Tuesday, 3 January 2017

2016


On the 1st of January 2016, I posted a photo on Instagram with the caption 'The best is yet to come'. Woody Allen once said, 'if you want to make god laugh, tell him your plans'. And laugh god did. So at approximately three minutes past midnight on January 1st 2017, I was safely in bed sleeping. This year I had decided not to tempt fate. But the next morning I did think about how far I had actually come. I was finally free of a dark, controlling and toxic relationship that had enveloped me for the best part of 18 months. I had officially been working in an industry I fought to break into for just over one year. I was doing a job I love. And it was looking more and more likely that 2017 would be the year I was finally able to offer Ava the financial stability I had been working so hard for.

2016 will not be remembered as one of my favourite years. I struggled. Yet despite this, I never stopped writing. In truth I probably couldn't stop writing, even if I wanted to.

In January, I discussed my thoughts on getting older. Despite a testing year that I vainly worry has taken it's toll on my looks, as the glint returns to my eye and my self-belief slowly edges back, I'm starting to understand just how much of your looks are defined by the way you feel inside. In February, I took a trip to the Isle of Skye. While I did fall slightly in love with this beautiful island, I don't feel like I really got the best of it. Which is why I am currently planning a return trip with a good friend this summer. In March I wrote very little other than a recipes post and a quick re-cap on what I had been up to. I wasn't feeling myself and although I didn't know it at the time, I was about to embark on a difficult period of extreme insomnia, acute anxiety, panic attacks & a dark period of depression. In April (and in typical Dawn fashion), the narcissist in me felt adamant that the outside work would have no idea of the internal struggles I was currently facing. And despite being severely unwell, I wrote about my feelings on confidence. The irony of that post is still not lost on me. In May, after a much needed two week trip to Cyprus to see my Mum, I wrote one of my favourite posts to date. I wrote a letter to myself about how important it is to be yourself as much as possible. I still feel I invest way too much time caring about what other people think of me and it's something I plan on working on in 2017. In June, I explained how to be a successful single mother. This post got a lot of love which I was extremely grateful for. Being a single parent is tough, but I truly believe that most of us are doing a much better job than we think we are. Then in July, I discussed how much I hate my constant need for control and how much I was trying to let go of it. During what seems to have become a real year for road trips and adventures, I wrote about our explorations of the beautiful village of Culross, my constant need to always escape the city and how that was forever conflicting with my desire to create a stable, steady home environment for Ava. September saw me finally face my fears and talk about what a dark year 2016 had become. The truth is that I still wasn't better when I wrote that. The truth is that I'm still probably not 100% better as I write this. But the stronger I become and the more I return to my feisty, positive and not to be fucked with self, the more inclined I feel to write about and to share my thoughts on these experiences. In October, I discussed how good it felt to be lost in the right direction. This phrase probably encapsulates me perfectly and feeds the little tortured artist persona in me I so often love to indulge. Despite a few awkward Tinder dates and some short lived misadventures, I wasn't even close to being ready to think about a relationship until around the beginning of November, when I wrote about being single and how much I had always appreciated having time on my own. This was the month that I also wrote about being caught between who I am and who I want to be and I was really grateful for all the positive feedback I received on social media after writing this. Sometimes my rambles seem as incoherent and nonsensical published as they do in my head, so it feels really special to me when someone reads something and identifies with it, particularly women. Finally, in December, I was back to venting my parenting frustrations, this time talking about the huge amount of guilt that comes along with having a kid.



I haven't made the usual resolutions this year. I don't plan on cutting down Ava's iPad time, consuming less wine or only submitting to the sweetie jar at weekends. Because we are in such a brilliant place right now that I refuse to take a second of that for granted. I'm not perfect. But I don't want to be. Because we're happy. 

Instead I plan to stop trying to be the person I constantly think others want me to be. I plan on trusting my gut instinct, understanding warning signs and upon seeing red flags, learning to walk away from them. I intend on focussing more on the good people in my life. To spend much less time exhausting myself trying to see everyone and make plans with anyone. I don't need to be out and about all the time. I intend to spend more quality time with a fewer quantity of people. Keeping hold of the good ones. Saying goodbye to the ones who don't matter. I have lots of fun trips away booked, some exciting appointments which will hopefully allow me to invest in Ava & I's future & given my new found love of hill walking, a few Munros I plan to tackle!

2017, I have absolutely no idea what you have in store for me.

But I have no doubt it's going to be interesting.

3 comments:

Penny 'A Penny For Them' said...

Happy New Year! I really hope 2017 brings you and Ava nothing but happiness, health, love and adventures. You deserve all the good things xx

Dawn Young said...

Happy New Year lovely! xxx

Felicity Anderson said...

Love it! Positive and honest as always. Already looking forward to our trip to Skye! I have a few ideas up my sleeve xx