Last year I shared a list of reasons to be grateful for 2017. This came off the back of a little melancholic episode exacerbated by a tweet that popped up on my timeline.
I won’t lie; 2018 has been much more eventful and I have achieved a few milestones that I will tentatively admit to being rather proud of. However, it’s important to remember the small things, too, and remain grounded. Everything counts.
It’s also important to recognise the low points that pepper the good, and that life isn’t always as perfect as photos on a feed lead you to believe.
So, as the same tweet pops up on my feed once more, I’m inspired to write the same blog post again, with another life update. Mainly for my own prosperity, but perhaps also for anyone feeling nosey or who might be interested to know what goes on behind the scenes, when I’m not sharing Honest Haikus or yabbering on about books on Instagram.
This time of year brings out some intense feelings, and it’s important for me to remind myself of the good, and focus less on the bad; to celebrate the haves, and ignore the have-nots.
And so, without further delay, here are a few reasons why I’m grateful for 2018.
As ever, my wonderful family, who I am incredibly lucky to have by my side (albeit often metaphorically, because we live two hours apart). I am grateful for their love, support, good health, company, and patience, as well as their understanding and friendship.
The same can be said for my friends, who accept me as I am, are always there, and who don’t let a little thing like distance or time apart get in the way of our relationship.
My colleagues; I am lucky to work with some lovely people, many of whom have become some of my closest friends. Nothing beats the Monday blues more than being able to break up the deadlines with a cuppa and a chat with the nicest folk.
Having job security (finally!) and doing work that I genuinely enjoy. I don’t dislike Mondays as much as I used to.
Being able to afford to rent my own flat. Living alone has been a big step for me, and it is not cheap, but I couldn’t be happier, and I am thoroughly enjoying having my own space. Yes, it’s not quite owning a whole house, as many of my friends have achieved, but it’s a step and a place of my own.
Kicking off 2018 with my first ever poetry performance at an Open Mic night, and ending it as a finalist in the Hammer and Tongue National Poetry Slam Finals! I’m due to perform my work (for only the fifth time, might I add) at the Royal Albert Hall in 2019. I still think there’s been a mix-up… but it’s going to be a fantastic experience no matter what the outcome!
Getting poems published online and, as of December, in print; thank you Dear Damsels, Brenda Magazine and Stylist Magazine! Here’s to more of that this year.
The fact that people don’t seem to hate what write, and that people read what I have to say – poetry-wise and on here. Thank you, if that’s you. It means the world to me. I have received some wonderful surprise messages this year from people I’ve lost contact with who have read and enjoyed my work, and it’s such a reward.
Gaining a top-notch Brother-in-Law, and for his and my sister’s engagement and happy marriage at the end of the year. If she’s happy, I’m happy.
Seeing so many fantastic theatre productions. It’s a privilege to see such a range of art and performance – often, very locally.
Having the chance to review shows for a national website; when Broadway World UK contacted me to ask me to write for them, I couldn’t quite believe it. It’s been a great opportunity and a string to my bow.
Celebrating turning 28 with my family.
Learning more about myself and the world of dating – even if I only went on two whole (unsuccessful) dates in 2018!
Learning more about my body and breath through hot yoga.
Being paid for my first independent copywriting job. Baby steps!
Quiet, sunny Sunday mornings reading in bed with tea.
Having the chance to appear on the radio, reading out my poetry and talking about poetry slams.
Braving my first weekend away on my own, and enjoying my own company over my first solo dinner.
The abundance of indie, local coffee shops popping up in Southampton; the perfect place for writing and people-watching. I love where I live.
In fact, the cultural scene in the city; Southampton’s amazing theatres, art galleries writing groups and events. Don’t underestimate our little town on the south coast.
Finally joining my local library, and making the most of it.
Having the patience and, perhaps, strength, to ride out the mental health storms and fogs that come my way.
Discovering more poetry; Brian Bilston, Hollie McNish, Charly Cox, Jaqueline Saphra, Joshua Seigal…the list goes on.
Going for my cervical screening and having the reassurance that it all looks good down there at the moment. Ahem.
Indeed, my physical health. May it continue that way this year.
Discovering The Hoxton Bakery and their delicious pastries.
So many wonderful books read throughout the year.
Writing on my lovely vintage typewriter, Oliver.
My bathroom, and it’s excellent acoustics for singing in the shower.
Why are you grateful for 2018?
Happy New Year everyone; I hope 2019 brings you peace, love, and adventure.