On the last night of 2015, Jake and I were getting ready to go out when he suggested we sit down with a glass of Woodford Reserve and have a small private toast to the year before joining London in its revelry.
As we sat and reflected on the past twelve months, my thoughts distilled in the way they usually do once I start writing my yearly reflections.* That’s one of the best examples of how this year has been different to the previous few: instead of sitting on my own ruminating with a laptop in front of me, I was talking things out with my partner, who has steadfastly supported and encouraged me throughout this often difficult year.
For that, I am immeasurably grateful. Thank you, Jake.
When I look back at 2015, the word that comes to mind is tired. I spent so much of this year feeling stretched thin, never able to rest long enough to catch up on lost sleep or time. Until the Christmas break, I spent most weekends wishing I could have just one more day off, one more long sleep, one more bubble bath, one more movie on the couch. Today, I finally feel ready to get back to work and to work hard.
At the end of 2014, I had recently lost my job (and was still in a fair amount of denial about it). I also lost my beautiful godmother right before Christmas, bringing a heavy sadness to the festive season. Early in 2015, I spent two months slogging through job applications, in the middle of which I lost my cousin in a sudden car accident. By April, I had moved (for the tenth time in four years) to London, to live with Jake and work my two new jobs. And I was so tired.
My old frenemy D. Pression made an unwelcome visit this year as well, squatting in my new home and glaring at me from the corner of every room. In my tiredness, I’d grown distracted, not noticing the shadows until they’d nearly swallowed me whole.
My depression made me angry. I’d done so much work in the past three years, getting healthier, happier and on what I felt to be the right track. This year felt like I’d taken a step backwards, or no steps at all. I resented myself for not continuing to move forward – and feared it meant my relationships with those around me would suffer or fail. The feeling that I’d helplessly slipped backwards over the past year stayed with me until last night, when Jake and I sat talking this all through, and I realised how often I’d been paralysed by fear and exhaustion throughout 2015.
So much of last year was spent dwelling on the past, something I’d previously been doing pretty good at letting go of. In 2016, I want to have the strength to accept whatever kind of year I have – and to see any steps, no matter how small or meandering, as progress. I don’t want to spend any more time feeling stuck.
I also want to see, talk to and generally make more time for as many of the friends and family I’ve neglected over the past year. Thank you all for bearing with me. Don’t be strangers!
Here’s to 2016: the year of getting un-stuck.
I hope it brings you everything you need, plus a bit of what you want.