“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
― Neil Gaiman
Oh my God! I’ve never read Neil Gaiman and I know people who read and consider themselves bibliophiles and intellectuals will roll their eyes and wonder if I’ve been living on Mars! But it’s okay really, isn’t it? I found this gorgeous quote, and I adore every word he’s said and I so believe in it. Should I be sorry or ashamed or flaunt a chip on my shoulder because I found Neil Gaiman’s quote and pretend that I’ve read all his books? Life’s short isn’t it?
Yesterday and today I’ve heard a couple of great podcasts. First up, Lewis Howes with Keith Ferrazi. Don’t miss it. I own “Never Eat Alone” and remember picking it up at a book sale because it seemed interesting. It is. Haven’t read the whole book, but by Jove, after listening to him on this podcast I will finish it now. He’s brilliant.
Second up, Debbie Millman with her brilliant Design Matters podcast. This episode she’s talking with Liz Danzico, listen in. While listening to these amazing people, my mind is usually in a whirr and thinking, oh God! I should blog about this and blog about that and this is what I feel and how I’d love to share and so on. Sometimes I can picture my blog and the post, replete with title et al. Then as the day goes by, I remember it vaguely and then eventually I forget about it. Well, maybe not the title but the emotion behind the essay and my point of view and what I wanted to share and the angle at which I wanted to come at it and so on. It’s listening to Keith Ferrazi that gave me the idea to write my last post of the year 2014.
I won’t go about doing a rewind, lessons learnt, best-of-my-blog (which is so embarrassingly narcissistic ewww!) or let you in on my resolutions (which has remained unchanged for decades now I think, just goes to show how resolved I am to adhere to my resolutions, he he he) or ask you yours. No, none of that really. After all 365 days come and go in a cycle, it’s ok ain’t it? It’s been happening for millennia and doesn’t seem like it’s going to change track anytime soon. So here’s what I want to leave you with for 2014 and 2015 as we all embark on yet another roller coaster called life.
a) It’s your birthday and you don’t have 3,000 comments and wishes and “likes” on FB. You feel so worthless and hopeless and so J of that one friend who always seems to garner the attention. You have bitchy, mean thoughts about her. Be truthful to yourself. It’s okay, really, your true self won’t bite.
b) You hear news about 132 innocent children being killed in a part of the world by zealots. You want to scream and beat your chest and hate the world we live in. Do it. It’s okay to do so, really.
c) Your body in the mirror is not looking too peachy and perky and you can cellulite right under the skin of your thighs. Should you go under the knife you wonder?! It’s okay really to harbour such thoughts.
d) George Clooney got married to Amal Alamuddin and she’s pregnant. You sigh a deep sigh that can be heard in the nether regions of the Amazon forest. Why God, why not me you wail. It’s okay, really. Wail away!
e) Aircrafts disappearing, people killing each other, women being abducted, women being brutally raped and murdered, young girls and boys being raped and murdered, volunteers dying of Ebola and the world’s in a downward spiral. You scream, “Stop, stop, dammit, I wanna get off!” Nobody’s listening. Shriek, scream, yell. It’s good to vent your spleen. It’s okay, really.
f) As the hairs turn grey on your scalp and the “non-ammonia” hair colour runs out faster than you can say L’Oreal, you look at the younger women and long for youth to return. You who? Can’t remember? Best to forget, it’s okay, really.
g) When you realise that you’re never ever going to be Steve Jobs, Oprah, Sara Blakely, Marie Forleo or any of the super successful, gorgeous with the best bods in the world, and that you will continue to toil like all good and honest people, you accept it. It’s okay, really. Someone’s got to do the job of being ‘ordinary’, ‘average’ and ‘regular Joe’. How will these gorgeous and super successful people be benchmarked otherwise? Hmmm…never thought of that did you?
h) Your bookshelves and readers and library memberships are crying out loud, “read the books, dammit!” and yet, year after year after year, they remain stoic and unflinching, staring at your from their lofty abodes. Don’t panic, just let them be. They’re your retirement nest-egg. It’s okay, really.
i) That lovely shift dress or the fantastic Levi’s with the extraordinary waist tag of 26″ that you’ve still got hanging in your closet, smirking at you everyday, provoking you into making those resolutions, “God, I won’t eat cup cakes no more and I swear, absolutely, that I will not add sugar in my coffee or bake brownies or eat that almond ganache and stay off fries, forever.” And forever is over, now, right now, pouff! Sigh, it’s okay, really.
j) Your bank balance isn’t creaking with the weight of its contents and you feel so broke and listless and wonder if there’s ever going to be a time in your life when you’ll be rich. Well, feel miserable and keep wondering. Because you’ll keep feeling miserable if you don’t do something and keep wondering. It’s okay, really.
k) Your parents just don’t get you. Your boyfriend just doesn’t want anything more than a good night of sex. Your girl friends all seem to be doing what they’re “supposed to be doing” and you’re an anomaly.But everybody’s lying about their “perfect lives” while you wear your heart on your sleeve. That’s who you are. It’s okay, really. I wouldn’t have you any other way and those who would, they aren’t worth having around you anyway.
l) You’re determined to turn over a new leaf in the next 365 days and somehow think that once you turn over, life’s good. Everything will come to a standstill like in a photograph and that Life will be bliss ever after. At least you thought of doing something to turn over a new leaf. What happens next, is for next. It’s okay, really to not have all the answers.
m) Sometimes, even when you’re surrounded by friends, at a party, a movie, a mall, a restaurant, at a marketplace, you feel alone. And then it hits you, we’re all alone. It’s okay, really.
n) You have great, amazing, fabulous friends. But sometimes you don’t really get along with them and find it difficult to articulate your truly feelings. True feelings could hurt and harm, so why risk it. We’re all flawed. It’s okay, really.
o) As you get older, you realise that all the things we worried about when we were younger: men, sex, scoring, skin, size 10 (or whatever size you were trapped in to believe is the ideal size), career, having a certain status, success, popularity, cool clothes, bags, shoes, legs, hair, make up, watches, property, cars, latest gadgets, exotic holidays, parties, drugs, rock n roll, were zilch! If you can touch your toes and not pee in your panties when you laugh or fart when you’re making out is a blessing. Just being able to breathe is a blessing. It’s okay, really, to get old. It’s liberating.
That’s it folks. Whatever you do, wherever you are, whoever you are, however you are, just continue to be you even as the clock strikes 12 and January 1, 2015 embraces you. We all have one life to live and love. Let’s love shall we? And if you’re shy, it’s okay. If you’re angry, it’s okay. If you’re bat crazy it’s okay. If you’re single it’s okay. If you’re gay it’s okay.If you’re a man, woman, transgender it’s okay. If you’re rich or poor, successful or striving, it’s okay. I don’t have the answers to homeless, hungry, orphaned, maimed, psychologically scarred and other people for whom life is a curse. I know it’s not okay. Right now however, I go forth with one aim and the aim is to be gentle, decent, compassionate, kind, merciful and grateful. That’d surely be okay right?
Brilliant 2015 to all of you! Do what your heart sings out to you. Never miss a beat. Don’t be scared. Don’t freeze. Make things. Make mistakes. Try new things. Don’t worry that you’re not good enough. That no one loves you. Do something. Anything. Breathe. Hallelujah!