It’s been a hell of a year.

I can remember this time last year. I didn’t have plans, so I was at home with the family. 2011 had easily been one of the worst years of my life, and I promised myself that next year, 2012, was going to be so much better. That I’d make it better for myself. All the shit I’d gone through the year before, it was in the past. And January 1st would mark a new beginning.

Of course, things don’t always work out quite as you would hope. This year has honestly seen it all. The highest of the highs and lowest points of my life, all been crammed into the short space of twelve months that we’ve just been through. But I wouldn’t change a thing. 2012 – if you wanted to beat the shit out of me, you’ve got what your wished for. But I’ve come out as a fucking strong person because of it. I’ve learnt a lot and been to places mentally I’ve never had to go to before, and at times it seemed like there was no way out, and nobody around to tell these things to. But I forced that way out, and I’m standing here today all that much stronger for it. It’s been a lesson, and I’m actually thankful for it. I’ve never had as much resting on my shoulders as I’ve had this year, or had to cope with so much pressure. But it’s led me here. And that’s okay.

It’s had good times too, of course. I’m much closer to my dad than I’ve ever been before. I’ve made my own life in a city I’d never even visited before I moved there, and I’ve made some incredible friends. I’ve done some amazing things, from touring the Colosseum in Rome to quad-biking in the Atlas mountains, from climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa to relaxing on gorgeous Spanish beaches with a mojito in hand. Perhaps not enough to balance out the bad times, but enough to mean this year hasn’t been the total shit storm that 2011 was.

There are still things that need to be sorted out. Certain family matters. Actually figuring out what I want to do with my life. Cutting certain people out and introducing new ones. But I’m promising myself right here and right now, that 2013 is going to be my year. After the last two, I deserve it to be. There’s so much in the works already, from totally changing my life direction to climbing a 19,340ft mountain in Kenya for charity. It’s not going to be another ‘nothing’ year. It’s not going to be a bad year. It’s going to be a fucking great year,  I’m going to make sure it is.

Change is good, and I’m going to embrace as much of it as I can. I’m not the shoulder to cry on anymore, and I’m not the person who lives to please everyone else, worrying about upsetting people I don’t even like. I’m not going to sit back and pretend I’m okay with what I’m doing and letting my life carry on without me. I’m not going to give up as easily as I’ve done in the past, and I’m going to surprise everyone. I’m going to show them what I can do, and who I can be.

And I can’t fucking wait.

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