New Year: Reflections and Wishes 

I love New Year. I love the opportunity to mark the passing of time, to reflect on what has come to pass over the year, to close the door to what you need to, to open your heart to what is to come.

2015 held many changes and lessons for me. It’s been a year of decisions, a year of change, and a year of crossroads. 

The year started with my best friend and I waving goodbye to our much-loved little rundown flat in Aberdeen as she was moving to a fantastic new job in a new city and I was moving into a new place. This theme of upheaval seemed to stick for the rest of the year! Friends moved and started new chapters and, as expected, my gypsy soul had been fired up again. In spite of moving house and a project trip to Uganda at Easter, I was not for resting. I accepted a job in Tanzania and relocated at the end of August to start a new chapter. 

I discovered a lot about myself this year. I discovered that I really am as fiercely independent as I pretend to be. I came to understand what I am prepared to put up with for relationships (and also what I will not!). I found who I am again without my safety net of people around me. I gained confidence and self-assurance through pushing myself into situations I would otherwise have avoided. I continued to build trust and faith in my friendships and how they endure in spite of distance and time. I learned that I was prepared to give up something good for something that could be amazing – in spite of how terrified I was! I learned to appreciate simplicity and a life without complications. I learned that making the right choice was quite often the hardest choice. 

Highlights of 2015

  • Gaining my second postgraduate qualification while working full-time – all the stress was worth it! 
  • Visiting Uganda and seeing lions and elephants in the wild for the first time – words cannot express how that felt! 
  • The first (of many) WolfPack weekends away in a cottage in Braemar – just the girls, a fridge of cheese and wine, and endless laughter. 
  • Spending a fantastic fun week at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 
  • Moving to Tanzania and starting my new chapter in that gorgeous country. 

 

What will 2016 hold? 

See, Discover, Explore:

I fully intend to make the most of living in such an amazing part of the world. This year I plan on seeing The Great Migrations on the Serengeti, going to the beautiful island of Zanzibar, and climbing to the roof of Africa – Kilimanjaro. 

Create, Learn, Inspire:

I want to connect once more with my artistic and creative side. I want to learn to speak Swahili enough to sustain conversation. I want to play music more regularly and with fellow musicians. I want to sketch, paint and photograph. And I want to continue to write as regularly as possible. 

As I look forward to the next year, I do so with an open mind and open heart. This time last year I would never have imagined that I would now be living in East Africa – a year can bring so much change. Who knows what this year holds?

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

~Neil Gaiman~

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