Shocking lack of blogging from once again, BUT I couldn't not write you all before the start of a new year.
I hope you all had a very happy Christmas, ours was different, hectic, and above all lovely! Whatever you did or how (if) you celebrated I hope you were surrounded by the ones you love.
I'm not quite sure how to wrap up 2013, when I think about it I went in with pretty average expectations and a few highlights to look forward to, but it ended up shaping up as a very important, wonderful, year. I finally, finally graduated, gained a first which I never thought possible and made the walk in my cap and gown that I had waited so many years for but never expected to do. I had an incredible weeks work experience on Les Miserables which was one of the most joyful experiences of my life, I cannot describe what it meant to me to be there that week with so many, happy, kind, welcoming faces who loved the show and theatre as much as I do. I went on my first holiday alone to Euro Disney for my transplant anniversary (more updates about this next time) a huge confidence boost for me. I have really improved with my cake skills and grown a small business of my own. I've made many trips to London widening my net and again building more confidence than I've ever had travelling, its still hard a lot of the time but I'm doing it. There have been hugs, days out, time spent with my family, I've drunk numerous teas, cocktails, eaten and cooked some yummy food, met some great people and had a life I can actually live. I've done more awareness work and hopefully will get more opportunities in the future as it's something I love. Some things have worked out differently than I expected and some paths have had to change but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Even me who likes to control everything sometimes has to change, but so long as its the road leading to where I want to go, who cares?
I have met lots of new people: some acquaintances, some new friendships and some friendships that I think will last the distance. A lot of relationship's have changed, some have ended, some that were rocky have improved we shall see what becomes of them, some people have stepped up and been there when I've needed them and some have fallen to the background, some I need to try harder to build on in the new year and I think I have met some truly special friends. The most important thing is I'm less stressed about them now, if it's meant to be it's meant to be, what's important are the memories we make along the way.
In other ways it has been a very hard year in some ways. I was finally able to admit that I've been suffering with depression and high anxiety, I hope that this will be made easier for me to cope with next year so I can enjoy my life the way a truly want to. A huge tragedy has been the losses we've experienced in the transplant community. It may sound silly to some people, that most of the interactions I've had with these people have been online however as I'm many others will testify, this doesn't make the connection any less. It's hard to hear of someone struggling and passing away, knowing you'll never text or tweet them again, knowing you'll never chat or nod to them at clinic. It's also hard to see the negative side of organ donation and the problems that can develop, knowing one day they will effect all of us. These people are so many to mention so apologies to those who aren't named, Josh, who I met in hospital and came to reassure me about a procedure I was having, Nicola, who loved her family and helped so many other transplant patients with her charity work, Josie, who always had a beautiful smile and kind words in clinic, Gareth, the brother and son of a wonderfully kind, caring family, Katie, Clare and Gerard who all played a big part in the CF community.
Another wonderful lady. Melanie also lost her fight with cancer this week. I met her once this year which I am so incredibly grateful for, but we kept in regular contact via email. She was a brave, beautiful, caring, smiley, lovely lady with a real zest for life. She fought bravely and always made time for others, she was the wig mistress on Les Mis and although off work arranged for me to go and see her "wiggie" friends, my best moment while there. That was her, always thinking of others and that was shown in the outpouring of love towards her and her family. They have all played parts in many people's lives, more than they probably imagined. Like the others in past years, Jen, Jess, Sam, Robyn, Nick, Sarah, Portia, Rachael, Craig, Paul and the many others, they will never, ever be forgotten.
I have struggled a lot with so many losses and found it hard to cope or understand the senseless of it. Sometimes I have wondered if would have been better of saving myself the hurt and never meeting them but that would be completely disrespectful and unfair to all those little interactions that in the grand scheme seem nothing but really meant something to me, I wouldn't give those up. Someone told me that while we are still here we have to shine the light for those that aren't, its very true. So while remembering them I will try to keep putting happiness and kindness into the world on their behalf. After all one person can change so many lives, look what my donor did for me.
I've been quite scared for 2014, 2013 was a hard one to top. But I was sitting here last year worrying about the same thing. I think I've learnt (to some extent, I'm a stubborn lass) that you can't pre-empt the good things that come our way, they are usually hiding round the corner when you least expect it. My transplant definitely taught me among other things that its the little things that mean the most; a cool drink of water on a dry mouth, being able to walk around freely, the amazing feeling of a hot shower, the taste of your favourite food, the comfort of your own bed and the hug from someone you love. Enjoy them, because if they disappeared I guarantee that these would be the things you'd crave.
Anyway enough waffling, what I'm trying to say is, I hope you all have a fantastic new year celebration whatever you're doing, and that the new year brings you happiness and health thank you for your incredible support this year, I am eternally grateful. Goodbye awesome 2013 and thanks for the great times and memories. 2014 let's see what you've got!
Last word as always goes to the indescribably kind, wonderful, generous, incredible, beautiful, person and their family who gave me this unbelievable gift of seeing this year, I can never thank you enough but I will try to make you proud.