I don’t like keeping resolutions, because I know I’m going to break them. If you’re one of those people that thrives off resolutions, I envy you.
Ever since I watched Ze Frank’s Invocation for Beginnings, I’ve found myself ingratiated to the idea of a manifesto or invocation whenever I start something; whether it’s a notebook for school, a new semester, a new journal I’m hoping to actually fill up all the way. It forces me to think about what I’m going to write, and writing something down – for me – injects a certain permanence into the manifesto. It gets burnt into my memory, and especially the bit of my brain that’s behind my determination (and overambition of course). It becomes an ego thing.
I don’t like admitting I have an ego, but I totally do. And at least in this case the ego serves me well.
So here is my invocation: Towards Kindness.
I will charge forward into this blank slate with confidence in my steps and caution thrown to the wind. I will be ready with a smile and an open heart to welcome opportunity and friendship into my life; I will remember that I have trusted and been broken for that trust but that it has never stopped me from trusting before, so why should it have any effect now? I will remember that the best nights are those where I had no intention of staying up late and do anyway; I will remember that that is how I made my best friends and met those who I love. I will not be cranky if I only get 7 hours of sleep as opposed to 8, and I will (try to) not regret being bleary-eyed and exhausted the following day.
I will remember that life is about art and the written word and music. I will remember that I have learnt about the meaning of art from engineers, about the nuances of the written word from computer scientists, and about music from beauty gurus on Youtube. I will remember that life is all around me and that it is the grandest Work in Progress; and I will remember that the best art I have created is that whose final manifestation I had no inkling of when I started drawing.
I will not compare myself to other people. That’s not fair to anyone involved. And I will not tell myself I hate myself even when I do; I will not say those words again.
I will remember on my darkest days that I can create. I will remember when I am angry how it feels to love and be loved. I will remember when I fail that I have succeeded. I won’t remember my mediocre IGCSE grades because that is how irrelevant they have become to my present; and that is how it should remain and how it will be when I am an adult, whether cum laude or not, magna or summa notwithstanding.
I will remember that laughter is only a breath away. I will remember that my loved ones are only a phone call, text message, walk, or some number of train stops away. I will remember that love sneaks up on you in beautiful ways. I will learn that friendship is a matter of retrospect; so reflect. I will remember that people I used to dislike are now my close friends. I will remember that adulthood is a sharp learning curve, and that’s okay.
I will remember that some music hurts to listen to because it meant so much.
I will remember that there is no greater feeling than that of being held.
I will remember that I have as much to teach as I have to learn – and I love teaching.
I will remember that there is nothing like losing yourself in a book – so read as much as you did when you were younger.
I will remember that if I can’t sleep it’s probably because I have a poem I need to write – so write it.
I will remember that if I still can’t sleep properly, it’s because I’m fantasizing instead of drifting off – so, I don’t know, is it a really good fantasy? Because if it is that’s okay.
I will remember that I have been shown kindness in ways that have and will shape my life. I will remember that my life’s goal is to change the world; and if the world is made of 7 billion individual lives, and if change starts from your immediate circle, I cannot be unkind even if it is unintentional.
I must be the light in the darkness that I seek in my darkest moments. I must be the open arms I myself rush into when I hurt.
I will invoke kindness and beauty and grace in everything I do. I will feel rage but I will turn it into creativity and not destruction. I will ease my anger into sweetness. I will be honey and the honeybee.
And I will invoke all this unto myself.