New Year, new attitude.
Last year was weird, for all of us, I know. Personally, I felt like I was burrowing further and further down into myself and drifting further and further from everyone I know. As if I’d wrapped my grief and sadness around me and then, cocooned, been caught on the breeze, and landed alone, adrift, mid-ocean.
Well, I’ve poked a hole in the cocoon now. More than that, I’ve carved half of it away and turned it into a canoe and am paddling to the shore which, it turns out, wasn’t as far away as I thought. And on the beach, there are all my friends, waving, smiling, and welcoming me back, throwing out lifelines to pull me home.
I cannot change what has happened to Dan. I will always be griefstruck, and sad. But I can also be happy, and curious, and determined and energised and forward-looking. Dan will always be with me, just one thought away.
When I spoke at his memorial back in June 2018, I encouraged everyone, his teenage friends in particular, to follow their dreams, seize the day, squeeze the most out of life. I’m taking some of my own advice, which is really Dan’s advice. I am tackling 2022 with vigour. Last year I felt that I. Could. Not. Be. Arsed because everything felt heavy and mournful and exhausting. This year I will Be. Arsed. I will seek to share Dan’s story, work hard, see friends, celebrate life. I imagine this will involve indecent amounts of effort, which in turn will incur significant amounts of complaining and swearing and will require me to do some stuff I hate (exercise for a start) to make sure I have the physical and mental stamina to pursue my ambitions, but what else is there to do?
I’m using some of Dan’s never-ending energy and positivity to keep me going, of course. I’m going to harness his enthusiasm and restlessness and use it to sustain me, no matter what this year brings. I am going to make the bloody most of it. Which is why I’m at my desk at 6.30am, gigantic mug of tea to hand, ready for the return to work.
2022, let’s be having you.