2018 – the countdown is on.

 

Wednesday 22nd November – where has this year gone?

this time last year i had just booked a flight to the other side of the world. i was unhappy and running from who i was and what i had become. i was confused about who i was and what i wanted from my life. i was convinced that running away from myself and my life would be what i needed to figure myself out. i thought that it would provide me with the clarity i sought.

i know it sounds dramatic but its true.

well, i didn’t get on that plane.

i can safely say it was the best decision i’ve made this year.

so much has happened to me this year, none of which would have been possible if i’d have run away.

i feel like i have really grown this year, i have made peace with a lot of events that have happened, i have gained the clarity in most areas in life that i so desperately sought. i don’t feel as though i’m as lost as i once was. 

here are some lessons i’ve learnt this year, some lessons that life has reminded me of, just in time for 2018. 

family is everything

this year i have been especially grateful for my family. we’ve been through a lot together this last year and it has only brought us closer as a unit. i am lucky enough to say that i like my family, as people, not just because we’re related. a fair amount of my friends seem to spend time with their family because its what they feel obligated to do. i do not. i do it because i really bloody like ‘em!

 your friends aren’t always your friends.

at 28 i’m sure i should have outgrown the ridiculousness of this but alas, i am still learning that your friends are not always that. they will not always support you, they will not always understand you. an example – the reactions that some friends made when i told them that i wasn’t going to Australia… well… lets just say it stung.

being able to acknowledge when i am wrong / when i’m being an arse is one of my biggest strengths.

this year, more than ever, i have realised this is quite a rare trait. I can hold my hands up when I have been a sucky person, or a sucky friend. i mean, i hate being wrong – i always have been an insufferable know it all so i hate having to say i’m wrong – but i can, and will, admit i am wrong when i am.

i recently messaged one of my oldest friends, someone who has continually reached out who I have rarely responded to, and apologised for being a shit friend. i didn’t try and excuse my behaviours, i just tried to make her see it was me and not anything she had done and that i still adore her.

only you can take care of yourself and your health,

 the last few months are the months i have been the most grateful in my life for our NHS. i have been feeling the benefit of my tax money. i am now, hopefully, on the up both physically and mentally, but it has given me a new perspective on all things health related – so much of it is within our control, the care we take of ourselves has the biggest impact on our health. what we put in our body to fuel it, what exercise we do (or don’t do) and the impact that has not only physically but also mentally. we need to make sure we’re taking the best care of ourselves. the situations we put ourselves in, the pressure we put on ourselves, the people we surround ourselves with… we might not be able to control every illness, every accident, but we can make sure that we are taking the best care of ourselves; that is within our control. you have to make your own health a priority.

your gut knows when it is not right – listen

everyone will give you their opinion if you let them and whilst it can be helpful to gain the perspective of an outsider ultimately you know when it isn’t right. trust yourself.

 you can’t force anything.

if it’s meant to be it will be, sure you need to make an effort initially but if it becomes too much like hard work and you’re not feeling the benefits, you’re not feeling satisfied then let it alone. chalk it up to experience and move on.

the idea of something is often better than the reality but you should still try.

You never know, you might just be surprised.

 if you have people in your life that make you feel like you have to apologise for who you are and what you like, get rid of them.

 or at the very least, distance yourself. i understand we all like to take the hand out of our friends, me possibly more than anyone, but if this turns into them making you feel bad about yourself it is not ok.

people that don’t love themselves cannot love you. same for those that don’t like themselves.

exactly as it says.

 support can come from the most unexpected places – appreciate it.

this year i have had support and understanding from someone that i never would have expected, i don’t think i will ever fully be able to thank them and i don’t think they will ever fully understand how much i appreciate all they’ve done for me.

 

2017 has in some ways been so confusing but i feel a different person this side of it. this year i can really see the change in myself, i can see how i’ve changed for the better. i’m much more sure of myself, i’m much more appreciative of who i have around me. i stopped running long enough to catch up with myself. 

