2011 has been nothing short of incredible.
I’ve moved again – this time to Melbourne – and I have travelled more than I have ever travelled including stepping my foot in Europe for the first time. From the highs of launching Soften the Fck Up to the lows of losing my godmother, I sit here breathing a deep sigh of thankfulness as I reflect on all the achievements and loss. Compared to 2010, I have certainly become a better person, been the best that I can be and more importantly, I hope, did my best in creating a better place for the people around me to live in.
This year, more than ever, I am constantly reminded of death, and it is not a comfortable thought but it is that very same thought that has shaped the person I am today, living each day as if my last. Nine years ago, I lost a very, very dear friend and when you’re faced with mortality, you learn to live. And you choose to do things that make you feel alive. Every single day.
Again, today I am reminded of how fragile the human life is and in this fleeting moment that we have, what matters is our expression of love, empathy, compassion and kindness to those around us.
2011 also saw me making onto the list of “Young and Influential”, “Melbourne’s Top 100″, Suicide Prevention Australia’s LIFE Award and all the yadda yadda blah blah that reassures me that I am doing the right thing according to some people.
It certainly hasn’t been easy, putting myself out there to be criticised – from the way we chose our filming methodology, to the way I have chosen my target audience, everyone has an opinion about me. However, I wouldn’t trade anything to be in the position I am in right now, living my life and doing the things that I love doing every single minute that I am alive.
I count myself very fortunate to have all the opportunities to create, to play, to belong, to love and be loved, and to create the world that I want to see. Part of that also come with a question that I’ve used in all the things I do – how do I create opportunities for those around me to feel like they are a part of something, to feel like they belonged, to feel like they have an influence and more importantly, somewhere, whether physically or virtually, they can find love, compassion, kindness and empathy. Afterall, it is all these that makes us feel alive, knowing that you have the opportunity to create your own world with those around you.
In 2011, I have certainly become more comfortable with inner-self – my own fears and doubts, and learning patience, humility and biting the bullet. I have also learned to surround myself with people that matter, being comfortable to tell my stories and empower others as much as others have empowered me. I learned that love and passion are contagious.
So, what does this mean for 2012?
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions and never have because my life tends to be unpredictable but it is certainly shaping to be the biggest year yet. My first 4 months of 2012 include the first strategy weekend for Spur Projects (the organisation behind Soften the Fck Up), tripling our current collaborative working space at Hub Melbourne and turning it into a high-tech meets heritage playground, launching ProductX (we’re still searching for a name, formerly GetClassmate), FreshlyHacked, and maybe a trip over to the US for Hub’s strategy meeting.
Having said that, you can hold me accountable to this: 2012 will be a year where I invest more into creating homes, whether virtual or physical – through projects, campaigns, my work and my life – where humanity thrives. Homes where people can feel a sense of belonging, a deep sense of trust, love, empathy, kindness and compassion, and a place where what makes up humanity is respected – our commonalities and individual differences. But I do need your help and support.
As 2011 draws to an end, thank you for all the love, and to all my stinking friends, and mentors – Aleem and Kerry Graham – thank you for jamming with me and believing in me more than myself!
So here is to a whirlwind 2012, and with the hope that I come out the other end unscathed and still in one piece.