So that’s it…2018 nearly over and done with. It’s been an amazing year with plenty of highs and some lows. 2018 has most definitely been the year that I found my strength to be myself, and I have a feeling that I will need this skill in 2019. As I packed away the Christmas tree today, I felt very reflective and blessed for all that has happened this year. A lot of my blogs look at a very dark place in society and are often very challenging to read. I’m sure 2019 will be no different. But I want to use this final blog of 2018 to show love and appreciation for all those that have been part of my year. I have decided not to name and tag anyone, but as you read…. I am sure that you will know that I am talking about you.
I am grateful for the friend that puts my heating on every morning before I arrive at work because they know that I struggle with the cold. To know that someone comes into work and thinks of me first thing makes me feel blessed.
I am thankful for the friend that I can call whenever I need help and they never say no. Even at 11pm the night before Christmas eve. No questions asked apart from “Where do you need me”.
I am Blessed for the new friends I have made. I may have known them before 2018 but this is the year that they become true friends.
I am grateful for the women who takes me on a deep journey every now and then. We speak about the real stuff. The stuff that makes you…. you. And she never flinches. Not once.
I am thankful for my best friend. The women who never gave up on me. She keeps me safe.
I am blessed to have my cousin, who stepped in when I was about to drown in life and saved me…when he was only just able to save himself.
I am thankful for the one who tries to mentor me. Who pushes me to be better, who demands that I do bigger.
I am grateful that I found a lifelong friend who I didn’t know was missing. We only met this year, but we have been searching for each other our whole lives. We will always be friends because she knows too much.
I am blessed that I met the lady who rode the train home with me that day and has been riding with me ever since. The lady who chants for my mum…
I am thankful for the lady who shares what ever she has, even when I say I don’t need it. She see’s me when others may not. She understands the darkness that follows me sometimes.
I am grateful for my job. I get to work with the young people that others want to give up on. I get to make young people see who they really are. I get to change lives.
I am blessed that I found Filia, who have showed me what a feminist really is and helping me to discover another layer to who I am. For letting me stand on stage and say, “This is who I am, and that’s more than plenty”.
I am thankful for the family who are not family by blood. The girl who checks on me to see if I am Ok and means it. The girl who loves him nearly as much as I do. The girl who loves me nearly as much as she does my roast potatoes.
I am grateful for the girl who says I changed her life. Who makes my heart swell with pride when she tells me that she has to walk away from things now. That she has changed. I have watched her grow from a child to a young woman this year, and that is a privilege I may have missed if she continued the life she was. We are both blessed.
I am blessed that my son has lifelong friends. The ones that have been there for him through the good and the bad, who turn up each year to party…and the one that has now grown into a man and buys me Christmas gifts to let me know that he is there.
I am thankful for my home. I remember the days when I used to walk slower as I got towards home, dreading what I would find. Now…well….as most know, it takes a lot to get me to leave.
I am grateful for the friends from the ends who contact me to say they are proud. To say that I am doing good.
I am blessed that we found a teacher at my daughters’ school who finally saw that my daughter needed support and gave it. Just like that. She gave my daughter a voice and made her believe that she is not different …she is just…herself.
I am thankful that I have friends that make me laugh until the tears start to fall.
I am grateful for my trip to Birmingham. It was a journey that changed my life. It was a day that made me rethink EVERYTHING. And the day I met a woman who showed me nothing but kindness and has done ever since. She says my blogs make her cry. Her dedication to changing the lives of young people makes me feel the same way.
I am blessed for the memories that I have been created in 2018. The places I have seen and the people I have met. I am blessed that I had the chance to do all this.
I am thankful for my son. He lives his life the way he wants to and finds Love in the way he sees fit. I am thankful that he no longer needs me and is making a life for himself.
I am grateful for my son. Who has grown int a man that puts many to shame. He has stepped in when others have not and has become more than a brother to his sister, and I am blessed.
I am blessed to have my daughter. I am grateful that she is finally getting the support she needs to understand why she is and how she works. This time last year she had withdrawn and could not find her words. A year later and she is growing and learning about who she is and what she can be. She no longer hides who she is.
I am thankful for my mum. That I had a mum who loved me unconditionally as some people never have that.
I am grateful that I took the leap and started out on my own, that I had the strength to try, if nothing else.
I am blessed that I have food to eat and a warm home. That I am not sick and that I still find things to smile about. I am grateful that I am able to recognise when I am in a dark place and I allow myself to lay there a short while, and then I have the strength to leave. There was a time that I did not have that strength.
I am thankful that people read my blogs, that I finally have a voice and that I use it to change the world. I am blessed.
I have missed out many people, of course, or this blog would be going on forever, but I know who has been there and who has not. And I am thankful for every single person who has supported me this year. Thank you.
So…What are you Thankful…Grateful and blessed for….