At this time of year it’s only natural that we start to look back and reflect on the year gone by – the ups and the downs, and evaluate how far we’ve come. This can be great for people who are high-achievers and always striving to go on and do more, but sometimes, when we have not-so-productive years, years where everything seems to go wrong, it can be stressful to be surrounded by people seemingly riding the current into happiness. I remember in my first year of university I felt oppressed by the level of achievement around me. First year was a strange and difficult time for me for a number of reasons, as well as full of wonderful moments and opportunities. This year has been a great year for me – an astonishing year – but I know it’s not the same for everyone.
So, rather than evaluating and analysing yourself and your achievements, it can be better – more conducive, more fulfilling, more useful – to offer thanks for what did go right and for what you have. For some, this can be an uncomfortable idea because it comes too close to a religious act – but if we can’t be grateful and appreciate the things life brings us that are joyful and wonderful and good, do we really deserve to have them?
This is my thanksgiving, as it were. I hope it’s been a great year for all of you – and that the ups outweigh the downs. I hope you feel that you have achieved something even if it was simply surviving. And I hope that next year is even better for you, whatever it may bring, because although good things might not come to those who wait, they do come to those who persevere.
So, here’re my thanks. You can write your own in the comments if you like (though you certainly don’t have to).
First and foremost, thanks for my wonderful relationship with Michelle, a relationship which has continued to thrive and grow. I couldn’t wish for a better partner – or to feel more cherished. Thank you for another amazing year – long may it continue.
Second, thanks to and for my wonderful parents, who have shown me unending support over the last few years, and who always believed it would be possible for me to do what I wanted – writing. Mum, Dad, you are the best a boy could wish for. I’m sure I can’t repay you, but I can give it a go. I wish you all the peace and joy in the world.
Third, thanks to my friends, lecturers and teachers, and all the folks back home rooting for me despite how inconsiderate I am. I most certainly would have gotten lost without you. Thanks to my dear housemates of Bournbrook for all the fun times – Dungeons and Dragons, Christmas dinners, and dozy nights watching TV junk. Thanks to my first year flatmates who I’m still in touch with (though perhaps not enough) – thanks for Lord of the Rings games, karaoke, hill walks and good old heart-to-hearts.
And last, thanks to Breaking Benjamin for writing the song ‘Give Me A Sign’ – that song was itself the sign that I could push through. I still feel like crying when I hear that track even though it’s been two years since I got lost in those deep woods. I bought their album Dear Agony for £1 brand new in its wrapping because someone didn’t want it – and that £1 was what kept me typing when everything felt like it was going to fall apart. You have no idea who I am Breaking Benjamin – but God bless you.
So, onwards to Christmas and New Year and new beginnings.
Have a very merry Christmas, everyone.