2018, you’re a few weeks away but i’m excited for the adventures already. 

the return of saturn.

xoxo M

happy birthday, John

it’s 1.35 am. i can’t sleep.

when i have trouble sleeping i always seem to do one of three things; listen to music, watch friends or write. tonight i am combining two of those. music and writing.

i am currently listening to a mix of The Beatles and John Lennon’s solo work – in case you didn’t know today would have been John’s 77th birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN.

for those of you that know me, you’ll know The Beatles are my favourite band, John is was my favourite member. to this day he is my favourite musician/artist/lyricist in the history of the world. to some it is an obvious choice, to others a cliché. to me it is the only choice. laugh if you will. i don’t care.

the best compliment i ever received (or one of them) was from my mum. having read a John biography she concluded that john and i were very similar in personality. she has since repeated that to me, and it still makes me happy to hear.

my love affair with The Beatles began when i was around 10 years old. my mum, a lifelong Beatles fan, insisted on watching a movie called ‘Help’ on the telly one Sunday afternoon. i can’t remember my response to being told this is what we were watching but i remember my reaction when it finished. i was intrigued. this was before the age of smart phones and wi-fi so i couldn’t just hop online and listen to their back catalogue and find out about the band, i remember asking my mum about them, i’d heard their songs my whole life but never really paid that much attention to them, until now. i remember my singing along to their songs in assembly (Nowhere man was a fave of our music teacher, so was Ob-la-di Ob-la-da) with way more enthusiasm.

the older i got the more my taste in music (and men) varied but i always came back to John and The Beatles.

my 21st birthday was not spent in some generic nightclub getting wasted, (not that there is anything wrong with that), it was spent wandering the streets of Liverpool, stomping the same pavements that John once had. we visited the Cavern, we strolled around the Albert Dock, we visited Penny Lane, saw the house George was born in, the registry office that John and Cynthia got married in. i remember being on a tour (so wonderfully titled “magical mystery tour”) and the tour guide/host was firing questions at everyone. who got most of them correct? who was the youngest fan on the bus? me and ME. the tour guide actually turned to  me at one point and said “it should really be you stood here doing this job” day=made.

i couldn’t pin point what it is exactly about John and his music that i love. it’s really a load of little things. there was an honesty to his music that i adore, a vulnerability. he was, in my opinion, very comical but also had a depth to him that was evident in his music and his mind. i admire how he handled his unconventional upbringing, and the tragedy that came to him early in life. he wanted to bring people together. he was wise – i mean, sure, we can’t assume that all these quotes attributed to him are ALL really his, but there’s no smoke without fire, right?

his mind

Some of my favourite John thoughts –

“The basic thing nobody asks is why do people take drugs of any sort? Why do we have these accessories to normal living to live? I mean, is there something wrong with society that’s making us so pressurized, that we cannot live without guarding ourselves against it”
“We all have Hitler in us, but we also have love and peace. So why not give peace a chance for once?”
“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant…. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”
“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong”
“I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I’m one of those people”

i could go on but i won’t. you can read more of his musings on brainy quote or a similar website.

his music

some of my best, and worst, moments are tied to his music. my 25th birthday, driving along the Almalfi Coast in the beautiful Italian sunshine our driver had John’s “(Just like) Starting Over playing. whilst it’s widely accepted that ‘Crippled Inside’ is about everybody’s hypocrisy, for me i use it to laugh at myself when my mental demons are loud and winning, much like they are now; but that’s another post for another day. there are also songs that i hope to attach to memories in the future – one day i hope to have ‘In My Life’ played at my wedding, i hope to sing ‘Beautiful Boy’ to my son.

 

 

 

 

 

it is also the birthday of the person John wrote that song about – his son Sean (who is a TREAT for the eyes).

Happy Birthday, Sean.

Happy Birthday, John.

and thank you.

xoxo

micks

#tb to when I went to NYC with a blanket around my neck and my favourite place in the city was empty except for me, my mum and a busker singing my favourite John songs.

feeling the love

oh hey.

it’s 6am in LA. I can’t sleep. so y’all are getting a post (2 in as many days #sorrynotsorry)

so, quick background on where i’m staying and who i’m staying with.

one of my best friends from university (hey, Jade) is from LA. Her mom (Momma Sophs) dad (Wilf) and god mom (Lisa) all live together in a beautiful house (her dad did a beaut of a job on it, he’s so talented). I’m staying with / visiting them. Jade isn’t here- she lives in Finland with her fella. My Irish pal is here too, though. I know, I know… it’s complicated.

