Every year is like a blank canvas, a slate wiped nearly completely clean; each day a sort of second chance. Some parts of the canvas spotted with bright colours at the start of the year. Those colours are the plans and almost-certainties we have and expect from the 366 days ahead of us. For example, your birthday in April or the trips you booked for the summer holidays. They differ in shades and intensity, but they represent our plans, our desires, the little we actually have control over. It’s the days you know you’ll spend sat at McDonald’s with your old friends from high school, the concert you’ll attend in June, the evenings you’ll have to give away to your work colleagues in order to attend business dinners, the times you’ll spend in a classroom listening to a lecture you can’t stand.
For me, this year I feel like my canvas is whiter than it’s ever been. Plans? Things I can control? Almost-certainties? This year, for the first time I’m not sure I have any of that.
I know, you could look at it all in a completely different way. You could say it’s always a clean slate, a blank canvas, an impeccably spotless white. You might also be of the mindset that it never really is anything new; just another day to follow the last one… you know, the natural course. You could say the plans we have are always uncertain anyways and nothing we desire or want will be surely ours. Heck, even the idea of being alive tomorrow is a gamble we are all taking willingly.
2020, however, feels very different for me. Maybe, it’s because it is the start of a new decade and symbolizes a new beginning – a new era if you’d like. Maybe, it’s not that either.
I think I know what it is. As I’ve already stated, my canvas seems awfully white from here on out. As I try to look down the road, the shades and intensities are so faded I can barely see them.
I’ve never not had plans before. I’ve never had my first six months of the year all to myself, I’ve never not known what will come after spring or where I’ll turn to when the summer loses itself to the brown fragile leaves. I’ve never not had a tangible vague idea.
Last year was one decorated with the highest highs but also burdened by the lowest lows. I saw things I had only drawn in my dreams and I marvelled at myself crying tears of joy for the first time ever. In the same way, I got caught and lost in a maze I might still be fighting to run out of, and I used sad movies as an excuse to cry about the things I’d never say out loud.
So dear 2020, here I am. I’m not sure how this will go and I’m still not making empty resolutions I know I won’t chase after a short while.
I guess this is the part of adulting I once feared, and maybe still do. The part where the wheels are finally in the palm of your hands and nothing will move forward until you hit the pedals and steer the wheels. It is the part your teenage self dreamt about endlessly and would have given everything up to have – control.
If I were to make a resolution this year, I’d say, the one thing I’d be giving up this year is fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of being undeserving, fear of failing. Ah, there it is: FEAR OF FAILURE.
That is the one thing I’ll try to leave in 2019. This year, I’ll be working on becoming a little braver, a little less cautious, a little more forward, a little more like who I want to be. This year, I will welcome the chance of failure more than ever before. I’ll hold grenades in the palm of my hands if I have to even though I’m sure they will explode at one point or the other.
Hopefully, I’ll look at the white canvas and not wonder how it became so stainless all of sudden, but rather, I’ll pick up my rusty brush, draw hopeful lines and colour in between them. I’ll paint – brazenly, eagerly, shamelessly, fearlessly.
Your restless romantic roamer