What a decade, huh? I’ve not been climbing rungs in a career ladder, or getting married and having kids, or buying a house. But I have so many memories. Memories I’ll cherish forever.
I started the decade where my adult life began, where confidence became a thing I actually possessed, and where I found my tribe. Aberystwyth. A city I’ll always associate with love and laughter. I made friends there who will, without doubt, be by my side for the rest of my life. Friends I’d happily ride into battle for.
Those first three years of the decade weren’t just spent in a small Welsh city, though. I also went to America and undertook the hardest, yet most rewarding, job of my life. Along the way I met more friends I’ll cherish forever (even if they do live a few too many time differences away!). Then, upon my return, I was made a finalist for the Wicked Young Writers’ Award (judged by Michael Morpurgo, who I’ve met since and is genuinely as lovely as you expect him to be!). Just like that the largest facet of who I’d become, the writer, found her wings.
Since then I’ve written five full length novels, self-published one of them (do not look for that book! I’ve done my best to bury it.), studied for an MA in Creative Writing, and formed my writer tribe. I’ve been in touch with agents, been rejected by agents, and applied for dozens of jobs in publishing. I was chosen for Write Mentor and met even more writer friends. It’s certainly been a journey. I’ve also worked. And worked. And worked. I’ve worked really fucking hard this decade.
And I’m proud of myself for that. Proud I stuck to my beliefs, that I never compromised to fit in, and that I’m still fighting. I’m tired as hell but I’m still going. Still working. Obviously, as I said before, most of my day jobs have sucked. They’ve all been minimum wage. But this decade hasn’t been about career, when I really think about it. It’s been about dreaming. But mostly it’s been about friends. Friendship is my main takeaway from the 2010s.
I saw in this New Year standing by the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh watching the fireworks over the castle. I saw it in with friends, some new some old, and laughter. I saw it in knowing I was in control of my future and that I’m where I want to be. So, I’m daring 2020 to come for me. Come, do your best, and let’s ride this year with all the joy of a merry-go-round. It’s going to be a good one, I can feel it.