This is my first weekly writing challenge and I’ve decided to take this to create a list of ten things that I have been grateful and thankful for in 2012. I was hoping to do this two days ago (in preparation for 21/12/12…) but, you know how life goes and other things often get in the way and sometimes prevent you from doing things. So, in no particular order, here we go:
1. Meeting ‘May’.
Yep, I blog about my feelings for her quite a lot and it’s fair to say that she occupies a majority percentage of my mind. We’re not currently where I’d hoped we might have been, seven-months ago when we first started talking but, I find it hard to lose hope, even after a day like today, where I arrived as she’d already left. I can’t deny that it hurts sometimes but, I know that it’s me and not her. I feel I’ve learned something in following my heart and being patient. I just hope the full rewards and yet to come.
2. Meeting ‘January’
If you’ve read my three-post epilogue on the short-lived “romance” with a girl from Gloucester at the start of this year then, you’ll know that it wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences for me personally. Meeting her and spending even a little time in a new city filled me with confidence about meeting women generally. It gave me a desire to get out and interact with others more and I learned to accept some anxieties and insecurities within myself (even though, some did resurface after the break-up). I’m going to wish her a Merry Christmas very soon, even though we’ve not spoken since March.
I’ve been interested in writing since my GCSEs, where I first realised I had a talent for it. To be honest though, it was the fear surrounding spoken or ‘oral’ presentations that deterred from taking this on even at A-Level. Teachers could learn a lot about how to be critical without being cruel. I used to discuss football in online forums, I’ve had some pieces published in a hobby-specific magazine since 2008 and, this year, I finally found it within me to enrol on an evening course in short fiction writing. That ended this week but, I’ve learnt so much. I need to keep it going, even without the support of a tutor and half-a-dozen others.
I’ve said before that this isn’t my first blog. However, it’s the first space I’ve found where I’ve felt I can be honest and quite comfortable in sharing my thoughts, feelings and fears. There is a loving, warming community of understanding people across WordPress alone with those who suffer from any form of mental illness or issue. Many of you are my friends; people I don’t know in the real world, which doesn’t always feel safe. To anyone reading this who’s considering starting a blog of their own, I say ‘do it’. Don’t hesitate. Your blog is your own space. You make your own rules and say what you want to say.
Although I take it for granted too often (“I’ll always have family but, I need real friends“), I have to say that I am grateful to have family so close by. There are those who try to get too close and, I aim to try and deal with that when the timing and opportunity are right. This year, mum has taken me back in to her home after I decided I didn’t want to spend another winter, there, on my own. Even this week, she eventually came around and began to show some sympathy, when I had a bit of a breakdown on Monday and missed a couple of days of work. We’re by no means perfect but, we do have each other when it counts.
I don’t enjoy my job. It doesn’t satisfy me and I have little respect for the people I work for. I disagree with the majority view amongst my colleagues, of whom there are only perhaps two I feel I can connect to. Still, I am grateful to have a full-time job in a day and age when so many are fighting to survive without any form of income. A long day in even a depressing place
7. My Dog
I must upload a photo of her sometime. Her name’s Katie and we’ve had her since she was eight-months old. She was a rescue dog from a local centre and, although I’d never imagined having a dog (after three cats, two rabbits, guinea pigs, goldfish and any others) but I cannot describe the sense of companionship that a canine can bring. Someone who can often cheer me up with her eyes alone. A friend who’ll join me on a walk, come rain or snow! She knows when she’s done wrong. At fourteen now, I’m glad she’s still with us, even if her life-long struggles with arthritis prevent her from being as active as she was as a puppy. I don’t know what I’m going to do when she goes.
In August, I found the strength within me to start walking and hiking on my own. I’d spent too long waiting for ‘someone’ to join me when they were never free. Exercise is great for the mind and it does work wonders for the relief of anxiety. It’s tough on days like this, where the rain never stops. Or, like last weekend; where I was ‘immobilised’, without a means of reaching new destinations. I’ve managed to join a local group as well, which introduces me to new walks as well as interacting with people. I just need to keep doing this.
Bear with me on this one. Although anxiety isn’t perceived to be a positive attribute to any person, it is something I felt largely unaware of before I first sought counselling back in August. My own counselling sessions haven’t led me to where I hoped I’d be and, right now, I’m in a bit of a limbo where I feel as though I need to find a new counsellor as my anxiety threatens to heighten, worse than I’ve known ever before. Gaining this awareness of how I feel and why has made me a better person empathetically, I believe. I’ve always been a good listener and now, I feel I’ve gained even more. It’s like a acquiring a new skill; a new perspective for viewing the world and the people who occupy it. Really, I suppose I should be thankful for counselling here, even though I still have work to do.
I’m going to have to add this to the list, even if mine is a very recent acquisition. With a decent internet connection and signal, I’m able to perform simple checks and operations (e-mail, Facebook, etc.) in seconds. On my laptop, I’d have to power it up, wait for Windows to load, connect to the internet, open a browser and then, I might be able to access the right page. My phone is never off.
There you go! Ten items from 2012 that I am grateful to have in my life. Perhaps tomorrow, I’ll write something on my goals and aspirations for 2013? I did one of those a year ago but, it’s lost with my now-defunct other blog, where I didn’t make many of the same kind of connections as here.
I hope you all have a great Christmas and I wish you all the very best for the New Year! 🙂
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