The fear of a new year

I’ve always loved the undefined possibilities stretching ahead at the start of a new year. I’ve never made resolutions, as such, but I secretly harbour aspirations at the beginning of every January, hopeful that this might be the year they’re realised. And yet?

I’m the same with stationery – with crisp, clean notebooks. When I buy them, I’m excited at the prospect of the blank pages one day being filled with my innermost thoughts of the beginnings of the novel I so long to write. And yet?!

The pattern emerging here, dear reader, is one of fear. The perfectionist within me is too scared to start said new thing, in case it goes wrong. Best, therefore, not to begin in the first place, as an act of self-preservation. I’m aware this is ridiculous.

It’s something I’ve tried to overcome for years now. This overthinking and trying to pre-empt every eventuality to swerve failure certainly contributed to my burn out. Twice.

But since my dad passed away, something inside me clicked. And yeah, it’s a cliché. But, life really is too short for worrying. Especially about things that haven’t even happened – and might never happen.

As I sort out the things you have to tend to when a loved one goes – closing bank accounts, returning a driving license, clearing out sock drawers – I’m faced with the harsh reality of life. That when your soul departs the body, none of this *gestures wildly around* means anything. No one remembers the fuck ups. The legacy you leave behind is love. So why waste life worrying about maybe perhaps getting something wrong?

Failure isn’t the opposite of success, far from it. It’s part of the journey towards success. This year, I want to embrace being bad at things; at being really good at failing.