I’ll be honest I won’t be sad to see the back of 2023 although it’s often said that we learn more from adversity than we do from triumph.
Speaking personally, I’ve always been a bit reticent to engage with social media in the past choosing instead to use this platform to make an occasional observation on the ways of the world, locally or beyond.
Given my change of circumstances (I separated from my wife, Jil, last year) and a need to connect personally as well as through Wimblecomm, I’ve decided this year I’m going to be more open about the challenges as well as the success stories of working with this charity for the past 12 years. Why we (as trustees) do it, our hopes for a happier, kinder, more connected community and the obstacles we face along the way to make our lives richer and more fulfilling.
I’ve decided to have a go at doing a weekly blog (of around 500-600 words) and immerse myself more in the world of social media. This isn’t just about therapy (although I’ve been seeing a counsellor for a while now and she is encouraging this) it’s a legitimate hope that by being more open about my own issues, I may connect with some kindred spirits who see the world similarly. And we can learn together.
I think the starting point for me is does it matter what I say? Will anyone read it? Is my voice valid anyway? The internet is awash with people expressing themselves and the competition for ‘air time’, or whatever the equivalent is for written or spoken words on the web, is immense. But I’ve concluded if I don’t it will be a wasted opportunity and I have just as much right to express myself as any other citizen.
This is what I see as one of the central conundrums at the heart of modern society. Once upon a time getting your voice heard meant finding an outlet through mainstream media, writing a book or an article, getting seen or heard on stage, on radio or on screen. Now mainstream media competes with social media and a plethora of alternative channels to be seen and heard.
I’ve recently been exploring the whole issue of ‘self esteem’ versus ‘humility’. Low self esteem comes from the feeling that my voice doesn’t matter. But at the same time, we often expect people to be humble – none of us like boasters. However, there is a happy medium to be reached in getting your voice heard, without seeking to dominate. And my intention is to try and strike that happy medium.
Over the coming weeks and months, I will seek to tell the story of how we have come to this place with the charity, why I think it is important and a few personal stories on the way. Come the end of the year you can be the judge of whether it has been successful or not.
As I think some of you will be aware, theatre is also a passion of mine and telling stories through that medium will also be a key focus in the coming months.
Next week I will reflect on some of the specifics of the last 12 months, where we find ourselves now with a new member of staff to recruit and a new trustee on board. But for now, may I wish you all a very happy new year. For me, I’m hoping 2024 will also be a transformational one.