December’s Experiment

December has drawn to a close, bringing it with an end to Christmas and to 2014 as a whole. It’s been a turbulent year, with dizzying highs and rock bottom lows. I got married, made a film in one shot that came 2nd place in a 24hrs film competition, got a new job, got a shiny new Kindle and yesterday got to see one of my closest friends who I haven’t seen in a very very long time. On the other hand, it’s been a year of high pressure and emotional strain. Ups and downs.

I ran a little self experiment in December. I decided I’d write a blog post a day for a whole month, see if I could commit and maybe get the creative juices flowing. It’s been quite interesting, truth be told. The scramble to find something to write about, the off-the-cuff creativity of trying to cover when I was just babbling for the sake of it.

I’m under no illusions here, I know I failed in my task. I didn’t write a post every day, it trailed off just after Christmas and the blog content was never stellar.

 But here’s the thing:

None of that matters.

This experiment was an attempt at boosting my creativity and discipline, sure, but it was also an experiment in self-forgiveness. Those who know me will know I don’t like making mistakes. I tend to beat myself up over the slightest infraction, knowing that I could have done better, that the mistake was avoidable and shouldn’t have been made.

On missing the first blog post I forgot to write, my first instinct was the inevitable knee-jerk. “I’m so rubbish, can’t even write a blog post a day” and so on. Visions of worthlessness danced through my head like sugarplums (tis the season, after all). And then it hit me with a flash.

I’m allowed to make mistakes. That’s what being an adult is all about.

Throughout your stay in the educational system they beat into you that mistakes are worthless, they push you to succeed and to get everything right first time. The impact this has had on me is that if I make a mistake I instantly feel pants.

Well, no more. I’m not at school or Uni any more. I am a responsible adult, and if I make a mistake or let myself or others down, then that’s fine. I just need to rally myself, learn from the experience and move on. I’m allowed to make mistakes, allowed to be wrong. As long as I learn from my mistakes.

For all the mistakes I’ve made last year, I forgive myself. I just need to remember them so I can learn from them.

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