The Alphabet Years: A is where the adventure begins
It’s 24 days into 2018 and I’m only now sharing my new year’s resolutions. I am, however, giving myself a pass because mine aren’t just for one year, they’re for 26. Since university, I haven’t planned my life more than a few months ahead. I thought I was a free spirit, but I now believe it was indicative of the opposite – one caged by fear. One that’s scared to plan and be disappointed; terrified to make goals, in case I miss the goalposts.
While I had an incredible past year of achievements, I experienced something akin to daily stress fractures on my brain, which created fissures and cracks in my mind triggering mania and depression in rapid cycles. Now, I have chosen to unlock the cage: I’m committing myself fully to my creative endeavours all while travelling wherever this wild spirit finds itself drawn to, because that spirit was slowly dying. I was not in a good way.
Now, here I am with the vastness of life stretched out before me. These endless possibilities are exhilarating, yet I felt tortured before I departed Bermuda. Because as I begin to pursue a life of which I’m proud, one that is genuinely true to me, I realise all the excuses are gone. I won’t be able to blame my unhappiness, depression, self-hatred or anxiety on circumstances so I’ll be forced to look deeper still. The physical cage no longer exists, yet the mental one could remain.
Which brings me to my resolution. I resolve to think into the future; to plan, to dream outrageously, to commit to magical living for years on end, rather than just a few months. Inspired by my friend Jonathan Starling’s Year of S for Self-care I have begun ‘The Alphabet Years’ a 26-year journey of adventures. 2018 is Year A for Art.
This means I will blog, draw, paint and, most importantly, write. It is my goal to finish three major writing works, including an Anthology of poetry and short stories and return to Acting by completing my one-woman play. I will improve my handwriting, and learn to draw Arabic letters. I will practice Awareness by meditating daily (currently averaging every other day). I will increase my Aerobic activity and practice Ashtanga yoga. Over the years, I will learn the history of a lettered country. This year is Argentina, where I hope to visit before Year B begins. I’m 33, which makes this my Jesus Year, so in the spirit of Altruism, I will litter the year with good deeds. Ironically, when the Alphabet Years are completed in 26 years, I will be the same age as my dad when he passed away. I can only hope to have touched as many lives by then.
They’re ambitious goals, but I’m daring myself to dream without limits. Allen Ginsberg wrote, "Follow your inner moonlight. Don't fight the madness." The madness is within me, the cage is open and freedom awaits.