It’s been tricky trying to compose this post, for I’ve been struggling to comprehend the glory and the mess of 2016. It’s a new year, which for most means a fresh start, I’ve got a few ideas for resolutions, but I must admit I don’t think I’ve ever seen a resolution through to the end of a year. I can’t even remember what my resolutions were last year, no doubt they were something along the lines of lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, be positive, work hard and so forth. The same resolutions I make year in year out.
Resolutions frustrate me on a personal level, for every year I’m wishing that the next will be better… ‘2014/15/16 will be my year.’ I’m always desperate at the start of every year that things will get better. For me that means that I’ve always felt sad or ashamed of something that’s happened, or that what I’ve achieved hasn’t been enough, hence I beg myself to do better, which instead of leaving me feeling positive for the coming year it just leads me to dwell on the negative of the previous. Well, this year I’ve of course made the same resolutions (got ta stick to the system), and this year I mean it (ha, the pretzels I just ate beg to differ). Okay, the past year I’ve been both healthy and unhealthy, so the coming few months are dedicated to getting my health back on track, however in the midst of this courageous resolution I don’t want to skip over what I’ve achieved – dealt with – this past year.
2016, you were easily the trickiest twelve months I’ve had to endure. No doubt you were packed full of positives, but it’s so easy for me to get caught up on the difficulties I faced.
This past year I’ve been to the dark depths of my mind more times that I would have liked; there were times that it felt too overwhelming, too difficult, life felt impalpable, and I couldn’t figure out what the next step was. I had no choice but to seek the support of others, who have guided me forward – even if forward has just meant that I’ve kept plodding on. I’ve fought an internal battle day in day out just to comprehend reality, and I’ve continuously kept fighting, weakly, admirably and bloody fiercely when I’ve had too. And most importantly, others have fought beside me. I have no idea if the next twelve months will be the same, will be less difficult, or just a breeze, but I do know that I fought hard and though I do hesitate to admit it I’m a lot stronger than I let myself believe.
The difficult times were just that – difficult. However, throughout these past months I’ve been reminded of the empathy, patience, kindness and pure brilliance of others. Those I work with, those I live with, my friends, my family and those unfortunate souls on my mental health team who have to listen (or sit with baited breath) as I sit in silence not knowing what to say or do.
But, 2016 you’ve been glorious. You’ve allowed me to reach new places professionally, taking me to Belgium with work, allowing me to attend national forums, write publicly on some wonderful platforms, and you’ve allowed me to remain true to myself professionally. Its funny, when I’m at work is when I feel most comfortable – the confidence, sass (professional of course) and self-belief I’ve developed professionally is something that I’m very proud of. Ironically yesterday I was thinking that I’ve had a year out of it all – no big public speeches in the House of Lords this past year, or no press passes to festivals, however… I’ve really developed professionally and I am truly proud of that… Hello confidence, it’s been a while.
2016, you invited me to two wonderful marriages, one of a close friend, and the other my sister (who had two receptions – cheeky bugger). 2016, you brought family back to me that I’ve not seen in years, family from all over the world, with it you brought many drunken nights and some pretty fierce hangovers too, but I’ll let you off. You gave me my lovely, incredible, amazing Fairy Goddaughter (my sister’s best friend had a wee little one, and she is pure heaven, I’m in love). You brought and made me pay for my first car… (Ron) he’s a Citroen, so he’s CitRONALD WEASLEY. You brought me TWO NEW HARRY POTTER BOOKS. And a film. You brought me a new obsession with wine, gin and dropping drinks in pubs because I’m a clumsy bugger. You brought me new friends, new colleagues and possibly my first speeding ticket (I find out about that one soon dammit). Therefore, ya brought me a new sense of being a careful driver, no more of that formula one I’m indestructible stuff. You brought me new places to explore, new adventures, new pubs, new restaurants, new plants (yep), new shoes, new clothes, a new overdraft (kidding), and new memories. You’ve forced me to say goodbye to a lot of things and people that I wasn’t ready to leave yet, but you gave me the support of others to help me through. You made me face difficulties, but you allowed me to realise that I can fight through a heck of a lot of stuff.
Most importantly 2016 you gave me gratitude. This past year has been both glorious and messy, but I made it through, and weirdly, though I’m slightly exasperated, slightly pleased to see the back of you, I’m also grateful and very fond of the memories we made, and I’m ready to greet 2017 with a big huge, slightly apprehensive, go out and defeat the world attitude.
Cheers to that.