Reflecting on a year that’s been bad but with some amazing thrown in

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2015 has been pretty bloody cool in lots of ways. There’s been travel, adventure, mountains, snow, road trips, new jobs, conferences, big achievements, new ventures, amazing food, big nights out, big nights in and all kinds of other hilarious, fun and cosy times with friends. But it’s also been a year of panic, worry, ill health, long nights and frustration.

It’s been both a very good and a very bad year but luckily I feel like I’ve managed to strike the balance and keep myself breaking even on life. The bad times have been pretty bad but the good have been there, just bright enough to saunter along and cheer everything up a bit.

To start with the good is they right way to do things. There’s been a trip to Sri Lanka with some of my best friends, travelling down the country with nothing on the agenda but wild monkeys, climbing mountains and rolling through the jungle in a blur of mosquito repellent and inappropriate footwear. A few weeks previous to this was a whole other kind of trip- a pretty epic 16 hour road trip from South London all the way to the tip of the Isle of Skye in Scotland, driving through snow covered valleys and past frozen lakes- like I said, it’s been a pretty cool year.

There was also a new job, a step up in the world of work from something I wasn’t sure about to something I really love. There was a big decision to leave my trusty little zone two flat that I shared with friends and had endless wine and cheese and late night box set binges to go home and save hard for a few months. I’m still not fully on board with all the adulting, but I think it’s best to sort of pretend it’s not happening so it all happens quicker.

I’ve explored new cities, delved into Scandinavia, traced family roots in Ireland, presented a scientific poster, worked on a clinical trial, got very drunk, made new friends- when you start writing it down like this it seems impossible to think 2015 could have been bad at all. But the catch to all the good times and the travel and the late nights with good friends was my mum and oldest, best friend battling cancer. Something you don’t want to happen to anyone in your life- let alone to two of the most important people at the same time.

Their immense strength and show of ‘up yours’ to the whole thing has given me an entirely new perspective on life. If they got through 2015 then I owed it and continue to owe it to them to keep on sailing by. The sleepless nights and the waiting by the phone for news of if things are bad or things are good was truly awful enough for those of us who were the supporting group, so who knows how it really, truly felt for them, yet they handled it all like pros. Like they knew what to do or had received some sort of training. I’m not sure if a true reflection of this stress will happen in 2015. Maybe it’ll rear it’s head next year, but here’s hoping for a calmer, less seasick 2016 for me but all the more for them.

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