2014 in review.

This was written ages ago, at the beginning of Jan. So I thought I’d share it instead of squirrelling it away.

2014 end of the year quiz! It’s gone so fast, it feels like a blur. But here we go…I always find doing these useful (if I can remember what I did).

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

Probably the biggest one of these is crochet. It feels like it’s saved my life on a number of occasions. Other than that, been to the French Alps I guess. Seen loads of bands that I hadn’t seen before. OH YEAH KATE BUSH! I saw Kate Bush. Lots of work stuff.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

So I didn’t keep them up apart from be more creative. I guess I have procrastinated less (although, not much less). I am walking more. But other than that…I don’t know if I will make more for next year other than to keep going to therapy and to just keep going, to keep trying to be open to what I am experiencing and to be kind to myself. That is the hardest thing of all.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes :) I haven’t met him yet though.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No. My best friend’s mum died though. And I experienced death with patients which was hard.

5. What countries did you visit?

France. And Scotland. :)

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

More connection to myself. And some more energy.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

31st May. We celebrated our first new anniversary and went and painted plates and it was wonderful.

November in general was horrible again. Ugh.

Not sure otherwise. Probably should. Want to say 6th June? Think that was my exam. And of course 31st December! Last day of the old year, spend with some of my favourite people.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting another first overall for the year. Staying relatively stable despite that being through hermitising myself almost completely. Joining up more dots and becoming more aware of myself. Staying in therapy, it is so hard. Staying in therapy while staying on my course! Managing the two of them, in addition to working and having a vague social life.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Having to let pretty much all my relationships aside from the very closest slide. I don’t have the energy. I find it so difficult with placement (going to another team three times a year, having to integrate, having to get the balance between being assertive enough to get stuff signed off and being flexible to what they want, having to learn skills related to that placement while also in general having academic work and other things to plan around…) and the course in general. I KNOW that this is ridiculous and not a failure, but for me it was very very difficult to get my first mark on this course under 70. 69. BUT STILL.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

General low level malaise, more migraines, three horrible colds, bad period pain, asthma stuff, nothing that bad. Apart from being madly suicidal in November. Also the same time of year as last time. What is it with November?

11. What was the best thing you bought?

YARN.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Nick’s. As usual. He is unchanging and that, for me, is bliss (although hard). R. Even though I get fantastically angry over the stupidest things and compare her to cardboard. She is so challenging but it is working and I am so grateful. My mentors on this placement, and the whole team, for almost giving me a reparative family experience (group of people! supportive! I am allowed to be vulnerable because they are too and it’s not a bad thing to show! they help me through my shit without making me help them through theirs! IMAGINE!). My friends, who haven’t left me (I am guessing) even though I have pretty much dropped off the face of the earth.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Mine. Letting agents and landlords in general. My family. The guy who lived upstairs in my old old place (seriously, have lived in three places this year so no wonder I am fucking pushed to the point of exhaustion) who basically had a crack den and scared me.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Moving. Hah. In the past year or so I have spent £600 that I will never get back on letting agents fees and guarantor fees. So depressing. Other than that, rent, travel, food, the usual. Yarn I guess.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Crocheting. Seeing Nick and Lauren and Sofie :) KATE BUSH! Leg ulcers. I turned a corner! (I am sad.) Going to placement. Getting 85% for one of my papers.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

As usual, songs, not song. Working backwards: Kristin Hersh – Like You, and Cathedral Heat. Sharon Van Etten – Your Love is Killing Me. Fiona Apple – To Your Love. Kate Bush – Snowflake, and Jig of Life. Hava Nagila :) Throwing Muses – Film. Tiny Ruins – Straw into Gold. John Grant – GMF. alt-J – Dissolve Me. St. Vincent – Digital Witness. ABBA – The Visitors. OMD – Electricity.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

Happier. More tired, but definitely happier.

b) thinner or fatter?

I want to say fatter but I don’t think I am. I had lost weight but I think I have worked myself back up again.

c) richer or poorer?

Poorer. I have just done a row of nights but other than that have barely been able to work because it’s just too much for me on top of everything else at the moment.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Keeping in touch with people, seeing people, but when I can I do.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Ruminating. Procrastinating. Obsessing. Comfort eating.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I spent it with Nick, at home, and we went to the beach and ate ice cream and then cooked at home. Boxing day was spent with our tradition of watching The Room while eating Christmas Day leftovers pizza (which was YUM).

21. How will you be spending New Year?

My best friend’s house with a bunch of lovely people, setting off sparkers and spending HOURS with a hula hoop. I haven’t had that much fun for AGES.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?

Rekindled love for Gillian Anderson. But otherwise no, just stayed boringly in love with Nick, happy with brief flashes of OMGPLEASEDON’TLEAVEMEEEEEEE.

