I can’t think of any other way to put it, but this year has been one hell of a rollercoaster. It’s one of the few years I’m looking back on and thinking, yes, I’m glad to say goodbye to it. Not that this year has been all bad; like I said, it’s been a rollercoaster. There have been ups, and downs, and it has kind of taken its toll on me.
I’m looking forward to 2013. I’m eager, now, for a new year to start, for a chance to really shake off 2012 and focus more fully on the future. And that is exactly what I’m going to do. What’s happened to me in the last year, the bad stuff wasn’t life-changing, wasn’t stuff that has to follow me into the next year. And I’m grateful for that.
This time last year, I was in a relationship. Shortly after Valentine’s Day, I found myself once more single. We’d been dating for just over a year, and it sucked. I barely got out of bed for a couple of days, just watched films on my laptop. I cried until I was exhausted. And then, with the help of my very good friends, I went out, I got drunk, I watched Wales beat England in the Six Nations, and I wrote. I spent the rest of the semester focusing on work, on writing, on my dissertation. And it was an experience. I proved (to no one but myself) that I was strong enough to get through something like that and still achieve a 2.1 degree.
So, yeah, I also graduated this year. I couldn’t help but feel just a tad proud about it, unable to believe I’d made it through three years of University. Once I donned that cap and gown, I had to keep checking myself. Although I knew it was what I had been building towards since I started, I think on the day itself I realised I never actually thought I’d make it.
On the flip side, I said goodbye to a city I had fallen in love with. Many people dismiss Hull and, you know what, most of them are people who have never been there. People in Hull are friendly, the University was brilliant, and nights out are cheap as hell. Some of the best – and worst – experiences of my life were there, I made some amazing friends who I also had to say goodbye to. It was hard, and even now I still get a pang for the place. I would suggest visiting if you ever get the chance, especially in October when they have Hull Fair. Seriously, I could not get enough of the fair. It’s huge, and if you like rides, well worth going.
I left Uni, and started temping at the end of July. And by September/October time, they’d offered me a permanent full-time role in a different department. It’s such a good feeling when you realise that actually working hard pays off, and it’s put me in a very decent position for someone not long graduated. I have a proper, real job with proper, real responsibilities. It’s scary at times, but I’m now finding myself in a place (financially) I’ve never been in before. I can really consider doing things I’ve never let myself think about.
Even with work, I did NaNoWriMo. Anyone who read my post just before will know I didn’t think I’d do it this year, but somehow I did. Not only that, but I finished early. Again, I proved something to myself; that I can – and will – always be able to write, to push myself to achieve something like that. And – fingers crossed – I’ll be able to do it again next year.
So there have been ups this year, without a doubt. But the last few weeks have been a bit, well, they’ve slipped down. I won’t go into the details but they mostly involve friends and guys. Most notably, I found out a couple of weeks ago that someone I (sort of) liked had a girlfriend. It hit me like a ton of bricks and was one of those moments where you realise the important things (like dropping the ‘sort of’ and putting in really, maybe) too late.
It happened, and I was upset, and I lost my phone that night and had a very kind taxi driver drop it off the next day. And then I decided I really, really needed to stop going back to the past and start focusing on the future.
And that’s what I’m going to do. The things that happened to me this year weren’t that bad, even if they seemed it at the time. But 2013 is going to be better. How do I know that? Because I’m going to make it better. I am in a totally different place than I was this time last year, physically and emotionally, and I’m a different person, too. There are some exciting things coming up for me, things that are making me very eager to greet 2013 with open arms.
Whatever happens, I’m looking forward to the future, whatever it brings.
Happy New Year!