“If I look back at my actions, words and thoughts from a year ago and do not cringe then I have not grown sufficiently in the last year.”
That’s a statement that I have held as truth for a long time now. Each year, there is a point in my daily life where I come to look at my past actions, words and thoughts. What brings the retrospection on is different every year because, naturally – to uphold the potency of the statement – I must see things from a different perspective from the last time it occurred to me. The beauty of the above statement is that although I am growing and becoming somebody more developed emotionally and mentally, I am still the same person each time the thought occurs to me. Otherwise, I would perhaps not have that exact thought every year for a different reason.
During this retrospective period of my life which seems to occur every year around this time, I find myself thinking back over years of my life eras before as well as those more recent.
This time several years ago, I was in a position which was, on the face of it, very normal. I had whole the package: relationship, addiction, dissatisfaction and a prolonged sense of spiritual emptiness. I was in a relationship (which was what I thought I was supposed to have). I was preparing to move into a one-bedroom flat in my hometown of Northampton, England. I was heavily reliant on my psychological addiction to cannabis and cigarettes and I was still overcoming a rather serious spate of depression. I was channeling all my time and energy into music. I would write and produce track after track of psychedelic electronic trance music and I would teach guitar several times a week.
A year ago to this day, I was at my Mum’s house after returning to my hometown. I had moved out of the flat several months beforehand and traveled around England a little bit. I went to Somerset to see my Dad, Southampton to stay with my close friend Chani and a few others who would become friends also aaaand then to London to meet a bunch of lovely people and end up getting sucked into a rather strange environment which was something that I had to shake off over the subsequent months.
A year ago, I was about to get hurt by a destructive encounter with someone and, unaware as I was, was about to end up living back with my Mum for the larger part of a year. A year ago today I was about to go through a painful experience which would cause me to undo who I thought I was and reconstruct an entirely new “me”. A year ago today, my entire life was about to cast me head on into 12 months of ups, downs, smiles, frowns, frustrations, anxiety, laughs amid chaos and difficulties amid total overhauls. It’s safe to say that this past year has been one that I’ll remember vividly for more reasons than one.
And now, as I sit in my living room half way around the world from where I was born and lived the majority of my life, I can safely say that though it has been a mad year, every second was worth it. Where once my bed was the hard floor in a tiny room, it’s now a real bed – a proper mattress – in the bedroom I share with my partner and love. Where once I was spending my nights awake and my days sleep just so I could get a little more time speaking to the one I love, now I am spending my days awake and (some of) my nights asleep next to my love. While this last year my concerns were my health, my sleepless nights, the distance between where I was – and how I was living – and where I wanted to be and how I wanted to be living… Now my concerns are how we spend our days, how best we can cultivate further happiness, what I will cook for us to eat for our next nightmeal and most importantly, how we feel each day.
When this time of the year comes around and this statement comes into my mind, with my birthday only a few months away now, as well as looking backwards I find myself looking forwards. Forwards to what I want my next year of life to be filled with. Forwards to how I seek to grow and expand my horizons anew. And how I want to reinvent my life with my fresh new grasp on what sort of a person I am this time around…
As I mentioned before, the beauty of my opening statement is that regards of how much I change and grow and redefine myself as a person, I can rest assured with comfort in the fact that I am always being true to myself in all I do. Sometimes we get lost in the madness of it all. That’s just part of the flow I guess. Sometimes we get enthralled by possessions or addictions from time to time. But in all that flows towards us along the river of life, we can trust that for as long as the values and morals we hold close to our hearts and define our actions by are spawning thoughts which reoccur even years apart… As long as we can look back over our years and find the person we are now being given birth through the trials and troubles… As long as we look forward with hopes of greater happier instead of ingrained sorrow, as long as we look to the sky with awe for the stars and not to the ground with disdain for the weeds growing there… As long as we are true to ourselves in any moment, then we can rest assured and comforted in knowing that we have been doing our very best all along. And if not? Then now
Keep it real
Live, love and play