Usually by now I’ve already written most of what I want to say for my final post of the year. Admittedly, I haven’t blogged an awful lot this year, which is a shame because there’s been plenty to document. But here and there there are pieces documenting 2019, the year everything changed. I also filmed short video clips, which I’ve compiled together into a sort of summary of the year. That can function largely as the highlights reel, because from that you’d think that the back and forth between Bath and London over and over again, the constant reprisals of my boyfriend and the sheer amount of food would make this year a perfect one.
Being honest, it hasn’t been perfect at all and the bad has definitely put up a good fight against the good. A lot has gone right for the most part, but there’s been a lot that has gone wrong along the way and it’s been tough. If we are being entirely truthful, it still is tough and elements of it perhaps always will be. But, all in all, it’s been a big year in the life of Alice.
There have been a lot of failures: I still haven’t managed to pass my driving test, which is a shame because I’d grown to love being behind the wheel; I got a lot of job rejections, some of which really hurt; over the course of the year I’ve lost bits of me, but I’m finding them again; my relationship has taken a lot of hits that have been sometimes difficult to heal from.
The good outweighs the bad, though. It has to. I finally got a new job after what felt like a ceaseless battle; I found a flat all on my own and I moved to the south of London, finally back in the place where, for now, I belong; I’ve actually been doing pretty alright at the whole new job thing; I’ve been inked twice; my relationship reached a year milestone; I travelled to Amsterdam; my beautiful sister gave birth to another breathtaking baby girl. And I’m ending the year where I started it, near the pebbly beaches of Brighton, with that guy I’m in love with.
I don’t really have words for 2019. Finding the right words has been a bit of a running trend for me this year. Trying to articulate the loss of faith in myself at times; grasping onto the most compelling words to make someone stay. Words fail me, just like they are right now as I try to somehow explain everything.
This year has been a challenge and there have been more tears than felt normal sometimes. Across the year I’ve felt so completely sure and, simultaneously, not certain at all. I’ve felt unfathomable bouts of love and growth; I’ve felt heartache and unimaginable fear; I’ve felt the very peaks of joy and touches of depression. I’ve wondered if the tears will ever stop and I’ve also wondered how I got to be so lucky. Opposite ends of the spectrum, opposite ends of existing.
But I’m here. We’re here. My wonderful, supportive growing family is here. There’s a whole future extending out in front of me, one I’m starting to visualise and piece together with a person I hope to walk, hand in hand, into it with. We’ve made it and I’m pretty proud that, on my own, I got myself here. That I am stronger and fiercer and braver than I think a much younger version of myself ever thought possible. And hey – I’m surviving off of more than just beans on toast. I’d call that a success.