i’ve know Jade for 9 years nearly, and her folks for maybe 6/7 of those. They have all known me during my struggles with depression and anxiety, they housed me for a summer so Jade and I could road trip west coast >> east, they housed me this January  when I had my breakdown over going to Australia or not. 

they know me well.

they know not to talk to me in the morning because I’m grumpy. They know I’m pretty laid back about most things – one of the reasons Jades mom likes to travel with me. They know I can be a sarcastic little shite. They know I’m obsessed with music; if I’m not listening to it, I’m reading about it. If I’m not reading about it, I’m singing. 

when I come here to visit it feels like a home from home. I feel so relaxed, there’s no pretense, no bullshit. 

they remind me that friends really are the family we choose for ourselves. I think to myself on every trip how did I luck out and meet Jade and then gain an extra family? a family that is genuinely concerned for my wellbeing.

yesterday morning I was in the kitchen and Momma Sophs and I had this conversation 

S “Oh I’m glad you’re here by yourself, I wanted to talk to you alone”

M “ok, whats up?”

S “are you ok, sweetie? You’re not feeling anxious, your depression hasn’t come back?”

M “no, I’m ok at the moment. Maybe a bit anxious with work but I’m fine”

S ” ok good, I just wanted to check because you’ve been really quiet this whole trip and I was really worried”

DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY AND LOVED I FELT WALKING AWAY FROM THAT CONVERSATION? 

Having conversations like that with anyone that has a history of mental illness is so, SO important. 

Knowing someone is looking out for you… priceless. 

This email from the universe is true 

I’m feeling the love 

Xoxo micks 

Thank you for being a friend.

Hi guys and dolls,

I hope this finds you all well. I’m currently sat on my bed in my pants, half singing/ half crying along to Maren Morris (totes emosh, hun) and eating Marmite on toast for dinner because I clearly suck at adulting.

In the last post I shared I spoke about how life had been a bit of a shitter lately,  well my very best friend in the whole world knew I’d been having a shit time and decided to book me a wee treat to cheer me up. Last night Rachel and I had a cracking night at Komedia in Brighton. Their Sunday night comedy club, dinner and drinks was JUST what the doctor ordered. We walked out of there with tears in our eyes and stitches in our sides.

I’ve dedicated a post to Rachel before, and I can pretty much guarantee that I will again. She is just THE BEST. When people have asked me to describe her I say she’s just like me but SO MUCH BETTER. I’m sorry for the shouty capitals but she’s just my favourite. It’s a very rare thing to feel understood and accepted for all your sides, some of which are really not pretty and she’s never made me feel any less of a person for not being so completely imperfect. Rachel is one of a handful of people who I will happily talk to at anytime, always via text because not only does she understand how much I detest talking on the phone (WHO HAS TIME FOR THIS) but she hates it just as much.

THANK YOU, RACHY-RACH. YOU DA BESTEST.

As I am a big geek I then started Googling (what did we do before google?) different types of friends and it appears a lot of people have a lot of opinions on the different types of friends you can have.

Quite famously (well, in my friendship groups anyway) I once upset my favourite Irishman by saying we were acquaintances at a time he thought we were legit friends (I’m nothing if honest). He’s still bitter about it to this day – MARK SEWELL, IF YOU’RE READING THIS I’M SORRY I’M NOT SORRY. I LOVE YOU LIKE A BROTHER NOW THOUGH OK. YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND UNTIL I’M DEAD. AND THEN WHEN I’M DEAD I’LL COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU BECAUSE ANNOYING YOU IS MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO.

Back to my point though, I think a lot of people throw the word ‘friend’ around too easily these days. I actually put a lot on that word. Maybe I’m overthinking it but maybe I’m not. I like to keep things neat and organised so I box people in to either ‘Internet friend’, ‘Friend of a friend’, ‘work friend’, ‘ acquaintance’, ‘friend’ , ‘BEST PALS’. I always say I don’t have a lot of friends, even though when I list them I do probably have more than average. It just feels like I don’t sometimes because all of my friends are so scattered over the UK and various other parts of the world.

I am very good at staying in touch though; I will always make the effort with those I want in my life. Though don’t get me twisted it is a two-way street and if it’s me doing all the reaching, I’m out.

