I think we both know by now that I have a tendency to focus on the negatives in my life rather than the positives. I’ll probably always be somewhat a pessimist instead of an optimist, but after all this year has taught me I think that actually is a good thing. Thinking the worst sometimes works out the best, as you taught me this year, simply because when the worst did not occur only then could I feel relief.
Thinking back over the year that has since passed I would like to say that my biggest achievement was survival. Despite the worst occurring, I didn’t stop and still got up each morning to face the day and even then when I look back through the pages of my bullet journal I saw just how much I did despite the badness. In January I was already aware I was entering a year that would not be happy. Knowing that someone you care about will not be there by the end leaves a slightly bitter taste as you enter a new year because the slate wouldn’t be clean, instead, it was already stained.
I didn’t have much hope for 2019 and that is probably why I am writing this letter to you now. To feel as though I can close this chapter of my life that was you as not only do we leave the year but the decade behind. 2020 already feels like a new start in its own way, the past and everything that has happened is still there of course but I finally feel as if I can move on from it. What has happened no longer directs me, but has simply come a part of me, has moulded me into who I am today – for better or for worse.
I leave behind the pain and heartbreak from those who are no longer there and instead remember the people they were and how their influence will always be with me. I leave behind the guilt of things that I can no longer change and relationships that have simply broken. I leave behind the indignation that I use to feel when others did things that I did not feel was right – instead, I have learned to at least accept and even forgive what has happened. It was no one’s fault but simply how we are. I leave behind my regrets because just like my guilt, I can’t change what has happened. And finally, I leave behind the feeling of helplessness because, after this year, this year showed me I can survive and although I am a pessimist, I can enjoy the good that happens too.
But, 2019 there were good moments too. Wandering through London with good friends and opening the great hall doors. The late evening drinks when perhaps we have all had one too many but instead are laughing all the same. Days out and picnics in the sun that we both fall asleep before eating a jar of pickles. The final chapter of university coming to an end with friends all standing proudly in front of what we have called home for three years holding each of our projects in hand. Evenings in with my boys and watching them play with one another which, to be honest, is more enjoyable than any other tv programme. More travels with friends and even sneaking into a book event or two. Afternoons in the kitchen going back to what I once loved and focusing on creating mouthfuls of joy in forms of cakes and other baked goods. Repaired relationships and new ones too. Graduating and finding a place to work that I enjoy. 2019, despite its faults, had good memories too.
These are my last thoughts, my last words, my last consideration of you, 2019. I feel that I can finally close the chapter that was you and move on. Thank you for all the good and for allowing me to learn from all the bad.