Today marks the beginning of something amazing. I saw out 2010 in my living room at home, surrounded by my family and our close friends. There was champagne, lots of amazing food, and an air horn. It was fun, but it was mostly joyous as it marked the end of something else. Something that was horrific at times. Something that was (on occasion) lonely, painful, and somewhat miserable.
If I’m honest, 2010 was not a good year for me. Admittedly, a lot of good things happened, but I also let things get the better of me a lot of the time. The reasons behind this are irrelevant. I didn’t have a good year because like many people, I wallowed. I finished up with formal education (for now, at least) and expected the world to hand me a decent career and equally decent prospects, just like that. Why? I don’t know why. Maybe it was something to do with higher education’s repetitious but deserved routine of constant gratification. That’s just a shot in the dark; don’t read into it. However, expecting anything at all was my fatal mistake. It’s a mistake I wish no one to make in 2011.
A common term I hear bandied about is that if we’re down on our luck, we’re “owed something”. Whatever your religious or spiritual affiliation, we all have a tendency to mope when times are rough. To assert that we’re “owed something” is something quite special, however. What are we owed? All of our hopes and dreams coming true? Who owes it to us? Karma? Luck? Jesus? The FTSE 100 index? Also, why are we owed? What have we done to appease the powers that be, to warrant any reciprocation? A line from Fight Club, one of my favourite reads, comes to mind: “You are not the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
Perhaps that’s a little harsh, but the sentiment behind it is interesting. The world is so much bigger than any of us can anticipate. Our actions are so minuscule, and our problems so tiny, that in the grand scheme of things they appear almost insignificant. If anything, this places us all at an advantage. It is only when we know our station that we can work to improve it. If we really are this ‘small’, then perhaps that’s an indication that we need to work that much harder to get what we really want out of 2011, or of anything, instead of waiting for something positive to rush by and hit us in the face. For me, at least, this was a much needed kick up the proverbial.
I don’t wish to drag you away from your New Year’s Day any longer, but I hope that I have imparted something useful to you all today. Don’t waste 2011 by sitting around, waiting for something good to happen. We’re each wonderful, amazing people in our own way, and we all have the potential to make this the year when you get a job, find that special someone, buy that house/car/ring, start a family, or just learn to be happy. I promise you, 2011 will be a great year, because we have the power to make it so. Smile, take a deep breath, and just go for it. This time, we’re going to win.