I started 2014 with this quote:
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
When I decided that this would be the “anthem” to 2014, I had several things in mind: my first step into my first career, my studies, my family and my friends – and myself as a person. Before 2014, I can admit that I lived a sheltered and comfortable four years during my university days. It almost felt like everything was served neatly for me, everything was predictable, routine and just homely. I was floating, skimming across the waters.
But I knew that 2014 had a lot more in store. If I was in a straight-lined river smoothly coursing towards the deltas in 2013, 2014 would mean that I’d be out in open sea.
The first six months of this year, I knew would be unpredictable. And that was pretty much what it ended up being. I’d go to work one day and suddenly I had some incredible task in which I had to bury my skittish nature and shy demeanour and plunge headfirst into (gasp) socialising with the unknown. I found myself throwing caution to the wind and consistently surprising myself by asking questions. (I learnt the hard way that – even though it felt entirely against my nature – the best way to make mistakes and learn from them is to ask questions.)
I took Gaiman’s words as my mantra: “I hope you make mistakes”. I knew, every day, as I was testing waters and prodding and pushing boundaries here and there I was making many mistakes. Dozens of them. Heck, when I think of all the cringeworthy mistakes I made, I wince to myself.
But that was what made the beginning half of 2014 amazing.
Because sometimes it takes a few dozen mistakes to learn a dozen more valuable lessons.
And it was because of this mindset that I managed to push myself to a dozen other things I didn’t do in the past four years. For one, I become more consistent on this blog, I finished a 30 Day Book Challenge, a 30 Day Movie Challenge and a 30 Days of the Doctor Challenge. Sometimes, these challenges were all that made me look forward to the next day ahead.
I set a goal for myself in terms of reading. I finished reading 25 books this year. A whole lot more than I read in the past four years in university – and I did a course in literature.
I finished NaNoWriMo. 30 days of writing. And I reached the 50,000 word limit. I wrote a story! It had been close to six years since I wrote a story. And my childhood dream was to become a writer (for shame).
I feel like I did so many amazing things this year. And I made so many amazing new friends in my coursework.
For me, 2013 was filled with incredible highs and incredible lows. And now, 2014 has been a year of incredible mistakes and incredible learning moments and accomplishments.
Looking on to 2015, I habitually fall back to dread. If anything, 2015 looks as (if not even more) daunting as when I first looked upon 2014. There will be no more shores in 2015, my feet will escape the continental shelf. I will, definitely, be in the deep.
But this is just initial thoughts. If 2014 has taught me anything, it is to be hopeful and to always aim towards the positive. If anything, I hope that I can carry on the belief of the quote by Neil Gaiman.
Those are my aims of 2015.
Happy New Year, followers! New and old! I wish you all the love and happiness in the next year. But above all, make mistakes!