2019 and the end of the decade

As the year, and decade, draws to a close Instagram and Twitter is full of reflections, positivity and achievements as well as (if you follow the right people) reminders to be kind to yourself, to celebrate survival, to be at ease with anxiety about the future.  I don’t remember writing a post that wraps up my year since 2009, when I was 12 years old and still trying to navigate growing up and grief and countless other things. Looking back at what I wrote then I find myself in the same position I’ve wrote about countless times recently – wishing I could give her a glimpse of where I’m at now, to help her through. But writing about the whole decade would probably just emotionally drain me and I’m already teary enough (in a good way) thinking about the last 12 months alone…

This year has been challenging and at times the weight of everything has felt so unbearably overwhelming that I wasn’t sure I could get through it. But it’s also brought so much positive change and so much of what I’ve been dreaming of for years. I get back to my flat and feel relief as I unlock the front door, feel at home as I have dinner or a cup of tea or curl up with a book or even have a therapeutic cry. I have seen so many golden mornings and so many pink, bleeding skies. I’ve climbed up blustery hillsides and wandered across Millennium Bridge and by St Pauls on a beautiful, silent morning before the rest of London woke up. I’ve bought lots of flowers and had nights out that felt a bit like magic with the best people, spent far too much money on brunch, graduated (though not with the grade that I wanted, and that’s ok!), fallen in love with the view from a train window, worn pretty dresses and read poetry and novels that make me feel a little more at home in the world, explored new parts of the cities that I love so much and learned to like myself a little more, to be kinder to myself even when it feels like I don’t deserve it. I’ve pushed myself and encouraged myself and surrounded myself with people who support and love me. I’ve reached out for help when I’ve needed it (even if sometimes it isn’t easy. Mental health waiting lists are forever the worst). I got my first graduate job (!!), which is a particularly big achievement given that I used to be petrified that I’d never be able to hold one down because of my mental health. I’ve tried to be open about mental health and I’ve been a little braver about sharing the things that I write/create in the world, including two poetry collections (one of which was published by the wonderful Horsfall Gallery and 42nd Street). And, though it terrifies me to say it, I’m genuinely feeling content and happy at the moment. Life has been full of the kind of moments that I never believed I would get to see or feel. And I am so, so grateful for that.


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