For those of you who just love a list, here’s what you need to know:
1. Write more.
2. Shoot more
3. Relax more.
4. Feel worthy
For those of you who want just a little more detail, read on.
I love to write. Writing is what kept me going pre-transplant and it’s what helped (and still helps) me make sense of the world around me. Sitting in front of a big white screen and pouring out my thoughts gives me comfort and catharsis.
There are two things I want to achieve with my writing this year: I want to write a screenplay or a stage play that gets produced – by me or someone else – and I want to increase the readership of this blog.
I’ve spent many years wandering the wilderness with this blog since it started way back in the dark days of 2006, but I think this fresh new look at the life that’s been gifted to me allows me, I hope, to stick to what I’m good at: the joys and surprises of my life.
2012 itself will see me turn 30, get married and pass the 5-year post-transplant mark – a point only 50% of people who receive a double-lung transplant reach. After that, there’s currently no solid statistics for survival rate, so your guess is as good as mine. But I plan to keep going and going and to keep charting my progress right here, as I always have.
I love taking pictures and I love making films. In 2012 I hope to to more of both.
I want to stop myself procrastinating over my ideas and just start shooting them. I’m greatly inspired by Danny Lacey , who’s 16mm short, Love Like Hers , I co-produced in the summer of 2010 and who has since gone on to great things; I believe his secret lies in taking action: deciding he wants to do something, gathering the tools and people and shooting it.
Equally, Philip Bloom , who collaborated on Danny’s latest short film, often shoots all kinds of esoteric subjects in the name of camera tests etc. More than that, though, he doesn’t stop to wonder if they’re good or bad, fascinating or not; he just shoots them, cuts them and gets them out there.
That’s the kind of fearlessness I want in my own filmmaking in the next 12 months.
I can be quite a highly-strung person. I can get too invested in things, too caught up emotionally and I can let my temper get the better of me.
This year, I dabbled with the teachings of Buddhism and Zen, largely through the extraordinary Leo Babuta and his Zen Habits blog. As I read more and learned more, I found more peace, more calm and more control.
In the last couple of months as the Christmas period approached and the workload started to pile up in the lead-up to the break, I started to let this new outlook on life slip and get away from me.
I want 2012 to be the year I learned to quell my turmoil; the year I learned how to be truly happy; the year I learned how not to judge others, but live in my own peace; and the year I learned who the best me really is.
For anyone who’s had a transplant, they’ll tell you there’s always a sense of doing right by your donor. I don’t mean survivor’s guilt, but rather the idea that my donor is watching and a desire to know that they are smiling down on me and everything I do; that when I finally meet my maker and my re-maker in whatever is to come, they can slap me on the back and tell me they are proud.
That’s why 2012, for me, is about connecting with and helping people to achieve the things they most want to get out of their lives. I’m working on both a free eBook and a new website to help encourage people to do just that – seizing life by the proverbials and living it the way they truly want to.
Of course, I’ve got other goals, smaller goals, things I would love to do, but these five things encapsulate everything that drives me and everything I want to achieve.
If I can look back on 2012 in late-December and see that I’ve taken steps towards achieving all of these, I’ll be proud. And pride in oneself and what you accomplish is far from a deadly sin, but rather the warmest of rewards for never wasting a moment.