Monday, 1 August 2022. The first day of a new month on the first day of a new week.

A new beginning has always resonated with me.

Hidden in every new beginning a clean slate: promise and potential waiting to be uncovered.

  I loved the idea of starting afresh. In my experience though, the excitement was often accompanied by unrealistic expectations followed by the inevitable feelings of disappointment and failure. I wanted new beginnings to miraculously erase bad habits or delete typos in my life story or, better still, be a magic wand to create a perfect future. However, I came to learn instead that a new beginning is an opportunity to pause and be present, reflect on and learn from the past, and dream about a new yet imperfect future, built on the past.

Or, as Ollivier Pourriol* so aptly describes the art of writing: “Saving your errors means carrying on, instead of going back to correct the sentence you’ve written. You can save the sentence that isn’t quite right and put it with the sentence that comes after, which might start with ‘or rather’, or ‘ to put it better’. Writing isn’t about producing one perfect sentence after another, but about correcting your first, imperfect sentence with one that follows, and so on. 

What really matters when you’re building a wall isn’t the first stone, but the ones that follow, which interlock, as far as possible, and end up between them forming a wall along with the first stone. Continue. Keep moving forward, don’t look back. The exercise of writing without crossing out seems difficult until you try it. You don’t believe you’re entitled to make mistakes; you think you’ll be paralysed by the idea that you can’t go back. In fact, the opposite happens as soon as you accept that you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to lean on the imperfection of your first sentence to make the next one emerge.”

This is also true in the context of the journey called life, don’t you think? And I find this quite liberating. Today, on the first day of August 2022, let’s give ourselves permission to let our mistakes form part of our stories without it shaping our identities. Let’s add changes in small increments to our lives, to ultimately become rhythms rather than disciplines. Let’s reassess our values and make it representative of what we want our futures to look like. And most importantly, let’s enjoy the beautiful gift of life.
Love Christi
*The French Art of Not Trying Too Hard (Ollivier Pourriol)