There have been ups and downs, swings and roundabouts, but 2013 has been a good year. I don’t like to think about what 2014 has to offer because I’d like an element of surprise. I already know of one extremely exciting event that is happening – I’m going to Reykjavik in February with Alison. After seeing a documentary that Joanna Lumley starred in, when she went to the Arctic Circle (via the Ice Hotel) and saw the Northern Lights, I remember lying in my hospital bed and saying to the nurse “I’m going to see them one day”. Sometimes ‘one day’ does not happen, but I’m making that ‘one day’ happen for me in 2014, and I cannot think of a better person to enjoy this trip with than someone who has been in my life for more years than she can probably care to remember.
I’m not one for ‘fresh starts’. I know that a lot of people see the new year as a new beginning. For me the new year is not that spectacular. It’s another division in my life. Nothing will change because we have a new combination of numbers to add to the end of the date. Nothing will be different from when I go to bed tomorrow night to when I wake up on Wednesday morning – except for the date. For me the new year is just a division into which I can say “this happened in…”.
Lots of good things have happened in 2013 – more good than bad. I’ve had my share of loneliness, fear, frustrations and generally facing the unknown, but I’ve also had a lot of relief, excitement, success and fun. I’ve proven to myself that I have integrity and will stand up for what I believe it no matter what the cost; and I have proven to myself that I am loyal – not only to others but to myself.
There have been a couple of times when I’ve felt proud of myself this year but the one moment that stands out more than any other time was logging onto PIP to get my end of year results for a module that I was lacking all confidence in. The module revolved around numbers: algebra, statistics, Excel. It was a subject I cried over, trying to do calculations and making equations balance. So, when I finally got onto PIP I was very proud that I had a B+. I don’t know how I did it but at some point I must have learnt something.
The biggest highlight of 2013 has come quite recently though. After seven years, I am free of the Haematology Day Unit. I’m the first person to admit that I have not always been the easiest of patients to look after but the nurses in the Day Unit have been amazing. They have always gone above and beyond in every aspect of my care. I’ve always had someone to talk to, I’ve always had someone providing me support. It was scary to be told that I no longer had to go there on a weekly/fortnightly basis, but at the same time it marked a humongous step towards what my life was before I was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia. My only ties now are regular trips to the Haematology Clinic for a regular blood count and to make sure that things are still going as they should be – and there is no reason why they shouldn’t be. It wasn’t nice saying goodbye but it was everything that we have all be working towards; that development was everything I had been wishing for since 2007.
I’ve met some incredible people this year, too: colleagues, students, people, friends of friends… People… I’ve formed friendships (I’ve also lost friendships). Someone won my heart, others lost my trust. Some are honest people, others I wouldn’t trust as far as I could through them. In their own ways, they’ve impacted my 2013 – whether they’ve made me laugh, been an ear to talk to, been someone to play against, been someone to enthuse with, been someone to drink with, been someone to make me feel like nothing else mattered in the world. Some have just been incredible in how infuriating they are.
This year I have really stood my ground in a few areas: on how people should be treated, on how we should proceed with a project, on how you should only take up one seat on the train if you only buy one ticket (for Ieva’s sake, I’ll stop here on the trains )… At times during 2013 I have noticed how much I really have matured throughout recent years – there have been times where I’ve had to proceed with caution, I’ve been trusted to do things, I’ve been responsible mostly and I’ve handled things in a way I ought to be proud of.
However, with thanks to my brother, there is a cloud which looms over me. He keeps reminding me that I’m in my late twenties. I’m supposed to be an adult, but I don’t feel any different than I did ten years ago. What predominates my life? Having fun and being happy. Which, by the by, neither require alcohol for! But with that comes my biggest bug bear – that people comment on me as being “funny” – in particular, a nurse praised my sense of humour as what has helped me a lot throughout everything. People have commented on me as being “funny” – something which is really, really irritating. There is more to me than being funny.
As I said before, I don’t see the new year as a ‘fresh start’. I know that some people do but personally I don’t. I see it as being another day. Like the rolling of the months. I only have one resolution: to carry on as I am. I like where I am now in my life. That being said, I cannot wait to see what 2014 will bring me. Hopefully, in 2014, there will be more time spent on the beach now that I have a better grip on my time management!! And to please Mrs Ganglybean, who has told me on many occasions: “don’t ever change” – 2013 may be going and 2014 may be coming, but I’ll still be Becky, just to prove (in spite of you all) that there are no ‘fresh starts’ over here.
So, all that is left to say, to those I have not already said it to, is:
Have a very happy 2014!!