“To laugh often and love much;
to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children;
to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self;
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
So, here we are. It has been a whole year since I decided to start this blog. 205 posts, 840 tags and 80 followers later, I’ve recorded many of my thoughts and experiences of the past year. It started off being something I wanted to do for myself, to express my thoughts and feelings, but the fact that people took to the blog so well and gave me such positive feedback made it feel like something really worth doing and writing about. My sentences and choice of word may not have been the most sophisticated, but I wrote as I thought and went along with it. I think I find some solace by relating to the words of other people, knowing that what I’m trying to figure out myself has been discussed before. For me, this blog was a bit like a diary, but it recorded some of the more intangible, emotional parts of my year too.
This quote was one that was given to me by a teacher after my GCSEs in year 11, so nearly 5 years ago. It was on my bedroom wall at home, in uni halls and in my second year home too. I really liked understanding somebody else’s criteria for success and these ones seem accessible to everyone, regardless of circumstance and situation. For me, over the past year, I would say that I managed to do or experience most, if not all, of these things and they bring up happy, positive things for me, as well as reminding me how I have grown and changed. The most basic things life can offer: song, laughter, playing – are the ones that essentially have meaning when it comes down to it past the trouble, strife and difficulty of everyday life. If I take what Mr Emerson says to be true, then I have had a successful year.
Although ‘My Year in Quotes’ is technically up, I don’t think I will stop posting just yet. If and when I come across something interesting or when I feel the need to express myself, I will write about it here. Looking over this makes me wonder if things are different after 12 little months. Have I changed? Perhaps. I would say I am more self aware and perceptive, and I know that I am braver when it comes to facing scary or difficult things. I am more able to see and remind myself of what is truly important but in other ways I am more confused about the world (a feeling I don’t think will lessen the more the years pass.)
One thing this blog has highlighted for me is just how quickly time disappears; its a little frightening, really. Maybe one day in the future, I’ll look back and think ‘wasn’t I a whinge bag’ or ‘gosh, I was innocent and naive’ or maybe I’ll just cringe at some of the things I have said (most probable) but most importantly, I hope to look on it and think of happy memories and many, many smiles.*
*this is something I can cringe about in the future.