It’s been a year.
2017 began at midnight (as I’ve been told most new years do). Shoulder to shoulder with my German friend, as we hopped from foot to foot trying to keep warm, bundled up in front of the Canadian Houses of Parliament, half-singing/half-yelling along to Carly Rae Jepsen and squinting up at fireworks through the snow. Earlier that day I’d said a tearful goodbye to my family, who’d made the trip over the Atlantic to see me for Christmas. Earlier that evening I’d laughed as a home-friend facetimed me from the new year in the UK, tipsy and giggling and telling me she missed me.
It feels like eons have passed since that day, that night. Now, I’m back at home. Sitting at my desk, in the room that’s been mine for 15 years, procrastinating working on my dissertation. The draft sits ominously on my desktop – a constant reminder of ideas that need refining, reading that needs doing, notes that need compiling.
But it’s the 30th of December, and I’m allowed some time to reflect. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself anyway.
Because it’s been a hell of a year.
It’s been one of incredible highs, but also of lows too. Trying and failing to hold back floods of tears in Central Park on the morning of my 21st birthday, cursing myself for investing so much time and energy into people who would not return the favour. That wasn’t a highlight of mine, I won’t lie. Neither was learning awful news from my family, in a hipster cafe in San Francisco, half the world away from the people I wanted to be with most. Neither was curling up in a ball on my bed in early November, aching from the pain and anxiety of the future squeezing the life out of my present, as I wished desperately for my final year to be over already.
But then again. My Mum hugged me hard in Central Park, and wiped my eyes and told me I was a good person and sometimes people were just cruel. My Dad teared up over Skype in that San Francisco cafe when they broke the news, and I wasn’t crying alone. Curled up on my bed in my student house, a knock came at the door, and my two lovely housemates let themselves in and climbed onto my bed with me, smothering me in hugs and reassurances that it was okay – I wasn’t the only one, that we were all a little lost, in our own way. Continue reading “Reflections – 2017”