23. How many one-night stands?

None.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No, but I have felt quite bitter and hateful in general. Hateful is wrong, I am not hateful, but I am finding it very very hard to have all these people graduating and getting amazing jobs and getting married or engaged or pregnant or buying a house or giving birth all under my nose. Partly why I haven’t Facebooked much because every time I go on it seems to be ENGAGED! PREGNANT! ENGAGED! in a row and NO THANK YOU. It taps straight into a massive sense of loss for me and I think that is partly why I have hidden away from it. Sometimes it is way too much for me to have to deal with. Which makes me feel not very nice but there you go. I also have that sometimes when walking around town and seeing families or even just a parent with a child. OWWWWW. But I am feeling slightly better about it at the moment (possibly because I have worked through/am working through some of the loss) which is a nice feeling.

25. What was your favourite restaurant of 2014?

Probs still Pho. Good memories there, good people, good food. Also thai place. And Modelo’s, where you can sit for hours and nobody gives a shit.

26. What were your favourite TV programs?

Holby, GBBO, The Apprentice, The Fall. Gilmore Girls, still. The Kate Bush documentary. Frasier also pretty much saved me in December.

27. What was the best book you read?

I don’t think I read any novels *shame*.

28. What were your greatest musical discoveries?

Um. John Grant! I love him. alt-J even though it’s really only certain songs. OMD even though I knew them before, but they’ve been a major focal point of my year! Helen Money, who supported Mono. She’s this intense cellist who makes dark, beautiful music.

29. What were your favourite films of this year?

Saw Submarine which I liked, but not really a film person. Fahrenheit 451 was pretty enjoyable too (if depressing, because OMG it’s NOW only, even more depressingly, their screens are smaller than the ones we have now).

30. What did you want and get?

Good marks. Good placements. Good mentors. A dissertation question (haven’t finalised it, but pretty sure). More insight.

31. What did you want and not get?

Marriage, a baby, a house, money, a nice family, a time machine to go and reverse my shitty childhood, someone to adopt me. But that’s getting a bit better…

32. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I had lectures on bowel care. Yay? I was 31. Can’t remember what else I did. I think I went for dinner and then watched Alpha Papa on the beach.

33. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More money. As usual. I know money doesn’t make you happy blah blah blah, but come off it. The housing situation is ridiculous and I just want to not have to worry ALL THE TIME. Stable home life (as in houses).

34. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Jeans and a top and boots. Because that is it.

35. What kept you sane?

Crochet, repeats of comfort TV, rice, Nick and my friends.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

NHS crap again. ARGH.

37. Who did you miss?

So many of my friends. Two of my very closest friends don’t live anywhere near me and Skype hasn’t happened for multitudes of reasons. I really miss feeling connected to them (even though I still do…but you know).

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Any of my new team, along with the specialist palliative care nurse who helped me get through a very difficult time.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:

Most of the stuff that bothers me really isn’t that bothersome, but it’s how I make sense of it because of what has gone before. When I look back on the whole doorbell thing, for example, if I’d been able to hold onto myself more then it wouldn’t have been that bad. Because it wasn’t that bad. It really wasn’t, and it didn’t mean what it felt it meant. It just dredged up so much shit, which sent me into a dark, dark place. So trying to stay separate from the old shit is the most important thing but also the hardest. I have been able to do that slightly more recently and that means I am able to work through stuff more when it gets triggered. Trying to stay open, not to close my mind, not to judge. That is the most valuable lesson and it’s just learning how to do that. I am very much at the beginning of the path.

It’s about responsibility, too. Taking responsibility and knowing what is mine, and being aware of it. There are so many times this year where I have relinquished or denied responsibility for so many things and for so many reasons. I still am now, but I am learning, and that’s the most important thing, that I’m learning from it.

In a nutshell: Happiness is an inside job. And I also love this quote by Tori Amos:

“The big lesson in this whole year has been that there isn’t a resolve for many things. Life isn’t about, well, if I just get to this mountain peak, it’s over. There are like 5,000 peaks in the distance.” <—-True, dat.

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2 thoughts on “2014 in review.

  1. Just quickly, because I’m about to leave my desk, but because the very last thing you said reminded me of a thought I had yesterday – the mountain peak thing. I had sort of the opposite realisation, of feeling like I have actually surmounted a peak, but also the same realisation, in that I suddenly got that there are many peaks. So if I get over one and then feeling like I’m at the bottom of another that isn’t because it was a lie, or I was wrong, or I haven’t really made the progress I thought, or I’ve slipped back down the peak I had started to ascend, it’s because there just are lots, and some of them are really big. It wasn’t a depressing thing at all – I still feel like I have made it over a hump, a particularly large hump, and I know there will be more, but I do have some kind of belief, from somewhere, that they won’t all be as steep or high as that one was. It’s reassuring to know there is more than one hurdle, and that facing another obstacle is exactly that – another obstacle, not facing the same one again, not going around in circles, not going backwards and forwards like a yo-yo, but progress. xx

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