anyway. It was the year I truly settled into my life in Florence before taking an even bigger step with a move to Australia. The year I made friends for life. Where I met my tribe. The year I saw and experienced things I could have only ever dreamt of.
It was also the year I began to accept the deeply rooted scars I had tried tirelessly to avoid. The year I finally uttered the words I had been so terrified to say aloud. The year I fully understood the memories of my past that had impacted my present.
When I take myself back to that first day of 2015 and the reflections I was faced with from the 12 months previous, I cannot believe how much I have achieved. How much I have learnt about myself and the world around me.
And for that I am proud. I am so incredibly, gut-wrenchingly proud.
At the beginning of 2015, I was teetering at the very start of my journey. I was still allowing myself to be controlled by heart-ache, constantly giving in to its vicious hand. I was unsure of my path, still so new to this endeavour as an expat… or, rather, as a digital nomad.
I threw myself in to the next 9 months in Italy, and devoured every single moment with the eagerest of eyes.
And it was frightening. Thrillingly, uncontrollably frightening.
Every single day was a new challenge. On countless occasions I found myself lost and (in my own mind) incredibly alone.
But that fear? That fear kept driving me forward.
Because feeling the fear is the way we learn to survive. More than survive. Thrive.
Now, four months into my Australian tale, I find myself on the cusp of an even bigger adventure. Something that will push my boundaries to their very brink. Of trepidation. Of discovery.
And I find myself asking: so what is 2016?
2016 will be the year of giving in to my passion. It will be the year I finally give writing, personal writing, the time it deserves with a prominent place in my life. When I finish The Book (the reason I have been less present on the blog, and of which I am now two thirds of the way through) and continue exploring the realms of poetry. Where this blog becomes my main form of documentation for my journey… and that means a step away from social media and the 140 characters it provides.
It will also be the year of Finding. Finding new cultures. New experiences. Myself.
It will be a year of big change, in all aspects of my life.
And whilst I am looking ahead at the way I want to carry out these next 12 months, for the first time I am truly focusing on the present. I am pushing the nagging thoughts of “What next?” “What if?” and “How?” out of my head and simply thinking “Just do it.”
It’s thrilling, terrifying and confusing all rolled into one.
But… it just feels right.
So here’s to 2016. May you rock my world as much as your predecessor.