The older I’m getting the more I’m appreciating my friends that are chilled. I have no time for the drama anymore. I want low effort relationships. If you’re too much hassle, SEE YA PAL. I also find myself listening to my sisters more as I get older. They have told me before that they think people aren’t good for me which, of course, at the time I am completely shocked and offended by. In hindsight though, they are usually completely correct. I need low-key, like me.

 So to my best best best friends, thanks for always making sure it’s a two-way street, for making the effort and letting me moan and vent and be sad and perfectly imperfect around you. I hope I do the same for you. Thanks for not being extra. I actually like you, guys. Like, a lot. I’m sorry I’m not around more. It’s because whilst I love you, I hate people.

Thanks for putting up with me and my brutally honest self. Thanks for letting me sing Disney in your face one minute and then debate politics with you the next. Thanks for telling me when I’m right (you know I lap that shit up) but, more importantly, thanks for telling me when I’m wrong.  Thanks for being there to discuss the really important things in life-like “Do giraffes get neck ache?”. You know I would go to the ends of the earth for you, especially if you’re meeting me there with Tequila. I hope I make you feel equally spesh (I’m not so good at expression soppy emotional shit, so I’m gonna stop now before it just becomes stupidly sarcastic and insincere). You’re all on at least a 3 year sentence so I must be doing something right?!

 BIG LOVE, FRIENDS.

 AND THANKS.

xoxo Micks

 

 

The Women Who Made Me

 

Ladies, in case you didn’t know – Wednesday is OUR day.

International Women’s Day. A whole day to celebrate us because, being honest, we’re pretty bloody great aren’t we? I find so much to admire about my gender and the people who fall into it. I’ve been lucky to have been around some pretty fabulous women my whole life. I am a combination of these women; their lives, experiences and influence have helped shape me in to the woman I am today.

The women who made me come from everywhere. All over. Some real, some make-believe. Some I know personally. Some I don’t. Their influence on my life has been no less because I don’t know them on a personal level, or because they are the figment of someone’s imagination.

I am surrounded daily by women whom I admire, women who have traits and qualities I covet, women that teach me things about myself and the world, that influence me in all areas of my life. The women I surround myself with are my biggest cheerleaders, my biggest challengers. Badasses, the lot of ’em!

The women I am about to write about are the women that I feel had the biggest influence on turning the painfully shy, socially awkward Michaela into the less shy and slightly less socially awkward Michaela I am today in the years when I was still trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be.

 

My Mum – the ever delightful Mazza.

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Those of you that know me well would know to expect to find my mum on this list. What can I say about the woman who raised me? She’s fuckin’ nuts. She really is. Aside from the standard ‘mum’ lessons that most mums instill in their children, the biggest thing she has taught me is to laugh. Life is there to be enjoyed; laughter is the best medicine. She taught me humility and gave me the gift of being able to laugh at myself. She gave me my love for music – without which I would be completely lost. Music is my best therapy, aside from writing, and there are many times in my life – without sounding too dramatic – that music has saved me from feeling too lonely and lost.

 

My siblings.

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My sisters also deserve their own shout out because they too have had a hand in making me who I am. I am really mix of both of them. They have both always been very protective of me as the youngest child. Melanie is loud and strong, stubborn as a mule – traits that have definitely rubbed off on me. Melissa is quiet, shy and can be quite conservative, I have those sides of me too. One thing that I have gained from these betches is balance. As I said I am a mix of the two of them – so whilst I can be stubborn I am often the one that helps Melanie see the other side of the story and that goes for situations I find myself in too. Being able to see both sides is a trait I’m proud I possess. Melissa has helped me developed my “fake it till you make it façade” – when I push the status quo too far Melissa is there as my moral compass, keeping me on the straight and narrow.

 

Cinderella

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 Cinderella was my favourite Disney princess growing up. She was kind, gentle and she persevered through a mass amount of abuse from her stepmother and step sisters, and she still managed to come through the entire ordeal without wishing them any harm or wrongdoing. The animals were her friends. She lived in harmony with them – she even treated Lucifer (I hated that cat) with respect. She was soft but strong. Something that I aspire to be, even now. She was the lesson that whilst you cannot always change your circumstances or how people treat you, you can make the best of the situation – you can control your reaction to it.

