I have just realised my new year starts at a slightly different point than that standard 1st of January. Or the changeable Chinese New Year (31st of January this year). It actually dawns of the 10th of January, tomorrow. Along with my own new year date comes a taking of stock and a nod to wear I’ve been and how far I have come, and we have come. As my new year of the 10th of January only started 6 years ago, it is still fairly new, and yet in that time I have:
- Moved house twice, including clearing, packing, organising, unpacking, etc, etc etc, the whole thing. The first time my eldest was 14 and youngest was 5. The second time my eldest was 18 and youngest was 9 – second time was much easier! Both moves were down sizes, so both required huge clear-outs. Loved both moves.
- Learnt to drive. Took me a year and one failed test. It is still one of my most favourite achievements to date (after having kids that is). Bought my first car.
- Went back into education. Firstly just one morning a week, then full time university for 4 years. Loved every minute of it.
- Got divorced. I can’t say I celebrate this, but it is notable nonetheless.
- Completed the Race for Life. Epic wonderfulness.
- Stood up to one local authority, and won. Shouldn’t have had to do it in the first place, but given that I did, I am so proud I managed it.
- ‘Diagnosed’ with Dyslexia. This is here as, after I recovered from the shock of it and stopped being angry with everyone (and myself) for not noticing sooner (I was 41 when it was ‘discovered’), I embraced the difference fully and started to understand my coping mechanisms. Two of my children are also Dyslexic, so we share tips and understanding.
- Graduated with a 2:1 in Fine Art. Say no more.
- Became a student representative and was nominated for Faculty rep of the year. Loved that too.
- Learnt to love public speaking. Now, if you had known me 6 years ago at this point I could barely caste my gaze off the ground, so to be able to stand in front of a room full of people and debate the merits of employment education, give talks on artists, debate with lecturers about the strengths of another’s work, etc, well, let’s say, you wouldn’t recognise me.
- Gave a presentation that enabled me to join the artist group I am now with. This is my future.
- Taken part in and/or co-organised 5 exhibitions in the last year.
- Found myself. I didn’t know I was lost till I discovered myself. This is a good thing, although I think age has turned me into a bit of a gobshite at times. Tough.
- Had therapy. Fabulous stuff. If you are willing to work hard on yourself, this is so worth it.
- Discovered my ‘other’ side. The bit that makes me special. 😀
- Got a paid job, and another voluntary one.
- Rekindled and maintained my relationship with my father.
- Found love – couldn’t find it elsewhere until I learnt to love myself again.
And many many more things, this list seems tiny compared to what I have achieved, but this is perhaps the most palatable (for want of a better word) and publishable. This list is not in any particular order. So, it has been a busy 6 years. Here’s to the next six!