It’s 2015. It’s the second of January, and here I am. Finally ready to join the conversation. After some thought, I know what I want to say.
Inadvertently, also how I want to begin 2015.
I had to write this one on paper because I want my thoughts to be as pure and genuine as possible.
The truth is, up until around 10 years old, I was a very serious person. I took people, and well, life, seriously. I kept reasonably to myself. In the earlier
years of school, I remember there were times I would sit in the sun, alone, to eat my lunch. Not because I didn’t have friends, but by choice. I was and
 always have been comfortable with my own company. I did all my homework on Monday, went to dance on Tuesday. I learnt to cover for my brother
 when he didn’t eat his sandwich on Wednesday, and continued to eat my own on Thursday. I was the sibling that offered a concerned look,
 a “we shouldn’t be doing this” in risky, adventurous situations. I was safe, and I was sensible.
I’m not sure if it was ever a conscious decision, but as it happens, I’ve grown and I’ve changed, and I’m most definitely not that girl today. I have
 no desire to be her. Sure, there are still hints of her personality that shine at the best of times. I mean she’s useful when I really shouldn’t be
doing something – she’s the first to know and admit it. Otherwise, I’m glad she’s set me free over the years.
At some stage I must have decided that this straight, play-it-safe girl, whose funny side only appeared on rare occasions, was not ‘McKenzie Collins’, or
the person I wanted the name to resonate with. I looked up to my brother, an outgoing, confident individual. I wanted to be more like him. After all,
we grew up side by side. We did the same things. I just worried about and critiqued them more.
Don’t get me wrong, to this day, I still like to get things done on time, I work hard, and I have big goals. But I pride myself on being able to accept failure
and also the fact that I chose and will continue to choose fun and making memories over hitting the books, or ‘being productive’, or ‘following the law’
 (haha kidding on that one), when it feels right.
Here’s something I’ve learnt. We can and we will have success, if we work hard for it. Similarly, fun is also something we have to be open to.
It’s taken a few years for me, and yet, it will take a few more but I feel like I’m finally settling into the person I am and edging towards the person I want to be.
 I’m okay with being the girl who won’t stop talking in class. And I’m okay with smiling more than the average person. I’m okay with my desire to sometimes
break the rules. And I’m also okay with the line I’ll draw as my boundary. I am okay with the fact that I can be stressed, that I can laugh it off, that other times
I will cry it off. I am okay with knowing that this year I’ll continue to make bad jokes, to laugh when I shouldn’t and to get angry at the little things. I’m
okay with the fact that my weight will fluctuate, and that so will my grades, in the knowledge that one thing won’t. It’s my passion.
A passion for life and sharing it with good people. Waking up early because there’s so much of it to live. 2015 only lasts 365 days, and I’ve come to understand
 that this isn’t many. We can’t waste too many of them being serious and not laughing from the depths of our bellies about things of no depth at all. Because
that’s what we’ll remember at the end of this year. Just like we did the last. All the times we made ourselves proud. For the times we coped, the times we
strived, the times we got up and took another step forward despite our tendency to trip.
Let us not limit ourselves by who we were last year or ten years ago. This year, we’ll be the person we want to be. We’ll be open to change in ourselves
and in people around us. Let’s accept, forgive, move, do and be something or everything if we so choose. It’s time we stopped letting the fact that
people see us as one thing hold us back from being something different, something better.
2015 has something remarkable etched in it’s make-up. May the year bring more than 365 days, 8760 hours and 525600 minutes. May it bring you
forward. The one that you’d be proud to pedestal. Someone said to me the other day, “You know, I don’t have resolutions. I’m just always trying
to be the best person I can be.”
McKenzie xx
Shot by Tony Collins in Denarau, Fiji, wearing: Piha swimwear

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