This year I… (in no particular order)
Began the year with dried tears and new resolve. Flew to Jersey alone as I turned 30 and knew peace. Trod in the footsteps of my Grandmother and whispered the names of those I loved out to the sea. Made a secret wish.
Accidentally found a tree fort and sat in it with a new friend. Hurt a heart and sobbed with the shame and guilt of it.
Felt true fear at being told I almost certainly had an eye and brain tumour, and true relief at being told I definitely hadn’t. Surprised myself with coping and knew I could handle anything. Continued to prove myself right by handling many, many things.
Fell in love for really real for the very first time and went “Oh!”
Discovered what true happiness felt like and learnt the secret that it was something I could hold but not keep. Realised that now I knew its feeling I could squeeze it out of tiny moments all around me and did that, a lot.
Reassessed every experience of my adult life. Felt regret.
Found laughter had moved all the way into the front of my mouth and now tumbled out twice as easily.
Said less. Liked what I said more.
Ate home-made crème brûlée at midnight with my eyes closed. Was wined and dined.
Finally let go of something that was never meant to be.
Looked at strong hands on a railing under blue skies and knew nothing would ever be the same again.
Took all my clothes off to take photos to draw from and laughed until I cried.
Was told secrets and kept them.
Ditched self-bullshit and excuses and felt amazed at the peace it brought, despite it hurting like f*ck.
Enjoyed motherhood more than I ever had before. Made our little house shake with laughter and swell with shared imaginings.
Crept into a quiet bedroom in the dark, just to touch a tiny tousled head and feel the pull of love and gratitude in my stomach. Felt the same muscles twist with fear and panic at childhood illnesses that warranted neither.
Learnt what it is to miss someone and thought my heart would break with it. Thanked the stars for new technology.
Found an alien on a beach and married the sea. Soaked up every second of the best holiday I’d ever had.
Wept at the joy of a hundred preschoolers running to the Chariots of Fire theme.
Felt churning hatred at living alone and the fear it brings me. Felt beautiful. Faced crises with hands on hips. Crumpled. Got back up again.
Listened to my son’s speech morph from incomprehensible to something he could share with the world. Delighted in a hundred thousand things he said and thought my head would explode if I heard one more “Mummy?”
Felt an old enemy creep back and bring with it new friends. Remembered pain and what ‘tired’ can really mean. Became my own drill sergeant.
Helped my boy into his first school uniform. Washed many many more of the same.
Got cold and wet and walked hundreds of miles. Wondered at all the things that people that drive must miss out on seeing.
Adjusted to a world that now span and lurched. Discovered what it’s like to faint in front of a crowd full of people.
Made space rockets and castles and dens and robots and dinosaurs and pictures. Made a bed into a boat and a fireplace into a pirate cave.
Did nothing that resulted in renown, success, or worldly achievement and tried to be okay with this.
Fell in love with a sloth and two snails and nearly stole a cat.
Poured attention over faces, watched people and realised how much I love humankind.
Vowed not to quit and didn’t. Realised the value in making mistakes. Cried with frustration.
Saw the last remaining trees near my house chopped down or fenced off. Mourned the destruction of our bug wall. Longed for pastures a little greener.
Wrote letters, tried to nurture friendships, gave gifts and wished for the energy to do this twice as much. Witnessed someone I love get famous.
Phoned my mum to say “help” and realised how little I have ever done this. Spoke to sharply to her and hated myself for it. Loved my family harder than ever.
Watched my Dad say promises with eyes full of real love. Gained three step sisters. Felt deep awe and pride at my brother and my best friend finding their paths.
Lay awake at night worrying about money and the future. Counted my blessings over and over, looked for the positive and wrapped myself up in silver linings and realised how much better life feels when you do this.
Noticed more things than ever before but struggled to record them. Wished I had.
Hid too much.
Wished I’d asked people how they were more and kicked myself for not doing so. Hugged strangers.
Remembered the smell of hospitals and the feel of waiting room seats. Was made dizzy by medical talk. Felt grateful seeing the really big stuff ruled out. Braced myself for a new year of tests and elusive answers.
Was given beautiful gifts and treated with more kindness than I still feel I deserve. Vowed to be more worthy of it. Knew I could be better.
Took more photos and wrote more words in my head than I could ever include here but still wished I had more of them to show you.
Looked forward with trepidation but a strong heart and felt good.
Happy New Year xx