Saturday, 29 December 2018

2018 - LIFE, LOVE & LESSONS




Around this time of year, we see a lot of quotes about leaving negative thoughts/ vibes/ habits/ people/ blood types in the current year and ditching them all for good on 1st January. Okay, maybe not the last one. A new year though, is very often seen as a blank page, a fresh start and honestly, I never really bought it. I'd roll my eyes at the Pinterest quotes, sigh and raise an eyebrow at the mention of resolutions and big life changes just because our planet circled round the sun one more time. This year though, I kinda get it.

You've heard it all before, this year was huge, next year will be my year. Blah blah blah, sure, whatever. This time though, this year was actually really bloody huge and while I can't stake a claim on a 365 day period, I fully intend to take next year by the metaphorical horns and continue living the life I'm loving right now from the first day of 2019 and beyond.

This year held many life changes for me, the end of my only one year long marriage (more on that here), building new and strengthening current relationships with my incredible friends and family, reconnecting with wonderful old friends and cutting out some decidedly less wonderful ones, oh, and falling madly in love with my best friend. So while I can say that 2018 is ending on a high that I could never have imagined possible, I do really love the idea of starting 2019 fresh and new.

I learned many things this year and I hate to say it, but I'm going to. I feel like this year I've truly learned more about who I am and who I want to be. I know, giant cliche alert, I'm sorry okay? Just hear me out. I've come to realise that while everything I knew was crumbling around me, my coping mechanism was to pretend it wasn't.

I won't pretend things were more dramatic than they were, my breakup was uneventful and amicable, my ex is not the bad guy and neither am I. We weren't compatible and that was that. But the build up to the break up was quietly destructive for us both. We knew things weren't right and did nothing about it because saving face and not rocking the boat seemed easier right up until it wasn't.  I wouldn't say I put on a positivity front, because I do like to think that in general, I'm a fairly positive person. But I for sure was always the friend dishing out life advice, the one sharing how happy they were on social media, writing motivational instagram captions that I absolutely stand by, but probably didn't fully believe in deep down at the time.

The breakup caused somewhat of a snowball effect and made me realise exactly who and what was important to me all in very quick succession. An old friend reached out and we reconnected, something I might not have considered before. We're now as close as we ever were again as if the seven years since we'd last properly spoken hadn't passed at all. Side note, she's actually now a blogger too - and an incredible one at that! Check her out here. A friend that I thought would be around for the long haul proved to have some not so hot shades in their 'true colours' palette and while we won't go into or dwell on that, it did make me realise that actually, you have no obligation to keep people, things or situations in your life that are making you miserable. So in some backwards way, I'm somewhat grateful for the bad that came with all the good this year,

And speaking of the good, the very best came in the form of my boyfriend and best friend, Jack. I spoke about Jack and indeed, his nether-regions in my last blog post, but didn't really discuss much of our relationship and how it began. Jack was my best friend for some time before we got together and while I was still with my Husband. On reflection, we've probably always had what might be referred to in cheesier rom-coms and chick-lit as a 'spark' between us, but with my being unavailable and us both being all round decent people, neither one of us noticed that until I was single again. That spark jumped up and started flying admittedly quickly after my breakup and Jack and I started seeing one another fairly soon. It was cautious at first, both because we were concerned about how others would feel and because we both wanted to make sure that it was absolutely right. Despite well intentioned cautiousness from a few friends, I dived in head-first anyway because it seems when you actually know, you really do know. I'll spare you too many more details because I'm at risk of dangerous levels of mush, but let's just say, I've not looked back once and my internal rear-view mirror looks set to continue gathering dust.

2018 wasn't all emotional rollercoasters and dropping bombshells though. The final third of this year in particular has been incredible, I've had so many wonderful day trips, nights out and and generally just spent time with the best people I've ever met. During the year, I ticked Stereophonics, Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines, David Ramirez and Gregory Alan Isakov off of my 'to see live' list and Edinburgh, Budapest and Verona off of my 'to go' list. Jack and I already have plans to tick several more off both lists next year with six gigs and a trip to Berlin booked so far, so 2019 is shaping up to be a good one.

This post got real rambly real fast so I'm going to leave it here. I'm always so hung up on tying a blog post up in a neat little bow at the end, making sure I've concluded with some kind of point or message for the reader to take away. I'm not going to do that though, this is just me, telling you about my wild and wonderful 2018. Take from it what you will, be it a lesson in living your life for yourself or just an insight into someone else's own personal chaos. We're nosy creatures us humans, so I won't be wearing my judgey pants. And there I go rambling again!

Happy New Year, here's to good health, good times and saying 'fuck it' whenever and wherever we like.

Cheers!

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