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I don't really celebrate New Year's in the same way that is traditional to people who live in Australia (and in many places all over the world). I don't really drink, I don't like having a late night if I can avoid it, and often places where fireworks are visible there are so many people I feel cramped, and claustrophobic.
So, for the last two years, I have celebrated the New Year by saying goodbye to the previous year, and writing at goals and plans for the new one. When I have more access to linkage, I'll show you the specific workbook I use to do this, but for now, let us say a simple goodbye to 2012, as the first day of 2013 washes over us.
What was hard.
I started this year full of hope and promise about my health, and finally making some progress in getting a close relationship outside my partner and my family. Things went well for a while here (more on that later), but thing also went a bit pear-shaped.
I was beaten and torn apart by a huge workload - essentially full-time and a half - and ended up having to remove myself from things entirely.
My friendships have taught me so many things, but those lessons were so very difficult and painful to learn. I began to feel as if I was going round in circles, and continuously coming back to the same pain, the same problems, the same vulnerabilities within me, and within others.
My views on friendship and certain people have been torn down and rebuilt so many times I feel like I've moved house about ten times this year.
Towards the end of the year, my family was hit with a barrage of loss, shock, and hurt in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The results of these are still continuing, and we're just paddling around, looking out for each other as much as possible.
I wouldn't call 2012 a year when I was completely remade, but it was definitely a year where I was challenged to find my own inner strength to move through things.
What was good.
I feel as if I have proved my worth and power to myself - and to others - about a hundred times over.
I managed to get a job, and I started a new degree. When I realised that these weren't for me, I was able to kindly and gently remove myself.
I gave myself time to heal, time to come back to my bases, and time to get better at understanding what it is I want out of life, and how that interacts with what I already have.
I can safely say that I have grown into myself this year. I now feel much more confident about what I want to do, and I feel settled in my own skin.
I have redefined what certain people in my life mean to me, and have reached out to others. This has been scary, but I am surrounded by good people.
I have been offered ample opportunities to help in the lives of others, which I have enjoyed wholedheartedly.
I am continuously learning what it means to be me, to be seeking the things I seek, and to move forward with my transformation.
something you should know (in closing)...
the name of this blog was something I created out of two things I loved. It represented something I felt I was. The butterfly, so eager to transform and fly, and the elephant - wise, but unable to even jump. My illness represented that heavy weight to me for quite some time. Now, though? I see the wonderful things about my illness. It has brought me to where I need to be, and it has given me opportunities I might never have received had I been well. Yes, it's still difficult to deal with that weight sometimes, but my illness has given me so much wisdom and compassion that I might not have gotten otherwise.
Here we go - 2013.
Love to all who read.