Ah, the end of year. A time to reflect on what has passed and what is yet to come. A time for change – or at least a time for thinking about change and then deciding against it.
When I ponder about how 2018 has changed me, I can’t help but think that 2017 seems very long ago. I usually hit the end of year wondering where it all went, but this year has been a long one. Time has plodded on by.
So much is different. This time last year my play, ‘The Duck’ had not yet hit the stage. I have been blown away by the incredible feedback it has had.
It’s hard to write something that will explain autism to those who don’t know about it, as well as reflect autism to those who experience it differently to me; a delicate line to walk.
We already have multiple dates planned for next year, and between that and the ‘Neither Use Nor Ornament’ project , for which I am writing poetry, and my essay collection, ‘The Wrong Kind of Happiness’ being long-listed for The New Welsh Review’s competition, it’s been a good year for my artistic side.
It’s been a year of learning who I am, of putting myself out there, of trying things. Some I succeeded in, others I failed, but there were benefits even in failure – sometimes for me, sometimes for others.
It’s been a year of settling into new friendships and feeling more comfortable in my own skin. The older I get, the more content I am with the person I have chosen to be. Not everyone will like me for who I am, and that’s okay too. I am learning to be me more. I think that’s best. If I’m not being me, and people prefer that version, then what’s the point? I want people around me who like who I really am, so best not to confuse matters.
It’s been a year of lovely people creating new lovely people, and watching that change has been beautiful.
It’s been a year of gardening and painting and crochet and shelving and sewing and jams and soap making and hedgerow-vodka and willow-weaving and origami-duck-flyer-designing-and-making and butter-knife-carving and tin-bath-hot-tub-making and so much more.
It’s been a year of decisions. It’s been a year of really coming to terms with my autism diagnosis. I am no longer frantically trying to understand who I am after years of being unsure. I have made peace with myself a bit – she still annoys the hell out of me at times, but she’s mostly a good egg.
It’s been a year of pushing myself hard and gifting myself time to recover.
It’s been a year of marvellous strangers; of poignant comments on the blog, of people sharing their lives, of kindness and goodness. I am always awed by how much people reach back when you share your life. There is so much horror in the world that we often forget all the small kindnesses people perform every day. It is so very much appreciated.
All in all it’s been a funny old year.
A particular thank you to you, for reading, for sharing, for following my ponders. Thank you for listening. I really hope 2019 brings you what you need.
That’s enough navel-gazing for now. Roll on 2019, I’m ready for you.