Starting again in a cold January often is like writing something new. I stare at a blank page, fiddle around with unformed thoughts and clumsy ideas then start to jot down the thoughts that live rent-free in my messy mind. When I start writing a new piece, I’m still the very same me who was fed up or rather content with my previous work, but starting off a new page just sparks so much curiosity and desire that it feels like I’m beginning again.
My skills are not far off what they were the day before and so are my ever-changing experiences, but I still write. I still write because I’m sure I’ll always have more to say, a different way I could approach an old idea and I know the more I do it the more I grow as a person and writer too.
It’s the same attitude I have when I come face to face with a new year. The person I am looks the exact same in the mirror. The things I’ve done are tattooed on my past in dark ink which cannot be carelessly erased. My desires burn as they did the year before. Regardless of all of this, when faced with another fierce countdown to an unpredictable 365 days, my urge is to try writing the story again like I would on a blank page. It doesn’t have to be an entirely new story as the chapters already written still have some amount of significance, but I, like most people see it as a good opportunity to change the plot up a little and refocus the direction formerly chosen.
This year for the first time in a long time, I decided to write down some goals and intentions for the year 2022. It was something I had persistently refused to do in the past, but I decided it was about time I held myself accountable for my desires, failures and own happiness.
One of the first things I desperately need to do more of this year is express gratitude. Not just that, but to do so intentionally.
I sometimes wonder if I outgrew optimism as one would a pair of trousers from six summers back. Did it get too tight? Or did I add too much emotional weight to be able to fit into it as I once would have?
Perhaps, some things just leave you before you realise or have the chance to hold unto them dearly. For me, it was as though optimism had slowly been ripped into shreds of hopelessness with the passing of time.
In my early teens, I used to be a self-proclaimed glass-half-full kind of person. No matter how stained, ugly or chipped the glass was, if there was water in it, I was certain I’d always find ways to make every drop count. When the content in the glass did not taste quite right, I wasn’t quick to rinse it down the sink but rather, my instinct was to adjust the flavour by mixing ingredients I hoped would fit right together. In many ways, I felt like a bartender concocting the perfect cocktail or a chef looking to impress and satisfy a difficult customer, and I guess I found joy in that.
As time went on, however, with my loss of optimism, I don’t know exactly when I stopped expressing gratitude for even the smallest of things
Perhaps, the less I expected good things to happen, the less I noticed the ones that did. Just like that, I’ve been living with so much acquired negativity I have struggled to shake off. Expressing gratitude intentionally is just the first step I’ll be taking to let go of the bad energy I’ve been letting hover around me. It’s about time I let in something different.
The most important thing I focused on when writing down my intentions for the year in my journal, was to make sure they were realistic to where I am now. This meant not committing to doing meditations every day before sunrise when I already have to fight the urge to hit the snooze button every morning at 7. Nor did I pledge to drink three gallons of water starting from the first day of the month, because I know all too well, I struggle to drink even up to a litre. While I chose goals I knew would push me out of my comfort zone, I also made sure to keep them down to earth. I didn’t put down things I knew would drain me at the mere thought of doing them, nor choose to do things that were completely alien to me or felt completely unnatural.
Hence, I intend to write down things that I’m grateful for each week in my journal and I’ll be sharing it with you.
Say hello, to Bitesize Wonders, the new weekly series in which I’ll be making my gratitude list public for you to read. Hopefully, it may inspire you to write one of your own.
Whether it be one thing that made me smile on a bad day in a likewise bad week or an account of little miracles that took me a step further into my desired direction, I’ll be sharing with you the things that made me even an ounce of happy. The little big things that lift a weight off my shoulder or the ones that add a spring to my step, those will no longer be ignored or taken for granted.
The compilation of Bitesize Wonders will be replacing the Sunday weekly series, On Second Thought and whether I’ll be continuing that on another day of the week or releasing it less frequently is a decision I’m still ruminating over. I’ll definitely let you know!
So, what am I grateful for this week, you may wonder? Well, I’m grateful for just this simple thing; deciding to do something and actually starting it.
You may seem like no big deal for some, but that is something I often struggle with. I’ve been wanting to start my list of Bitesize Wonders for too long now and just kept putting it off. Finally, here I am actually doing it. My first list is already drawn out in black ink in my journal and although it may not seem like much, that’s worth a pat on the back.
Expressing gratitude in a way that counts doesn’t have to be grand at all or sophisticated. Truly, it can be as simple as celebrating bitesize wonders…
Your restless romantic roamer
Photos taken in London, UK