Dear 2016, I've never been happier for a year to end. Usually I dread New Years Eve, it has always seemed like an ending to me and not a new beginning, however this time around I can't wait to put an end to the year. You have been, without a shadow of doubt, the saddest, most emotional and psychologically testing year of my life. I am also sure that I'm not the only one to think this too.
You have been the year that I withdrew into myself for long periods of time and the year that I have questioned all that I am and all that I want to be. Your life lessons have been more like impossible challenges, if I were to be slightly on the over dramatic side, I'd state that I couldn't have gotten through without a few special people by my side. I don't really believe this to be true, we all get through, no matter what, that's what life is all about. But, I don't believe I'd have pulled through, reaching the end of the year with the reminants of the person I once was left inside, slowly putting themselves back together again.
Like all years, there have been ups and downs, usually the ups well outweigh the downs but unfotunately this year, it's a tough call.
In January I started this brand new blog, something I am very proud of. It is my little space where I can scribble down the majority of the goings on in my mind. February brought the removal of three wisdom teeth, along with their own complications. I looked a little like a hamster for much of the month. It also brought a wonderful month of parties and spending time with friends. So far, so good, I was going to the gym and it was pretty smooth sailing. (Apart from the hamster look I was rocking.)
March hit my family in a way noone could have predicted. Two very close family members were diagnosed with cancer - March and April were whirlwinds of emotion, tea, flights back and fourth, coach journeys and hugs. They were also months that uncovered the strongest of friendships. Friends who went out of their way to do all that they could and more.
In May my beautiful one and a half eared cat passed away, something I think about various times a day. She jumped infront of the back wheels of my car where there was no way of me seeing her. It is something I can't forgive myself for. It has made me completely paranoid of the cats being out when I'm coming home after work. It has also been the catalyst for panic attacks. Although my rational mind tells me that there was nothing I could have done, in the dark, I replay the scene every time I arrive home.
Although May was painful, it also brought some very fun times and adventures. I met my lovely friend Rhiân who had recently moved to Barcelona and proceeded to get me into all sorts of trouble. I also had a check up at the doctors where my very surprised doctor gave me the all clear and said she had never seen me so healthy. She apologised for advising me not to follow a plant based diet and encouraged me to keep going.
June arrived, the sun was shining, the days were longer and plenty of cava was consumed as we neared the end of the school year. Something all teachers look forward to. I expected there to be plenty of dancing - the was. Plenty of drinking - there really was and plenty of food - there was. What I didn't expect though, was to fall head over heals for my best friend. The person who had been on the end of the phone through everything, had made it all better and never failed to make me smile.
July was spent in the sun, in bars, exploring Barcelona and relaxing. After a busy school year it was most certainly needed.
A wave of saddness washed over August and September, my Nan unexpectedly fell ill and passed away on the 27th of August. If nothing else, grief makes you incredibly grateful for those that are here, it grounds you and brings you into the here and now.
October was quiet, something I needed. Work was busy and I spent much of my time juggling the blog, seeing friends, work and the gym. The leaves turned a golden brown and November was upon us, the nights were closing in and the weather changing. I saw more and more of Fray, which made my heart happy.
December snuck up on me like a very sneaky little ninja, my Nan's favourite time of year was always the lead up to Christmas, so I made it my mission this year to spread as much Christmas spirit as I could, I think she'd have been proud.
With the saddest of times there have also been very happy times. I feel like 2016 was a learning year for me. It was a wave of a year, as it comes to a close I feel like I spent much of it caught up in the wave desperately trying to take gulps of air before being sucked back in.
It has been exhausting, and never ending. It has also been exciting and without a doubt, a year I will remember forever.
2016, you have brought friendships and a relationships I wouldn't change for anything. You have brought life lessons, that have moulded me into a more caring, sympathetic and thoughtful person. You have brought tummy hurting laughter and soul aching sorrow.
Without you I wouldn't be the person I am today, without you I wouldn't be surrounded by those who have firmly taken root in my heart and without you I wouln't have learned to live in the moment. To enjoy the now for all that is it, because you never quite know what is about to happen, no matter how meticulously you plan.
I wouldn't alter you for the world, but I also wouldn't re-live you ever again.
May 2017 bring adventures, love, laughter and expected fun times.