I know a lot of folks like to sneer at new year rituals: all the resolutions that never make it past February and the failed promises. But the way I see it periods of reflection are so important: we spend so much of our lives being busy busy busy that we rarely step back: look at our lives and how we are living and think about if it’s really what we want.
I’ve written next to nothing in 2013 and whilst I do feel bad about that (writing is a muscle that you need to exercise like any other, yeah?!) I also feel proud of the way that I took some risks and pushed myself out of my comfort zone this year. In 2012 I got really ill with depression and anxiety and my life really shrunk back because of it. I really wanted to change that and to feel my world expand again. I knew it wouldn’t be easy and I def do not have everything sorted yet. I still have those moments of panic where I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing with my life or feeling totally overwhelmed by everything, that I need to get back inside where it’s safe: but they do pass, eventually.
2013 def had it’s challenges but I’m trying my very bestest not to beat myself up about the stuff I didn’t do so well or focus on all the bad shit. So in the spirit of accentuating the positive (and inspired by some of the awesome posts I’ve read from some awesome people here here here here here) here’s a list of 13 things I loved or was proud of myself about from 2013. I do this not to convince you guys how awesome I am, but to remind myself of the good shit when I have black days and to tie up the threads before I get started on 2014. Some of you may have also been wondering where I got to recently. I guess this is where. Thinking about my list has make me realise that pretty much none of the things I feel most proud of would have happened without me shouting down the voice in my head that told me I couldn’t do it or that I couldn’t cope. Which in itself is a lesson and a half.
Alright 2013 lets have ya…
1) I wrote a piece for Poor Lass
Which is a wonderful positive collective zine by working class grrrls I’m massively proud to be associated with
3)…and then I dj’ed at my friend Lucy’s hen party where 20 odd beautiful ladies slam danced to Rage Against the Machine and it was wild.
4) I was a reading mentor
I began my second year volunteering with a charity called Beanstalk. Twice a week I walk up the hill from work to go and help three primary school kids learn how to read. I actually really love telling stories and it’s pretty cool watching the kids get better at reading and more confident. They also call me Miss Kaye which is totally wild.
5) I discovered amazing new music, books, films, tv
Y’know how when yr old and you think you have already discovered all there is to discover? It’s never true! This year I was tripping out on new found love for Rvivr, Orange is the New Black, films by Spike Lee and Mark Duplass, Angel Haze and B.S. Johnston
Due to being a broke ass bitch I hadn’t left the country in SIX YEARS. My wonderful friend John invited me to go and visit him and his beautiful girlfriend Kelly and stay at Kelly’s flat. It was pretty mind blowing to go to a place I never thought I’d see, which is so far away, navigating the subway by myself, meeting lots of rad new people, doing the walk of shame through Central Park, that sort of thing. I still can’t believe any of it actually happened.
7) I meditated (nearly) every day
I’ve been meditating now for a year and it’s one of the best things I do for my mental health. It’s not always easy and having the discipline to do it every day is tough, I’m proud of myself for sticking with it.
8) I ran up Shipley glen. Ok so this year my fitness wasn’t at the level it was in 2012 but I still ran up a really goddamn big hill yeah?!
9) I went on as many mini adventures with my awesome friends as I could
I don’t have much money but I do have lots of amazing friends who let me crash on their floors and share their fun times in places like Sunderland, Brighton, Hornsea, The Yorkshire Dales…It sounds like a bullshit cliche but I am seriously so grateful to have such a wonderful network of grade A friends in my life.
I do not like public speaking, tbh I’d rather stick forks in my eyes but in May I did a talk as part of Bradford Baked Zines with my amazing friends Cat and Emma. It was super personal and precious and scary but I’m glad I did it
11) I climbed three mountains in one day
Me and my mate Rachel Stanton did the Yorkshire three peaks challenge back in August. It was really hard and we got lost on the final mountain in dwindling light and had to be led off down a massive ravine in the dark by a potholer called john faraway which sounds funny now but really wasn’t at the time.
12) I started dating someone (who happens to be a girl)
Being in a relationship is scary: someone else will see you when you are vulnerable and there’s the possibility it could all go massively wrong and you could get hurt. But it’s also pretty wonderful to have someone amazing to share all the beautiful strangeness in the world. Yes I had (have) stuff to deal with with my own and other people’s presumption that I was basically a straight girl and casual homophobia but mainly all in all it’s been pretty cool (;
13) I went to a restaurant and ate by myself
A couple of years ago this would never have happened. And sometimes it’s the big things that show you that stuff is changing and sometimes it’s the little things (:
Peace and love for 2014, let’s rock it x