Have you ever looked into someone’s eyes and wondered just why the hell they love you as much as they do? You question why they support you through all of the mistakes that you’ve made, all the opportunities you’ve missed, or people you have offended. Well, today I asked myself that question as I left my family’s home in Coffs Harbour and drove the five hour commute back to my rental in Brisbane, marking the end of my holiday season. I sat in my car and I waved goodbye to my Mum and Dad and watched the way that they looked at me and my heart broke. These two people have given me everything they possibly could in this life, busting their arses throughout my junior years to provide me with an education, a roof over my head, and everything else. Yet all I’ve ever done to repay them is purchase questionable Christmas/Birthday gifts and embarrass them by running my mouth or failing to follow through on my dreams.
Yep, here comes one of those 2014 in review posts in which I, the writer, wrap up my successes and failures over the past twelve months. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite achieve everything that I’d hoped for.
See, every single New Year’s Eve I get drunk. And when I get drunk I get a little lippy. And when I get lippy I start telling anyone who will listen that in the next twelve months I will have my manuscripts published. Twelve months ago I underwent that ritual, and while I’d like to say I gave my dreams hell, I still managed to fall a little short. This year I continued to produce entries on this blog, had my work featured across a number of websites, met agents, publishers and authors in New York City, and shook hands with a Duke. I finished a manuscript, and commenced two more. I even managed to piss off a couple of religious fanatics who tried to deface my blog but subsequently drove huge numbers of people to this site, making it ever more successful (Oh well, at least they tried).
But I also had my fair share of failures. I ended a long term relationship, destroyed the career path I’d been on for four years, and buried friendships. I drank (a lot) for a period of time in order to suppress my feelings of heartbreak, inadequacy and failure. And I fell agonisingly short of finally achieving that damned goal I set every New Year’s by actually seeing my work in print.
All in all, I’d say that I had a pretty solid 2014. I achieved a hell of a lot for a twenty five year old writer, but as I drove away from my parents I still felt as though the entire year had been a bit of a misfire. When I write I have a number of catalysts for doing so. What started as a means to overcome the demons that dwelled within my soul quickly became a way to produce stories I wanted to share with the world. And now as I grow older and my parents do the same, I write because I want to make them proud of their son; the same son who has a penchant for pissing people off and failing to follow through with his goals.
So as I drove away from my family’s home and felt a tear of regret slide down my cheek for all of the missed opportunities of 2014 I resolved to push myself harder than I ever have before in 2015. It starts with this very post: here I am on New Year’s Day, hangover free and determined to stop pissing away my time. Over the next twelve months I will chase down my dreams and I will do anything I possibly can to break into the literary industry. There will be misfires and there will be times when I fail, but if I keep focused on who I am and where I’ve come from then I’ll finally make it to where I ultimately want to be.
My parents raised four beautiful kids who owe them the world. It’s time to give it to them.