The Blank Canvas

Happy New Year! I must admit that I always view the crossover between one year and the next with some reluctance because we’re encouraged to celebrate it, and – not being the biggest fan of January – I tend to wonder what there is to celebrate. We all feel the post-Christmas blues, right? There’s so much to lift us in December that when we get to January, regardless of whether or not we have the opportunity for a fresh start, the realities of everyday life reappear and we inevitably feel the comedown. Call me negative and a pessimist if you like, but fear not, because after midnight had struck and the champagne had been downed, I made a sudden but encouraging realisation.

People say that “life is what you make it”, but that does of course depend on your individual situation and what you have at your disposal. I was thinking about that expression last night, at which point I remembered that 2016, for me, would be an almost completely blank canvas on which to “make” my life. As things stand, the job I was due to start in just a few days’ time hangs in the balance. Circumstances beyond my control mean I could be starting later than I expected, and depending on when that is I may have to move on and find something else. It’d be a shame to have to abandon such a great job, but if it should come to that it’s important that I stay positive about the future – and that’s where the canvas analogy comes in useful.

Don’t be fooled into thinking I haven’t considered the difficulties associated with getting a job, especially for a disabled person like me who has to find something he can do in the first place before negotiating every other hurdle. I have visited many job websites time after time, always refreshing the page for updates, only to find things I’m too underqualified and experienced for. Distance is an issue, too. I need to focus on how I’m to resolve all of them, of course – but my mentality is important, too. I’m thinking of my predicament as something that is giving me complete control over how I fill the coming year. Until now, school and College occupied a great deal of it, but now that is gone and I am flying solo. If I am productive and successful, I will be satisfied, and if not I will only drag myself down and be held accountable by others. I need to make sure I tackle this challenge head-on and be happy, hardworking, creative, enthusiastic and social (where the opportunities arise). These aren’t New Year’s Resolutions – breaking them would be a tremendous risk. They simply need to happen and if I consider them in this way, the pressure will be off because they will just be part of normal life – therefore, I can go into 2016 with a smile on my face!



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