When I think back on 2017, I remind myself that this is the year that we carved out a new life in a bigger, bolder city than before. A place where our community means more travel time with strangers on trains than with friends in their homes. A city that is not, in truth, a natural fit. That shades out the stars and puts miles between us and the sea. But we have learned how to do life here; how to not just make it work but embrace the opportunity and privilege that, as well as being all those other things, it truly is. It seems unlikely (though who knows) that it is forever, so we want to make the most of it while we can.
I look at my 2017 aspirations and recognise that they are all somewhere between outworked and working themselves out. We have grown more of our own food, though hope in 2018 to correct our previous courgette fail. We have swapped out some of the abrasive chemicals in our home, switching to deodorant bars, coconut oil for moisturiser, and discovering white vinegar as a household cleaner and general miracle worker. We have started volunteering locally, and are loving knitting into our local community. I’ve read, continuing to broaden my literary horizons; ‘My Life on the Road’ by Gloria Steinem was a 2017 highlight. I’ve made with my hands, but probably not as often as I used to. It’s nice to know I can, but it’s probably not my primary form of creative relaxation any more and I’m fine with that. I’ve continued to write and share – more than ever before. Joining a Poetry Society felt and still feels like an act of bravery, and has only ever been encouraging and helpful.
It is nice to begin the year, not with a home in boxes and guesses (but little experience) at how to create a life in this city, but with rhythms and friendships begun, interests and ideas emerging. It feels like we can hit the ground running, rather than still be figuring out how to plant our feet.
And I hope that 2018 will see us go further. This is not about adding more into our life. It’s a chance to build on previous years’ foundations, step onto the next rung and take in a bigger view. Learn more. Try more. Write more. And maybe some more of our dreams will find their footing. Either way, 2018, you are welcome here.
Today’s soundtrack: The Sweeplings // Winter’s Call