A very happy 2015 to one and all.
With the festive excitement out of the way, my mind has turned to plans for the year ahead and, inevitably, to resolutions. After much thought I have realised that all of mine fall under one heading: Be Less Afraid.
Although in some cases a spot of fear helps to keep you safe, (for example, when I was offered the opportunity to get into an enclosure at a reptile park in Bali with a crocodile for a photograph, I politely declined on account of my fear of being eaten alive), it can also be rather restricting.
A fear of pitching will massively reduce my chances of getting more writing work and I’d very much like some; a fear of judgement means I may never speak to anybody again and I LOVE a good chat; and a fear of making bad decisions means I may have to opt out of making any decisions whatsoever, which in itself feels like a bad decision. I also haven’t been to the dentist for six years because I’m scared, but I do rather like having teeth so I’m just going to have to grin and bear it (and maybe ask my mum to come with me). These fears will only hold me back when I’d really rather be moving forward.
A fear of what people think is the trickiest of all to shake. My aim this year is to remember that it is not something that anybody can control (and also that most people spend most of their time thinking about themselves and when they will next get to eat or go to bed. I know I do). Of course there are ways to influence it – be nice and people will most likely think that you’re nice; behave like a tool and people will probably just stop texting you back – but beyond that, we can only waste time wondering. All that thinking might make us miss a nap or a meal and that just won’t do.
I had a big sort through my tights and socks drawer yesterday (just like every out of control party girl does on a Saturday afternoon) and I adopted a policy to help me decide what to bin – does this bring me joy? When working through a collection of tights so laddered it’s a wonder I haven’t yet been arrested for indecent exposure, it’s quite easy to answer that question, but I’d like to try and apply it to other parts of my life (or at least everything over which I have a choice/control. Emptying the dishwasher definitely does not bring me joy but eating cheese from each and every clean plate in it certainly does. You’ve got to take the rough with the smooth). I will give it a go and if the answer is no then, where possible, I just won’t do it.
It looks and sounds very bold and clear when written out but this sh*t is very hard to crack. But writing it down is a start, as is realising that doing the opposite will only keep you awake at night (which is no good for me as I’m also afraid of the dark).
So yes, less fear, fewer pointless attempts at mind reading and more joy will make for a lovely 2015. Because what is the point of doing anything else? If it’s not going to get me eaten by a reptile or make me miss out on too many meals, I reckon it’s worth the risk.