At first, the thought of a new year elated me. The concept of a new challenge. A tabula rasa on which I can create a new masterpiece. The general elation you feel with a group of friends and a few bottles of wine. There’s music and dancing and you don’t really sit in your little thinking bubble. But then the wistfulness hit me. What if I can’t make this one work like I could the last one. What if this year smudges out all my accomplishments, my sense of self, all the work I had put in the previous year. What if it rewrites my identity completely. It’s an unnerving thought.
I am terrified of 2019. But to be fair, I am terrified of many things. Driving in heavy traffic. Crossing a road. I’m scared of goodbyes and sometimes of hellos. The thing is that 2018 was so good to me. She was like a kind lover building back up the self-confidence I needed. She kissed my scraped knee whenever I fell. She taught me how to get back up and go on. She forced me into new things and so chased a lot of my fears away. I don’t know what awaits in this new year. It makes me so anxious.
We all envision how our lives would be. I thought that by twenty-two I would have it all figured out. I’d have a home of my own, a degree, a steady job. I’d be traveling and writing and posting Living my best life pictures on cruise ships or on top of a mountain. I would most definitely not have as many fears as I do. The reality is that my life is not even remotely there. I could probably only travel to Bloemfontein right now. And I don’t do the posting thing, I simply forget to take pictures because I’m fully in the moment. Also, I have a very good memory, so what needs remembering, I most probably will. If 2018 was a bad year for me I would not be as fearful of the new year. If I were down, I’d fear getting back on my feet more than I fear being down. The floor can be a very comforting place. And if there’s anything motherhood has taught me it’s that one who sleeps on the floor cannot fall off the bed. But we have to be strong. We have to soldier on. Many didn’t see the new year. Parents are burying their children in the very first week of this year. We’re lucky to have made it.
This year is exactly like creating. Be kind to your doubt, hear it out, thank it for its concern. Reassure it that you are an artist and risk is essential. To draw from Miss Grande’s hit, if it doesn’t teach me love, it will teach me patience, if not that, then pain. And I will turn out amazing.