New Year, Same Me?
I've experienced such mixed emotions entering this new year. The most predominant of these is fear. Fear that this new year will be just another year in which I fail again and again to get to where I want to be.
For the past two months, all my commitments have dissolved. I quit my job as a Mental Health Support Worker; my work experience placement at Penguin came to nothing; my show with COS Musical Theatre finished; and I've felt unmotivated to write or to volunteer with Shout... I've found myself lost, lazy, hopeless; defeated by 2019.
Hope for me has always felt like a dangerous emotion. One that welcomes disappointment and jinxes fate. This leaves me a rather pessimistic individual, or, at best, a realist.
But, whilst hope may make us vulnerable to failure, I'm aware that beginning a year without hope almost guarantees failure as it welcomes a year of stagnation.
So, whilst 2019 has been determined to render me irresolutely hopeless, it has failed. With the dawn of 2020, hope has returned and I've welcomed feelings of relief and excitement. I'm hopeful that this year will be my year, the year, in which I find myself and achieve my goals. I'm relieved that I have been given this tabula rasa, as they would call it; a blank slate to start again fresh and seek new opportunities. And then there is the excitement that arises as I dare myself to dream of what may be...
Although I didn't achieve my main goal for 2019 (to get a job in publishing), I should not let that take away from all that I did achieve in 2019 (setting up this blog, becoming a Freelance Writer, completing the Level 1, 2 and 3 Counselling courses, being published in Breathe magazine, becoming a Mental Health Support Worker, completing a work experience placement at Penguin RH, becoming a Level 5 Crisis Volunteer, performing with a new Musical Theatre group, falling in love and getting a boyfriend (!!!)).
The New Year Fear
So I guess this post is for anyone reading who, like me, feels overwhelmed by what this new year, new decade even, means for them. It's for anyone who is scared to get their hopes up for what 2020 may entail. For anyone who feels they didn't achieve all that they set out to last year and are worried that this year will be the same. For anyone who is being misguided by an unfounded sense of hopelessness. You are not alone. The pressure of a new year falls upon all of us willing enough to care. But you are also stronger than your fears and your failures.
If, like me, your achievements may have been overshadowed by your defeats, I welcome you to take a moment to think similarly and acknowledge all your victories for 2019, big or small.
Hope will always make space for you to grow, however slowly and subtly that may be. So may you have the courage to hope for all you deserve in 2020.