Mourning

The past week or so had left me feeling rather apathetic and discontent, but the experience I had today turned my perspective around. I felt that my life was stagnating and that I was kidding myself with dreams of adventure. I experienced disgust in my body and mind and terrified myself (as I often do) at this overwhelming life I have acquired.Today, some people I value highly helped me shed a new light on these somber thoughts.

Tanya Meyer, who by merely existing sheds light around us, shared one of her fantastic projects with us today. This specific project is ‘the one second project’. The project entails taking a one-second video o yourself every day for a year and then compiling a 365 second flashback of the year gone by.

Today at break time, Tanya allowed our circle a private viewing of her two thousand and fourteen. I watched in  awe as this person’s year reached out to us, practically breaking the confines of its screen. The video was enhanced by a handful of those ‘true’ songs which clamp around your heart and force you to feel something. Slowly, Tanya’s year unfurled. Her smiling face in dozens of locations: her kitchen, her bedroom, school and various places across the city (the country, the world)! Every now and again one of us would gasp as our own face appeared above a specific date.

We spent minutes living through her year: following her around the country and back into the comfort of her own home. It felt as if we were curling our fingers around the edges of her life, peeling it open and skimming over her most intimate moments.

October rolled into November and far too soon, December was upon us. The videos continued to tell a beautiful story but as the days of December ticked ominously by, a feeling of dread clutched me.

The video ended and everybody resumed their motion. I exhaled for the first time in a century.

“She’s going to…die.” Murmured my boyfriend from besides me. Someone loudly commented that that was the kind of thing you would play at a funeral. They carried on.

I did not carry on. I looked at my boyfriend and there was an understanding. We sat, blinking ferociously, as we tried to determine what had happened.

We both knew it was something deeply and strangely emotional. It was something about the passage of time. Us, desperately trying to remember forgotten memories. How we missed that sparkle in every day that Tanya had managed to capture.

That year, compressed into a moment, shook us into remembering our own mortality (an issue that we both try very hard to forget). The video was a funeral. It was two thousand and fourteen’s eulogy and we finally had to mourn the year’s passing.

That video showed us that each of those seemingly dull moments were precious and we want to remember them. We came to an agreement today: we are committed to taking those bits and pieces of life and stitching them together in a lovable, memorable pattern. We are going to take pictures. We are going to write down all the moments that make us happier or wiser or better and put them in a jar. We are going to take one second videos.

Then, on the 31st of December we are going to get spectacularly drunk. We are going to crack open that and jar and watch the Hell out of that video. We are going to laugh and cry (a lot) and we are going to give two thousand and fifteen a proper sending off.

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Two Thousand and Fourteen – a review

Recently regaining consciousness after completing my grade 11 final exams, I find myself in a state of confusion, clarity, excitement and disappointment.

A week remains until I collect my exam results – the exam results that will determine my admission into university.

A month remains until two thousand and fifteen – the final year I will spend in high school.

On my wall I have one of those year planners : a block a day for three hundred and sixty five days. For the past year I have scrawled on it things to remember which, for a nerd like me, mostly includes test dates and project reminders. Only every so often do I see a block which brings up a memory. One weekend in April, the block letters “Cape Town” appear, reminding me of the trip I made to my prospective university’s open day. Perched between “Physics practical” and “English paper 3”  is the note “1 Year <3” . That’s the anniversary of the beginning of a  rather strange relationship with the Boyfriend. One week before “AP Maths Exam” sits “Seventeenth Birthday” and I remember presents and pizza.

December is barren, save for an entry on the tenth, ” Last day of Grade eleven – report collection”. That was one of the first entries that went up in January and its message has become heavier and heavier with each passing day. Occasionally throughout the year I would glance at it, either for study motivation or perhaps to count the days until school was out. Whatever the case, it was always in the far distant future. That is how The Future sneaks up on you.

The handful of personal entries are pockets of emotion, but what hits even harder are the numerous empty days in between. What happened on those days? How did I spend those twenty four hours of my life? As the days rushed through my system, they must have meant something. They could have bored me, excited me, challenged me or reduced me to tears. Now all I have of those days are empty blocks on a calender I will soon throw away.

I did not fulfill all of the promises I made to myself 11 months ago. I can not run five kilometers. I have not blogged once a week. I did not wash my face every day. This does not mean I am the same. This does not mean that my year has been a failure.

To be honest, I do not even remember my New Year’s resolutions. However, things did happen this year. Changes were made. I improved my school average by seven percent. I stopped biting my nails (except for the right thumb. It’s the cheat nail). I kept my room tidier than I usually do. I made to do lists and I did the things. I put on two kilograms. I cut off almost all of my butt-length hair.

I grew up a little bit more.  I no longer live in the body of a child. My opinions have been altered. My frame of mind has been shattered and rebuilt. I grew closer to some people while the bond I shared with others frayed. My priorities shifted. I set ridiculously high standards for myself and most of the time I met them. Each day, even the ones I can’t remember, changed me piece by piece.

Two thousand and fourteen will sadly not be remembered for each and every day. I do not remember what happened on January the twenty second or April the seventeenth or September the second. A month from now I will probably not remember what happened on December the first. Those days are gone forever. I will remember two thousand and fourteen as the year I lost a friend. The year my academic performance exceeded my expectations. The year I climbed a mountain (Still so proud). The year of the bob.

One year ago, on a day I can’t remember, I was a bored sixteen year old with short nails and long hair. Now, on a day I will not remember, I am a bored seventeen year old with long nails and short hair. Except now I have a year’s more experience on my mind, a year’s more wear and tear on my skin and a year’s more hopes and dreams in my soul.

Thank you, two thousand and fourteen. A year I won’t remember but an experience I will never forget.