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A New Year, a new start?

I think it’s fair to say, this year has not been kind to my loved ones and me. In fact, I agree with a mate of mine who wrote in my recent birthday card, (December babies are awesome), that 2017 can ‘go suck a dick’. Don’t get me wrong I know things could have been worse – death, brain injury, hurting other’s in addition – so I am grateful, always – but still, a pig of a year. Yet while this has been, (and I do not feel this is melodramatic), the worst year of my 27, I have also had some incredible happy moments; surrounded by the true love of friendship and family, supported by a wonderful community and lifted up by strangers. I’ve made new friends, and lost some dead weight. What I’m trying to establish here, is that reflecting on my year is complex. I never know if I’ll feel thankful or bitter; if I’ll smile or burst into tears.

Just like that, the countdowns are over and we stand abreast a new 12 month cycle to do with what we will. This has resonated with me especially hard this year. I’ll say it simply; the thought of going into a new year as a ‘disabled person’ feels so alien. In less than 3 months, I wont have walked or been able to move or feel my legs for a year. It’s such an abnormal thought. In a way, it feels like I’m entering a completely separate life, like I’m a different woman. Of course that’s bollocks. The other week I went out for a meal with the same eloquent friend I mentioned earlier, and we ended up out in town; giggling the same as always and then dancing – YES! Dancing!!! – with the same joy we always had, (even if me dancing basically consists of spinning on the dance floor - to a mixed review from fellow merry-makers - and my personal favourite; the seated shimmy). I am still the same Georgie.

I guess I am different too though, and not just in the obvious ways. I don’t think it would be possible to go through something so life changing and not have it alter you in some way; I’m just glad the few scuffs, dents and tarnish I’ve accumulated so far, don’t seem to have altered my fundamental self. Actually, when I’m feeling at my most positive, I can see the scars as badges of honour; a reminder that, not only am I still alive but that I am fighting. They will surely make me a better doctor, and they’ve already given me opportunities, (I will talk more about in the next few months) and new paths to potentially follow. True some of the damage wont look any better, even in the finest pair of rose tinted glasses; but that will fade with time as life becomes easier again, and I become more confident. I know it will get better… eventually.

That’s the two things my brother reprimands me a for… 1.Being impatient for things to get easier – it’s only been 9 months and look how far I’ve come! 2.Dwelling on things I ‘can’t’ do anymore. Whenever I feel like I can’t do something, or I feel bleak about the goalposts changing he has this relentless hope. When I’ve had a day of being reminded of things I may never be able to do, (stupidest yet was crying at dolphins jumping waves on blue planet, because I want to jump waves with my children the way my mum did with me), he’s there telling me anything can be possible and f**k it if I can’t do a certain thing we’ll find another thing. I think I already know that. I have hundreds of plans spinning in my head for things I want to do. I’ve always been fearless and I don’t want to lose that ambition. In fact, a point I want to make clear to anyone reading this is do that thing. You know that thing you’ve always wanted to do. Take the trip. Get the belly button ring. Live boldly. Because tomorrow you could wake up with everything changed.

My mum used to do what all Mum’s do and urge me to save my money, wait till I was comfortable before I started jet setting ,or buying gig tickets every other month. I thank her for that because I know she did it with love, and my best interests right up there on her list of priorities. But I don’t regret it for one minute. I’m so glad I did all those things. I’m so glad I lived boldly and did what I wanted. And I’m still gonna do that. Travelling now takes preparation and money, but I’ve got so much more to do – and I’ll f**king do it. Deep down I know that eventually I’ll be ok, sometimes I just need that reassurance I think. Some days it all seems too big, too much; it’s a really good job I have people willing to share my troubles. To break them down until it feels more manageable. The best thing you can do is be a good friend, and I’m lucky to have so many.

Now I’ve never really been one for resolutions, but I am one for goals – I’ve got quite a few. I want to get back to work before the year anniversary of the crash. I want to focus on my teaching. I want to make some real progress on the book. I want to work hard on my strength and just see what progress I make without the words, ‘never’ or ‘unlikely’, floating around my brain. Plus there’s the standard ones – loose weight, stop smoking, save money blah blah blah. I also have a lot to look forward to and wonderful people to share things with. I’m living proof of just how much can change in a year. So yeah, this year the changes have been pretty shit, but I am overcoming them and hopeful that this New Year will bring positive change.

You get 12 more months to do with what you will. I intend to make the most of them. So I welcome you 2018 and I hope you will be kind.

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