My 2013




Well it’s been emotional…interesting…and never without incident, but then we could all say that about every year really. Life is never in a straight line, it’s more a wibbly wobbly timey wimey..sorry that sentence got away from me. Anyway the thing is from watching the kids growing up and developing, Jill’s business finding it’s feet and her taking on a part time job, my two diagnoses, a job change from school to college and everything in between it’s not been the worst year I’ve ever experienced – not the best, but not the worst.

This blog has been a really interesting challenge for me and with the exception of one day this year I’ve blogged every day – the current tallies are sitting at over 850 blogs, more than 40,500 views, over 50 comments, 100 fellow bloggers following my output and tens of thousands of words later it’s been great. When I started this one Jan 1st around 12.30am I didn’t know if I would have anything to say – turns out I did. And as resolutions go it has helped me and also some others too along the way. I will definitely continue to blog next year but perhaps not quite as much as I have this year.

Through the blog and in life in general I’ve made a few decisions and had some wee epiphanies. The obvious ones are coming to terms with my head and dealing with what that means to my day-to-day life. Both the meds I am now on are starting to help me feel good about myself and life in general. There is less anxiety, the depression for the moment has lifted and my sleep is getting somewhere near normal levels again (although I have slept a lot this holidays, that’s not a complaint just an observation). The other thing I have realised is that it’s time for a change – the long term needs some attention again because I’ve been so focused on the here and now I really need to decide what I want to do and where I want to be in five or ten years time. Teaching is not it – well not in the current form anyway. I have loved elements of the job but there are too many things I no longer look forward to or find pleasure in – and that’s not because I’m at College now, I felt that way in School and thought a new venue and system would change things for me. Now it’s time to change direction and find a new challenge for the next decade or longer.

Stepping up to get involved in Avenue Q has really challenged me – and there is still a lot of work to be done there before everything is in place by opening night in February. It has pushed me to learn new skills, get me right out of my comfort zone and meet my alter-ego in Nicky. Having always loved the Muppets it’s as close as I’ll get to be involved with something similar. It’s also great to meet and work with new people in a creative way. I’ve been so used to working with musicians it takes a bit of time to change perspective round to the acting/performance style needed for musicals.

Writing has been the biggest eye opener for me this year though. I’m surprised at how quickly ideas have come, the ability I have to put thoughts and feelings down and to occasionally use funny or interesting turns of phrase. I’m aware that the blog is not brilliantly written in technical terms, but I do feel comfortable sitting typing away and playing about with the language. If you consider that most of my blogs are written very quickly without spending hours going over the nuances, structure or proofreading I think I have found a wee skill that could be developed further – so I’ve got two further projects involving writing for next year mapped out in my head. Watch this space.

The most difficult thing this year is learning to be so much more open than I ever have been before. To open yourself up like I have on this blog has allowed me to step out from the awkward masks I was used to hiding behind with friends and family – I feel confident enough to just be myself. Ironically the only place I don’t feel like that these days is in the classroom – the reverse of how I felt when I first started teaching. It says to me that I’ve changed a lot in the last decade and am more than comfortable in my own skin than I ever have been. The openness has caused problems on some occasions, but no more so than when you are hiding behind a persona.

So that’s 2013 – it’s been a really long year for me but one that I come out of stronger and happier than I arrived. What’s next? That’s the question; if we knew that 2014 would be so much easier. Thank you for sticking with me, supporting me and sharing with me. Let’s do it again next year.

Happy New Year to you all and I wish you and your family all the best for the forthcoming chaos that will be 2014.




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