2009 was, now that I think on it, a very tumultuous year. It was a year of profound changes... many of them good. Some of them not. In 2009, I discovered who my friends were, and, sadly, who they were not. I lost my grandmother to a heart attack. I was forced to move from the flat I had loved. I lost my job at the end of 2008 and couldn't seem to find a new one. I lost faith in people. Yet, for all the stress and the tears and the uncertainty that made up 2009, I find that I have a great deal to be thankful for. I discovered a new direction for me, one that feels right and just. I finished my manuscript, which, unbeknownst to me at the time, was the equivalent of four complete novels. I found a new home, made a new friend or two, started a new story and finished the first book of that story, and fallen in love with life all over again. I am so grateful for all that tumult for now, it seems, I'm finding my path at long last.
I am grateful that I have ears with which to hear music, for music moves my soul like no other thing in this world. Thank-you, to all the musicians in the world.
I am grateful for the new job I got at the beginning of 2009. I am grateful to J.K., who tipped me off about the possible opening.
I am grateful for my friends. All of you stood behind me and celebrated when I finished my first ever manuscript this August. You helped me write it, and edit it, and still to this day encourage all my efforts with writing, and in every other endeavour.
I am grateful, strangely enough, to those that did not. You helped me to prioritise my time, allowing me to spend it on the people that actually care and matter. You helped to solidify, in some bizarre way, the person that I am, and I'm not unhappy about the me I see before me. If that makes sense.
I am especially grateful to M.K., C.H., M.F., and K.W. for all your help with my writing, for your careful editing and gentle criticisms. My artist's ego remains intact. I am grateful for you all defending me when the occasion arose. I doubt you'll ever understand how much that meant to me. I love you all.
I am grateful for K.C., who, due to a very unfortunate event in his life, stumbled into mine and has become one of my most trusted friends. Truly good people are increasingly difficult to find in the increasingly selfish world. This is an inside joke but, K.C., you rock the Casbah! I am also grateful for K.C. because through him I met his lovely new girlfriend, S.D., who also rocks the Casbah.
I am grateful to all my Kung Fu brothers and sisters, and my Sifu. You have helped my find myself once more, and have helped me heal. My faith in my own species is continually being restored because of the wonderful, eclectic and kind people I find myself surrounded by four nights a week. I am grateful for the opportunity to teach Kung Fu and Kickboxing, that I might be a small part of extending the warmth and fun that my Kung Fu school has extended to me.
I am so grateful I got to know D.P. a little better. A fellow reader and a pleasure to be around, I am glad he's now a part of my circle.
I am grateful for T.H., who has been a constant in my life for a while now, and who has always been there when I needed someone to lean on. I love you so much. We are definitely sisters, even if not blood related.
I am grateful to the spirit of the written word for bestowing the gifts of passion for writing and reading. I am grateful for the stories that fly through my head at a maddening pace, even if I can't write them all down. I am grateful for all the people I have met as a result of this passion - A.W., D.N., G.dM.... just to name a few. I am so incredibly grateful that I have the opportunity to write and be published... one day.
I am so incredibly grateful for my flatmate, who seems to be as eccentric as I am. I am so incredibly grateful that I had no other choice but to move in with her, and that my fears of living with someone for the first time in four odd years were completely unfounded, otherwise I might have missed out on the great fun, and the laughter, that is our home. I am grateful for Persephone, the stray we found, and I'm so grateful for Galahad, the one of her four kittens we kept.
I am most profoundly grateful for my family. For my father, whose quiet, but constant, presence keeps me safe. For my mother, who, though she lives half a world away, is always standing beside me. For my grandmother, though she passed away at the beginning of the year. She was ever a sparkling light for me, and will always be so. To my sisters and my brother, without whom I would not be me. Thank-you so much. I love you all.
Lastly I am grateful to you, the readers of this blog, for being there for me, for being, whether you knew it or not, the constant reason for me bothering to blog at all, for being the faceless crowd that continually urges me forward - the audience for whom I write my stories. Your presence in my life is an enormous motivation for me to keep going. Thank-you.
So, in all, I am grateful for 2009. It was a year of change, not all of it welcome, but all of it necessary.
All that is left, I suppose, is to wish you all a very happy New Year. May 2010 be full of wonder, love and laughter! To celebrate the new year, I'll be taking a few days off and won't be bothering you again until the 7th. Lucky you! Until then, HAPPY NEW YEAR!