It would be dishonest to talk about the year that has passed as if it’s been wonderful. Because every fibre of my being wants to slam the door shut on 2016, lock it shut, throw away the key and never look back. On a personal level, I spent the first 6 months (and several days since) battling with my own head. Mental health has always been a part of my life, what with watching others around me deal with their issues, but dealing with your own is a battle you don’t want to have to face. Even so, I never thought I’d get to 31st December feeling half as positive as I do today. Because of everything I’ve felt this year, I’m probably more scared and apprehensive about the future than I ever have been on a New Years Eve before. But there’s still a part of me filled with curiosity and hope and I’m holding onto that for dear life.
On a wider level, I think we can all agree 2016 has been a year of collective upset and shock, from deaths of those we love in the public eye, to elections and referendums we endured, and the ongoing wars and refugee crisis that should make us all count our lucky stars. The world can be a very scary and serious place when you look beneath the surface.
BUT (And it’s a big but) there are silver linings and I’m determined to look back on them today and be thankful for the good that still exists in the world.
Some of the best moments of the year have been those I’ve spent in the crowds watching my favourite bands/artists perform, some for the very first time. There’s nothing quite like standing under the confetti and lights and forgetting what exists outside that venue for a few hours. Music will always and forever be my escape and peace, I’m sure of it.
I’ve also had some amazing moments of bravery this year. Moments I didn’t know I could manage or attempt. What started off as a very lonely and scary time, ended with me facing up to everything that scared me, even finally biting the bullet in a huge way. On top of that… making the first move isn’t in my shy nature but this past month I’ve surprised myself and those around me. I’m telling you all now, speak what’s in your heart because you’ll always be wondering “what if” – and nothing can hurt as much as that!
Finally, it’s people – it’s always people – that made this year worth anything at all. My wonderful friends that have been there to talk to, understand, laugh with and celebrate big things have helped me carry on through it all. And here’s to the old friends I’ve reconnected with, and the new friends I now wouldn’t be without… life has a funny way of bringing people to you when you least expect, and most need, them.
I’m not into New Years resolutions much, in fact Autumn has always been the time of change for me, but this year is different. This year FEELS different. 2017 is a rollercoaster that I’m fully prepared to get on and ride, and this time I’ll expect the downs as well as the ups. Whatever lies ahead I know that there are silver linings amongst all of it. They are there, even if we can’t always see them.
As a great songwriter I admire once sung, “The sun must set to rise”.
Happy New Year to you all, I wish you nothing but happiness where you find it and strength when you need it.