LOOKING BACK: 2015

In the past, reflecting on a year wasn’t something I partook with joy or glee as it almost felt like a chore. When I would think about my own person, I would obsess with what I have not done, rather than what I have done. And at times I felt frustrated with the opportunities I couldn’t seem to grasp.
But after reflecting deep within my own consciousness, examining the decade-long stint through my school career and my several insecurities (both socially and academically), I realised that failures are part of life. If you don’t fail, you don’t learn. And of course if you don’t learn, you will never change.
I feel that 2015 was the year that marked a turning point in my life. It was the year I started having the relationships I deserve. It was the year I started believing in my own capabilities. 2015 was the year I reclaimed my happiness. 

As I am writing this, I look up to the cloudless sky and see leaves sway like little feet frolicking below the branches, the breeze blows and I feel that nostalgic kind of calm reminding me of spring.
When I first started interning at Dazed Group, I felt terrified. My own failures at working with others, creating a stable relationship amongst my co-workers, sharing ideas and being generally confident have made me quite cynical about my own social aptitude, despite my previous attempts at avoiding the problem. But after taking into consideration the possibility that I tend to be theatrical about my own failures, I was ready to overcome my fears and melt away my icy defences. I had the pleasure to transcribe conversations between authors and journalists such as Tom McCarthy and Hans Ulrich as well as trawl the annals of Detroit’s music history. Working at Dazed was the time when that blossom inside of me bloomed brighter than any flower I’ve ever been given. It was a remarkable experience, a moment of unaltered pleasure and a reminder of the reasons why I love writing so much.

Now, the setting sun casts warm rays of heat into my eyes. For that instant, the winter is lifted from the earth’s shoulders and I am reminded of this past summer. There would be other summers, of course. But there would never be one like this. Ever again. You see the things we are most afraid of, are what we need the most. And I was afraid of heart-pounding, loin-churning, body-slamming love. I had sworn I would never let someone take so much of my heart and soul that it would wither away to nothing once he was gone. I had given up on finding someone to consume my mind and body. I don't know why this has come into my head and why I am even bothering telling you the tale about it, but if there's anything that this summer has taught me is this: daring to be open and vulnerable can be beautifully enriching to say the least. If you hold back on the emotions–if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them–you can never get to being detached; you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, you’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your heard even, you experience them fully and completely. For those few months, I wasn't who everyone thinks I am and the chance to dive into the deep blue ocean of my home gave me the courage I never had. This summer I felt alive. I laughed, I smiled, I cried, I fell in love, I got lost and found. This summer I became my own life artist. And learning how to write and draw my own reality has been one of the most whimsical and intoxicating experiences of my life. 

The cool shroud of December now hugs me close and the moon casts the shadows of the trees onto the ground. I grow tired and burdened by this wicked wind yet I welcome it with open arms because, like the flickering flame, there’s a comfort about it. Winter – I've conquered my social anxieties, breathed out my darkness and started harnessing my creative crafts. I won't disclose my plans for next year but let's just hope that Nevermind California becomes a reality. 

In just a day, I rummaged through an epistolary of experiences. I am finally at peace, my soul feels lifted and my heart is pure. During the past 365 days, I have learned about things I wouldn’t touch with a 10-inch pole; I have learned how to combat my brain’s instinctual reactions; I have learned that just because someone corrects me doesn’t mean that they don’t care about me. It may actually mean that they care about me more than I realized. I’ve learned that perfection is overrated. I’ve learned to appreciate my efforts as well as the efforts of others. I have learned to stop making mountains out of molehills. And most importantly, I’ve learned that the best way to be happy is to conquer your fears and be yourself. 

So from me, to you: 

Love more, laugh more, dream more.
Kiss the old stars good bye and say yes to new adventures.
Walk in a haze. 
Be a poet, a thinker, a wanderer. 
Be the circular piece in the square puzzle. 
Draw a vivid picture when you are surrounded by black and white. 
Colour outside your lines. 
See things differently. 
Believe in yourself and in your abilities. 
Treat everyone with politeness. 
Give compliments freely. 
Forgive. 
Create. 
Stay foolish and stay young at heart. You are a wild thing, remember?
Lose yourself in the entrancing melodies and dance under the glittering stars. 
Find the key that sets your soul free. 
And finally, live and let live. 

I wish you 365 days of health, love and happiness. 
Peace, love and purple haze,