I have had a big scary year.
I started an MA. I got a distinction in my first assignment. I have cried about it remarkably little. I’ve got a colour-coded notebook and my notes are useful. I’m a better writer than I was last time around and it’s a blessèd relief to notice it. I berated myself for leaving it so long to do this but having started I know it was the right time.
I’ve got better at my job, in lots of little ways. I still have a lot to learn. I’m trying.
I went on adventures. I went on two residential school trips (I went camping, can you imagine). I went to Glasgow and Cornwall with my family and on days out. I helped my friend move all the way to Liverpool, and I drove the van, and felt capable and helpful and butch. I drove a minibus, too, and did a three (well, five) point turn in a tiny street in Covent Garden, and am still supremely pleased with myself.
I went in a river in February, with giant wellies and a big stick. I swum in the sea. I swum in my local pool at 6am. I walked in the snow. I got better at accepting rain.
I made a Fun Palace. I’m really proud of what we did that day, and I learnt so much.
I’ve made new friends – some of them came into my life this year, some of them I already knew and got to know better – and I’ve had good and supportive and loving times with the friends I already had. I’m glad of them.
I’ve kept up the daily nice, a page in my notebook every month of each day’s little joys. Some of them were harder to fill than others, but I found something good for every day. I’ve been doing this for three and a half years now – first on the internet, and now in my notebook – and it helps me avoid wallowing when times are tough. Not always, but it helps.
I’ve advocated for myself better than ever, learnt to ask for things I want. I don’t always get it right but I’m getting better. I don’t do myself down as much as I used to.
It hasn’t been a perfect year. There’s been a lot of bad stuff, some of it close to me. It’s been hard. And I haven’t always been as kind, as proactive, as brave as I have wanted to be. But I’m working on it. And next year, I’ll be better, even if nothing else is.