When I look back over 2017, for me personally, it has been a year of quiet progress. On a bigger level, it has been fucking terrible, but I'm trying to see the good in it.
Last new year's eve, I stayed in by myself. Sober, pottering, writing, thinking. Then I went out on new year's day and got so drunk I fell over. I think that kind of set the tone for the year ahead.
At the beginning of last year, I lamented that it was the first time in a long time I hadn't travelled to anywhere new in a while. I decided I would go to at least one unexplored place in 2017. Almost immediately, an unexpected work trip to Qatar came up - I had never been to the Middle East at all before, so that was pretty cool.
When discussing The Year That Was with my cousin yesterday, I said 'I haven't really done anything of huge note this year'. She pointed out: 'you had a book published, you dick'. Oh yeah, I guess I did that. Because publishing is slow, I wrote it a while ago, so it's easy to forget. I mustn't, though. It's a book I was apprehensive about, and people have been lovely, which is really the best part of it.
I've also been working on FLOORED, which is coming out in July 2018. Collaborating and learning from others has been a great part of this year.
One of the things that has brought me the most joy has been working on I AM NOT ASHAMED, my fanzine with the wondrous Harriet Reuter Hapgood. A project of pure fun and love and much laughing. We produced two issues in 2017 and I hope we do more next year.
It wasn't a year when I fell madly in love, which is probably why it feels like it's been a quiet year - because I love falling madly in love. I thought I had, around halfway through the year, but as it turns out... it was just a paper bag.
This turned out to be A Good Thing, in the greater scheme. It sparked a latter half of the year of self-reflection, therapy (both psychiatric and shamanic!). I feel I've been laying a lot of groundwork for 2018.
Hopefully, an authentic, joyous and productive year. I've been working on boundaries, on knowing my worth, getting clear on what I really want and - quite simply - 2018 is going to be The Year of Saying No.
People generally talk about the opposite, obviously. I expect this is something that does other people a lot of good, but not for me. I am not going to say 'no' to everything, of course. But I'm going to stop spreading myself too thin, trying to do all the things; saying yes to things without thinking and then wondering why I've done this to myself, saying yes to things because I'm scared I'll seem ungrateful and I won't be asked again.
I will only say yes to the things that make my heart sing, that excite me, that feel like totally the right thing to do. I'm hoping this will mean a great year. I hope yours is, too.