Miss Glover/ Miss Meredith/ Miss Rao / Miss Brown.

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I have no pictures of my old teachers so here is one of Miss Honey from Matilda.

Miss Glover – Year 2 and 3 teacher

Miss Meredith – Year 6 teacher

Miss Brown – Biology teacher in Year 8 and 9

Miss Rao – Psychology teacher in years 12 and 13

These women are the female teachers that made me love school and learning. At 27, I still love to learn. Without sounding arrogant I was a bright student; academically I was above average in everything, except perhaps I. T (I still hate technology). I was however a lazy student – if the subject matter did not interest me, or the teacher was not engaging I would switch off and there was no going back. I fluked my way through all my GCSE and A-Level exams; rarely looking at revision books or notes.

Miss Glover was the first teacher that made me enjoy learning – she coaxed answers out of me in front of the whole class, something which no other teacher had been able to do. I was so shy in my first years at school that I would tell my friend what I thought and she would tell the teacher and rest of the class, until Miss Glover came along. To this day I still have no idea how she did it.

Miss Meredith was the first teacher I really looked up to. I remember just really liking her and would have happily stayed at school long after the bell rang when I was in her class.

As those of you that have met me know I am shorter than average. 5’1 to be exact. Of course growing up I was aware that I was much smaller than most of my class mates and it was never something that gave me much trauma but I was always very aware of it. Miss Brown was also a petite lady but she more than made up for it in attitude and she helped me see that being short didn’t mean you had to be ignored – you could still be short and sassy. She helped me learn how to own my height and be comfortable with it.

Miss Rao gave me my love for all things psychology related. Even now the human brain and psyche fascinate me. I love to observe people and find out why they do what they do, mental health issues and diseases fascinate me. I also just remember her being so cool for a teacher. She was young when she taught me, maybe mid twenties. She loved to travel in the holidays and would come back and tell us all these stories of what she’d done and where she’d been. I was just in awe of her and her confidence and how she carried herself – she really made being intelligent (and passionate about things) cool.

 

Keltie Knight nee Colleen.

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Keltie is an entertainment journalist based out of LA. She used to be a dancer and has danced with everyone from Beyoncé to Kanye, Panic at the Disco to Christina Perri.

I was going through a really tough time when I found Keltie online, it was around 2010 that I began to follow her. She used to send out emails to her blog followers called ‘Moonbeams’ – a weekly lesson or thought. She has provided me with food for thought for the last 8 years and continues to do so now. She has reminded me time and again that people need other people and spreading happiness can be effortless.

Her book “Rockette, Rockstars and Rockbottom” taught me to own my vulnerabilities, to not be ashamed of the bad times and the sadness that surrounds them. That it’s ok to be sad and have a pity party every now and again but you can’t stay there – you have to get up and fight again.

Diane Alice Lorraine.

Dalbs and I

Funny story: when I met Diane I didn’t like her. She hired me when I was 17, buggered off to run another store for a couple of months, came back and I hated her. I still remember the first thing she ever said to me and where it was. Fast forward 10 years and I’d be completely bloody lost without her. She’s put up with the majority of my crap over the years, calling me out on my shit when it’s needed and providing me with some much-needed pep talks. The one thing Diane has taught me, I think more than anything, is that it is ok to want more. Some people are happy to settle but it’s ok not to. As a girl from a working class background that grew up on a council estate people would expect me to settle – so many do, Diane made me see it’s ok not to. In fact she actively encouraged me not to. Thanks, C**t.

Marina Diamandis of Marina and the Diamonds

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“Are you satisfied with an average life?”

“Look like a girl but I think like a guy”

“Can’t let your cold heart be free,
When you act like you’ve got an OCD”

“It’s okay to say you’ve got a weak spot
You don’t always have to be on top
Better to be hated
Than loved loved loved for what you’re not”

Marina was the first female singer / songwriter that I related to – her lyrics where about everything from not feeling good enough, mental health issues, being bored with what society demanded of females and the standard idea of beauty we see in gossip magazines. Of course she wasn’t the first EVER female to sing about these things but she was the first I related to from my age bracket that I listened to. Her lyrics could have come out of my journal, even my friends have remarked over the years that her songs ‘could be about you’. Especially her song ‘Girls” of which Marina herself has said: Of her song

“It’s a call for women to stop being their own enemies. These days you’re either a nun or a whore, to be both and neither, all in one. I want to help redefine women’s place in society.” I love her.

