It's the last day of 2016. I swear, this has felt like the longest year of my life, so far. Granted, I only have 2 decades of conscious existence to compare it to, considering my first 4 years were spent mastering the art of toilet training and hand-to-mouth coordination. Statistically though, that's about a fifth of an above average life-span, so I guess it's valid enough, right?
Anyway. The last celebrity death that trended, this year, was Debbie Reynold's. "Oh, is that what this post's title is about?", you may wonder.
It's about one of her movies I'd watched when I was very young. Lesser known than Singing in the Rain, but just as heartwarming and happy, if not more. It's called "The Unsinkable Molly Brown". You can buy the movie here -
So, apart from the movie being an absolute delight to watch, what makes it better is that it's a fictionalized account of a true story. In Musical format. I'll agree that it's going to be a little hard on your wallet. And, so, here's an alternative source of inspiration - Debbie Reynolds' Memoir.
Memoirs not your thing? How about a heart warming book about a spider named Charlotte who saves the life of a pig from the slaughterhouse? Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
was is one of my favourite children's books. And the animated film starred Debbie Reynolds as the voice of none other than Charlotte herself.
As you can see, I'm a sucker for old-school storybooks, song and dance. I've watched The Sound of Music so many times, that some may call it embarrassing.
Moving on. (See what I did there?)
This is a post about New Year's. About ringing in good vibrations for 2017. About moving on from 2016.
Which brings me to my reflection over the past year, before going into my New Year's Resolutions. After all, who we are today, is a product of what we went through yesterday and shapes our ideas of who we want to be tomorrow. That's how I prefer to see life, anyway.
And I couldn't help but agree. Over the past year, I've learned to value myself more. From all my so-called "faults", to all my apparent "credits". Both these labels are interchangeable depending on the situation I'm in. Which makes me question the validity of a label at all. Do they matter? Sure, they help us navigate our environment better. They help us simplify our complex world. Some labels help us in letting the world at large know what and how we identify ourselves by and as. But when labels encompass identities in an all consuming nature, that's where prejudice, discrimination and narrow-mindedness creeps in. People aren't boxes to be labelled and stacked neatly around your bedroom. People are fluid, changing entities of consciousness. By placing a label on someone, you're also inviting a label for yourself. Isn't growth about change? And isn't change a precursor to growth?
There's enough mistrust, judgement, prejudice and double standards in this world. You can either call the negativity out with rational dialogue and debate without resorting to name calling or guilt tripping; or you can ignore, stop caring and let the universe do its work. I've learned that, since people are fluid and changing, it's okay for you to show them the door out of your life. It doesn't make you a bad person. Neither does it make you a good person. It makes you a person capable of acceptance and understanding that sometimes, you need to do what's best for you, in order for the best to happen to you. God helps those who help themselves, and all that. You need to make room for great things to happen, if you let go of the terrible things that have happened. This could be all the different kinds of relationships in your life, all the different kinds of problems in your life and all the different kinds of personal insecurities. Of course, it's unrealistic to let go of everything at the same time, but it's realistic to let it go one at a time.
Don't stoop to juvenile behaviour. There's nothing great about being childish, impulsive and immature. Maturity is knowing when to care enough to help, and when to let frustration situations stop affecting you. I don't particularly know when "child-like" was misunderstood as "immature", but I've seen of late that the fear of confrontation, has led to a road-block in growth. I've tried to run from my problems, until they caught up to me in a way where I realized that I was only running away from myself. Maturity isn't about ageing. It's about being courageous and empathetic, but without wallowing in pity. It's about learning to face your fears, accept that those fears can be overcome if you put some will power into it and give yourself the confidence that you'd give your best friend. Maturity comes when you understand the fine line between unrealistic wish fulfilment by the universe, and realistic self belief through dedicated hard work. It is far from easy. But very fulfilling. And life is about searching for fulfilment. Not to be preachy, but hey, collective growth is all about dialogue through personal growth, right?
So here's wishing everyone a year of change, growth and maturity. A year where we look at "growing up" as something to look forward to, rather than as a loss of child-like innocence that cannot be relived. Let's look forward to making new memories, rather than look back and mistake nostalgia for the age old conundrum of "the grass is greener". And let's not misunderstand child-like enthusiasm with childish behaviour. There's nothing sexy about paedophilia.
Happy New Year everyone!