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New Year's Resolutions illustration

To a Better Future: My Resolutions

It’s that time of the year again when people ‘cannot believe another year has passed’. In the tradition of this blog, I use this time to reflect on my past year, review last year’s resolutions and think about how I imagine my upcoming year to be.

Let’s celebrate failure

There are quite a few things I wasn’t able to do in 2021, some due to Corona, some were personal failings. However, I am on a path of dealing with failure better and not falling apart because of every setback. But looking back at last year’s resolutions, there are some shortcomings. I didn’t start street working (except for one single time) and I also did not significantly expand the reach of my freelance business. So, in case you need help with design or something similar, just write me! Due to Corona I, unfortunately, wasn’t able to travel to Japan for my birthday. I did make major progress on the first draft of the book I’ve been writing for around three years – and I will be able to share some of it very soon – but I did not finish it, as I had planned.

Let’s celebrate success

Let’s look on the bright side! For obvious reasons, much of this year focused on the online world. For example the online exhibition _Ghost Thoughts I created in the spring of 2021. It’s still my favorite story highlight to visit on my Instagram page! I went back to university to study English with a focus on literature. I don’t intend to finish this program but I do wanna profit from the education for my personal writing. I also participated in the creative business coaching program c hoch 3 which, inter alia, led me to make a bilingual version (English/German) of my own homepage. Later that year, I was part of the wonderful exhibition we ❤ illustration in the designforum in Graz and was nominated for two OfG design awards. I also continued to teach design courses at a local educational institute until they had to be canceled due to the pandemic.

Following my personal goal of creating one short film a year (click here for last year’s FRACTURES), I created a video short for the song wait for me by Moby. I am immensely proud of having done this small film project all by myself (with the help of the two actors involved of course!) and if you ever wanted to give me five minutes of your time, I suggest you go watch it too! Probably my biggest achievement of 2021 is the Instagram comic account LESS IS LESS my favorite partner in crime, Jacqueline Kaulfersch, and I co-created. I am proud to say that over the course of just a couple of months, our comics were featured in PAGE magazine as well as Kleine Zeitung – and there’s so much more to come! 😉

Let’s celebrate emotions

I started this year heartbroken and lonely. It was the middle of the 7-month lockdown. I wasn’t being very active or productive. Then, something unexpected happened when I met Prof. Fisherman, a Brazilian doing research in my hometown. I started to share my world again and opened up, I started healing and I am very thankful for this wonderful time, especially the time we went sledding down the mountain and I had him screaming for his life in front of me!

Let’s celebrate change

Later that year, I got somewhat involved in local politics. Because rainbow ‘advertising’ used to be forbidden in my hometown during the Gay Pride season, the local LGBT+ alliance Rosalila PantherInnen and I executed a plan of distributing rainbow flags in the city. We even went so far as to spray rainbows on public spaces (with removable spraypaint) and I am very proud of having been part of that! After recent elections, my hometown made headlines becoming the only city in Europe with a communist mayor! We also now have a vice mayor from a green party and this constellation only gets better by the fact that both of them are women.

Let’s celebrate travel

Even though I wasn’t able to spend my 30th birthday in Japan, I went on a vacation in the summer. My best friend and I went on a road trip through the Balkan region. We visited Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Albania and discovered the most beautiful beach I have ever seen in my life. Being at a beach at night for a huge techno rave definitely made up for not having been in Japan! Later in the summer, I again went to Berlin for around two months. I go there regularly to find inspiration, work, explore and meet friends. However, I definitely didn’t expect to be taken by storm by the city again. I thought I was already in love with its atmosphere, the people and life there but this year was different and even more intense. I have rarely ever felt so free and so emotionally charged… emotional in general… And even though not everything turned out to be paradise, it has been wonderful living the dream for a moment. In the autumn, I spend some days in Vienna and traveled to the Czech Republic to have my sleeve tattoo finished by tattoo legend Ondrash.

Conclusion

If this year has taught me anything, then that it is impossible to plan ahead. I did some great things this year but had plenty of failings – and that is OK. There’s no point in worrying about the future and worrying about failure because the fact of the matter is that you will stumble. Constantly. And you will make the same mistakes over and over again. And you will become the victim of your own patterns. And eventually, you will get better and make fewer of the same mistakes. And along the way, you will do great things that sometimes won’t have the form you expected them to be. I haven’t stopped dreaming – and I hope I never will – but I realize more and more that life is bigger than dreams, thoughts, patterns, or anything else a single person can grasp.

I wanna keep the tradition of doing a list of my personal resolutions, this year they are simple:

New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Finish the first draft of my book and edit it.
  2. Travel.
  3. Make Zen, Yoga and meditation regular constants in my life.
  4. Put my own happiness first.

 

BenLeander

 

 

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Compulsive nonconformist who left the 9-to-5 world after studying psychology and has since then devoted himself to design and writing on a freelance basis. Has at least four different kinds of chips at home at any given time.

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