Every year about this time I would empty a blank page in my mind and start jotting down my thoughts. The year is about to end, the New Year is hours away. It’s mixed emotions that I feel. So I start to put down the things I want to achieve, my dreams. I think by now that list has had more resolutions than I can remember. Quite frankly, more failures than successes, but I'm still standing which has to count for something. The list went on, from achieving my degree, getting into physical shape, quit smoking, be a better person, read more, write more, travel more, help a few people along the way, find the woman of my dreams, fall in love with her, visit places I have never seen, have a beautiful daughter that reminds me of her mother and a charismatic son that will protect his queen and princess with his soul and heart. I would say those were fairly regular thoughts, most of which you will find in the average list of most people.
My visions have always been rather simple, although they are more than satisfactory for my personal happiness. The complications kick in when your realization forms an unwanted thought, the thought that your simple life will not be satisfactory to those you love. Now I am referring to family and the wider members in our society. See, we have a certain “standard” for happiness. Yes, although it makes us sound like we are machines that share common characteristics, wants and needs and although the truth is far from that, I must deal with the reality that materialism dominates my atmosphere. Further to that, my rejection to their reality will simply mean that I will be labeled with insanity and irresponsibility. The point being that those so called simple dreams are not so simple anymore, but rather very complicated. Making complicated dreams, that are exhausting to one’s life journey (due to the fact that they are continuously expandable) - like running after power or money, more of simpler dreams, as they fit the “standard” measurement of success and you're strongly supported by your surroundings to run after them. So if he drives his Ferrari, or he is a pioneer in his career, then we start to envy his success, even though we all know from basic experiences that human emotions have much more complex perimeters than that, and that the matters that affect the heart can make the biggest successes meaningless and joyless.
If my life is to be measured by “standards”, then I would rather put on my cloth of arrogance and think of myself as extraordinary, thus what satisfies most around me will just not be enough. I know everything will be “ok” and “fine”, but has it occurred that those words will just never be enough to fulfill my thirst, my thirst for a truthful smile that will light my heart and face with no limitations. It doesn’t matter what others think, because for the first time as I try to write what I want to achieve in the following year all I can think about is the past. The moments that made my heart race, the moments where I felt my heart beat and the moments where I was sincere without the need to wear a mask. I may have broken a few rules, but I smiled from my heart. I remember a time when I was able to sleep for eight continuous hours with nothing on my mind but peace and joy. When I didn’t have to force myself to dream, but those visions were simply flawless. When the moon seemed complete every night of the month, for I didn’t have to look up to see it, but it rather felt like it was always down here by my side.
My New Year's resolution is to find ways to make my heart race. I will find out what it feels like to ride a motorcycle. I will climb Mount Everest one day, maybe not all the way up, but at least I will try. I will go skydiving; walk through a village in the Far East. Maybe I will find the answers to what I am looking for, maybe I won’t. Who's to say you can’t do what you want every once in a while and take a break from your career, city and every stressful thought you hold? Yes that is it; break the occasional rules to feel alive.
Every year it gets harder to smile, for life's pressures increase as do our responsibilities.
Looking at my past now, I am not smiling as I write this because of anything I have achieved, but I am smiling at the little things that made me happy; some of them ended sadly and some are still ongoing. Nevertheless, they are the highlight of my life.
When I look back one day, forty years from now, I want to envy myself for the smiles I have collected from my heart. Pray for me that I find them, and if I don’t, pray that in forty years I will still be fighting for my dream.
Newcastle - 28/12/2011