New year, new you?

What is it about a new year that makes everyone want to become a different version of the person they were the day before? Of course getting a new calendar could also mean getting a new you, but it probably takes a bit more work than that, right? I’m not trying to drag down the idea of a fresh start, but that’s a lot of pressure to put on one day. Yet despite my protests, I too have decided that 2016 is a great excuse to try something new. Yes, I am hypocrite, hear me roar.

Every month this year, I’m going to attempt to make my blogs more themed around a particular subject. Now, if you followed my blog at all in 2015, you’ll know that “following through on plans” isn’t one of my best skills, but it’s 2016 and we have to try dammit! So this month’s theme is a simple one – starting over/ doing something new. And speaking of new things, I started early with different New Year’s Eve plans.

My plan was to make no plan at all, due in part to being absentminded about everything involving holiday plans, and my lack of familiarity with staying in London during Christmas and New Year. So I ended up spending it with a Lithuanian friend, and her Venezuelan friend, and it was pretty random but also good. Plus it got me thinking about what a New Year can mean to different people.

As my Lithuanian friend poured the last of the Prosecco, she told me to make a wish into the empty bottle for the new year as was tradition in her country; and then she covered the bottle so that my wish stayed in there tight and snug, with more chance of it coming true (here’s hoping for that lifetime free pass to any cinema! No, I didn’t wish for world peace and yes I regret that). Meanwhile, my new Venezuelan friend told me that just before midnight they eat 12 grapes for the new year (I didn’t catch why exactly) and they take all their empty suitcases with a passport and walk up and down their street/ house, hoping to fulfill their travel wishes for the new year. I am well into the empty suitcase thing and will be incorporating that into my 2016 New Year’s Eve celebrations.

I realised that we in Britain didn’t really have staple traditions like that, except making grand resolutions we know we won’t keep, and singing Auld Lang Syne, but that’s worldwide so I’m not sure we can claim that. I don’t speak for everyone obviously, and many people have probably created traditions within their own little communities that I don’t know about, like wearing their clothes inside out at midnight as a symbol of showing their true selves, or erm…fireworks I guess?

Anyway, I suppose my only end of year tradition that I’ve been doing these past few years, is to look over my diary of the last 12 months and marvel at all the sociable things I’ve done. If you are an introvert like me, you will know how big a deal/ achievement this is. My Lithuanian friend on the other hand, had a neatly written list of all the things she hoped to achieve in 2016, and all the goals she had already met, which she set at the beginning of 2015. She is driven and knows what she wants; and I both admire and envy that.

I tend not to make resolutions because that makes me more likely to flake on them; like I’m the one who made the rule but I don’t like being told what to do so now I’m going to break my own rule. I am at times, my own worst enemy.

Despite this though, I do believe in setting life goals and being vague about them so that you can be flexible with it. So here’s my goal for 2016, that I’ve been flirting with for months but have been hesitating making a commitment to (story of my life, you were all thinking it): Follow the fear.

Yes, this is originally a mantra for those doing improv comedy, but let’s be honest, life is an improvised comedy is it not? I know mine is anyway; it can be both hilarious and confusing. So I’m going to try and follow the fear and I’ll update you dear readers every time I trip and fall into something as a result of it. Can you say “awkward moments soon to follow”? I can.

Image credit: Champagne by Peter van Driel from the Noun Project

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Maame Blue

Writer| Poet| Blogger| Ghanaian by heart, Londoner by nature

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