New Year is always an odd time for me.
I tend to think a lot about time, and my perception of it. And anniversaries of things, and how I always find it strange that life sometimes moves in slow, swirling circles, even as it moves you into the future, and when you come back to a space or a scent that reminds you of something that’s gone, you bring that forward with you.
New Year’s Eve always seems timeless to me, because I spend it with, usually, the same friends I’ve spent virtually all of my teenaged and adult New Year’s with. Things ebb and flow and it isn’t always exactly the same people, but it’s always the same group. And it’s wonderful. They’re brilliant and bonkers and creative and clever, and I adore them. And so every New Year feels like a link in a long, lovely chain, leading on to something else wonderful.
New Year’s Day is the anniversary of the day my grandmother died. She made it to the new year, and then it was time. So it’s a reminder that all things change. Things end, and other things begin. We miss them, and we bring them with us.
I’ve always thought that “We carry our prisons with us” is unnecessarily pessimistic. I mean, it’s true, from a certain point of view. But we also carry our palaces with us, our museums and art galleries and the little mental studios where we tease out our dreams, sketching out in detail the things we want to achieve before we try to bring them into the real world.
I think we should encourage people to see that their minds and bodies and lives aren’t prisons. They’re accumulations of all the little meaningful moments that make our lives more than just a ticking of a clock. This is especially true for me, as I’ve cut some incredibly toxic influences out of my life in the last year or so, and in surrounding myself with great people and good thoughts (and also a lovely therapist: I’m so lucky to have her on the NHS), I’m mentally much healthier than I was before.
This year, a lot of things are changing for me. I’m starting a new job. I’m getting married. I’m intending to pick up new skills and hobbies, and to perfect some old ones – but also to find new ways of giving back and supporting my friends and the communities that make my life enjoyable.
The two key things I want to do are to blog more, and to read more – though I admit that, along with all the other things, these dreams might well require a lot of juggling of time.
At the moment, I’m even on top of my anxiety disorder in such a way that it doesn’t feel like I’m putting appalling pressure on myself to complete every single suggestion of a task that I’ve dreamed up here. For me, that’s amazing.
It’s nice to be in a place where I can think “I have so much to look forward to” without panic attacks and anxiety being an inevitable accompaniment to trying to achieve anything. It feels like a luxury to not be horribly anxious all the time, and I’m very, very lucky to be where I am. And I’m intensely, unrepayably grateful to every single person who has helped me along the way.
So that’s another year done (though of course every day is another year done, this one just has a special shine on the calendar). That’s another convention-bound trip around the sun over with.
Let’s see what 2016 has in store, shall we?