On the 31st December 2018 I sat with my parents, basking in the afterglow of having just correctly identified Reverend Green as the heinous murderer, his second time that evening. There were only forty minutes left of the year, as usual I had conjured up zero plans for said evenings festivities and only by chance was I in the company of parents after their plans had sadly fallen through. We switched on Jools Hollands New Years Eve Hootenanny before duly flipping over to the New Years fireworks with five minutes to spare before the clock chimed in the New Year. The clock strikes midnight, up go the cheers, the warm well wishes for 2019, off go the fireworks on the Tv and in the neighbouring gardens too. We all smile cheerfully at one another. Another year gone.
In that moment my mind decides to compound the year, flying through it like a rollercoaster. Another year gone. What did you do? What did I do? It comes up empty. What happened? What did you do? You went on holiday to Greece, you saw a good friend get married, you witnessed your girlfriend forge a new path in life, you read more than you ever have, you ate some incredible food and some some so-so food, you had fantastic times with friends and family, forged new friendships, celebrated your mums 60th, had wonderful days out with Poppy, lounged in Greenwich park on those long summer days after work talking nonsense with the one you love. You tried things, had struggles, explored and discovered. Yet my mind continues to race and race and race, searching, what did you do? What did you achieve? Did you write your screenplay? No. How about your comic? No. Did you chase hard enough? Try hard enough? No. Why? What did you do? I know my parents are there, happy and smiling, I’m smiling with them but it feels like everything is piling high daring to crash in around me. Escape. Escape. Look to your phone. Hide. Escape. Social Media… This year I… Greatest year ever… Chase your dreams, I did… Escape.
2019. Twenty Nineteen. Two Thousand and Nineteen. This year you’ll be Twenty-Six. You start a new job in six days. In four months you need to move house. What do you want to do this year? Where do you want to go? What do you want to achieve? Or are you just going to move the goal posts again? Smiling. Happy. Escape. But it just twists and turns and loops back on itself, twisting and turning again carving new additional paths of thought. Another path, another idea, another dream, another failure? No. I don’t want to start my year like this. Christ. It’s just another month gone I don’t do this every month. Introspectively collapsing inside of myself, my mind spiralling, trying to calculate everything, trying to weigh it all up, measure it all out. Another year gone.
In three days I start a new job as Junior in my profession having risen from being an assistant for nearly two years. In four months I’ll be moving to a whole new part of London, where I don’t know but it’s completely my choice this time. I’m doing good and for the first tine in a long time I have actual savings. I’m not always fretting, financially. I have the support of a loving family and a beautiful girlfriend. Every year we all put so much pressure on the new year from finding something to do on it’s eve in order to say goodbye and celebrate the past 365 days to looking deeply ahead of ourselves trying to cram every dream and failure into the next proceeding 365 days. We plan and we stress and we feel invincible and scared and excited. It’s a lot. Compounding 730 days, measuring it all, evaluating it. Suddenly no matter what you do becomes something, doing nothing becomes something, being positive becomes a task, trying something automatically becomes a challenge. Why, all because it’s a minute past midnight on the 1st January.
We build it up,we expect so much and we want even more. Why? Because despite what we all may say or do we are all inherently positive as a race. We are dreamers and doers, we learn from mistakes, we judge ourselves hoping for better, we set markers to beat, we all do and I am certainly no different. I’ve already come up with a thousand ideas and torn them down, conjured another hundred ideals and goals adding with them a thousand fears. There is no shame in any of this though. There is no shame in being ambitious or fearing failure. There is no shame in achieving when others don’t and we shouldn’t be jealous or disheartened when others do. New Years is that time of year that is equal levels shitty and incredible. We fear, we loathe and we love it just as we do our birthdays, another yard stick. We will never stop plying ourselves with pressure but when that clock strikes midnight it isn’t all over. Just another marker passed not lost. In that moment, we panic and we celebrate as we review and evaluate our year, shameful and happy, disappointed and excited, nostalgic and fearful, it’s all natural. I loved my 2018 despite what may have raced through my head at 00:01 on January 1st. I know what I want to do in 2019, in 2020 or maybe even in 2021. Maybe I’ll achieve what I want one day, maybe sooner than I expect. Then again maybe I won’t but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to try. It doesn’t mean I’m going to throw off the introspective shackles of New Years either. I know who I am. I don’t know who I’m going to be. I know what I want. I don’t know what may come my way. I’m happy and I’m sad. I’m excited and worried and that’s all fine by me. It’s just another year.