A year ends, a year begins

The Past

2010 has been one of the most important years of my life so far, and I’ve decided I want to acknowledge that in some way, by posting some thoughts about the journey I’ve taken, and how that journey might continue into 2011.

2010 was the year I became a single man by ending a 20-plus year relationship that had become irreversibly toxic for both me and my partner. 2010 was also my first calendar year without using (and later abusing) alcohol, since I was about 16 years old. You may choose to link these two things; I couldn’t possibly comment…

I’ve gone through various highs and lows (and as someone who suffers from depression I mean that literally), and when the worst low hit me in the summer, I actually thought I might never emerge from it.

But despite that pain, 2010 has above all been a year of learning. And it’s been a team effort. When I stopped drinking I started seeing a therapist, and though thoughts of alcohol are no longer even on my radar, we continue to meet, exploring my view and understanding of myself and other people, to the extent that, when I stop to ponder it, I have to acknowledge that I’m a radically different person from the one who entered 2010.

I’m more aware of my prejudices and limitations, but I’m also more aware of my worth and potential, and that is a massive source of strength.

This autumn that strength enabled me to start dating again, and although I’m no longer with the person I was seeing, it was an experience worth having and I have no regrets.

And The Future

I have mainly positive feelings about 2011 – I’m quite pessimistic about the chances of Maltese society and politics advancing towards 21st century norms, but I’m optimistic about life at a personal level. Having worked hard at better self-awareness and self-acceptance over the last 12 months, I feel more prepared to seize what life throws my way, and hopefully enjoy living it more as a result. I don’t plan to go quite as far as Jim Carrey’s character in the film “Yes Man“, but I aim to be more open to opportunities for new experiences.

There are no resolutions in this post – sure, there are things I’d like to do in 2011, but 2010 has taught me that life is (a) a process, not a series of achievements, and (b) unpredictable. You kind of have to roll with the punches, deal with what you get dealt, while still going after what you want.

However, for all you nosy people, and to end on a lighter note, the things I’d like to do are: get a flatter stomach, drive across Europe, move house, and find my soulmate. Just little things, you understand, nothing major. I should have ’em all cracked by February, then I can relax…

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