 

These are, of course, a handful of the women that helped make me who I am. I have 4 Aunts who each have played their part in who I am. Up to the age of 20 they and those name above were without a doubt the biggest players in making me, well, me. There are friends that I have made over the years too that have played a part. Becky was my first best friend, Rebecca in middle school – I remember many a sleepover at her house, Neysa in secondary school – she helped me find my singing voice, encouraged me to join the choir which led to many more memories… I could sit here all day and list the women that made me, everyone that has influenced me. The list would be never-ending because I guess in a way, everyone we come into contact with impacts us. We are the people we surround ourselves with.

 

To the women that have made me, thank you!

To the women I know and surround myself with – thank you!

To women all over the world – you matter, your stories matter and you fucking ROCK.

 

Here’s to having a vagina!

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xoxo Micks

Happy Tears and Thank-Yous.

Location: Starbucks

Listening to: My ‘Musicals’ Soundtrack

Last night went like this.

5:30 – Home, spend the next hour hanging out with the fam and winding my BFF/ nephew MJ up (just for the record – when Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse comes on the TV and he runs up to me, arms raised to pick him up and dance with him to the theme tune is one of my favourite moments of the day)

6:30 – MJ and co leave to go home. Potter around for a couple of hours.

8:00 – Quick 10 min phone call with the BFG, chatting work and life

8:20 – BFG calls back with more news.

9:00 – Ready for bed (so yes, the answer to your question is I AM rock n roll), Netflix on. It’s a ‘The Big Bang Theory’ kind of evening.

9:15 – Another friend messages me to say ‘Thank you for being my friend’ we chat for a while

9:30 – Chat finished.

9:40 – I have been lost in my thoughts for the last ten minutes and suddenly find myself crying.

Yep, for no reason at all I just start crying.

WHO DOES THAT?

Then I start thinking, what is wrong with me? I have no reason to be crying. Why am I such a weirdo? I have always been a bit of a weirdo – I kind of like it to be fair – but more than a healthy amount of weird is the person that just starts to cry. They weren’t sad tears but rather happy ones, grateful ones. We all know happy tears are a thing but it isn’t something I recall affecting me too much. In fact I can tell you the four times I have ever been affected by happy tears.

  1. When my friends surprised me on my 18th birthday
  2. When Oscar was born
  3. When MJ was born
  4. When Arlo was born (which was actually today, the day I started this post)

That’s it.

4 times.

The happy tears came from a place of gratitude though. I was grateful. I AM grateful. I know it sounds odd but I have had a bit of a roller coaster these last six months. I left a job I thought I was done with, started a new one that I was a bit bored on but met some lovely people, rediscovered an old dream of living that Oz life, quit job, flew to America, decided I’d changed mind on old dream and came home in more ways than one.

I must have been a bit of a nightmare during that time. I know some of my nearest and dearest were worried my old friend depression would come knockin’ on my door again (he hasn’t) and were worried I’d regret my decision (I don’t) and thought I was having a mid-life crisis 30 years too early (my old/new bosses words and he isn’t completely wrong).

The support from the majority of people during these hectic few weeks and months has been sure and steady from those I always knew had my back and some I didn’t know did but was pleasantly surprised to find out they do. Of course there have a been a couple of people who have surprised me in an unpleasant way but I am choosing not to dwell on that, I’d rather move on from those people and leave them pre-breakdown.

I have written about the power of gratitude before. I’ve spoken about it to a few people. Thoughts become things – positivity breads positivity. Last night, after I got that message from my friend – which was completely unexpected – it triggered a non-verbal wave of gratitude. I don’t understand my emotions sometimes but last night I decided that I would write about it and list my thanks to my many family and friends that have been there for me this last while.

Role call please…

Mi familia – I apologise for freaking you out at 3am when I called to tell you I wasn’t going to follow the yellow brick road. Mel and DC, I’m glad I didn’t wake MJ up but to be fair you could have taken him to mum and dad’s as they had breakfast at 4am to ‘celebrate’. THANKS FOR BEING SO COOL WITH ME AND MY WAYS.

Mrs. Howman – the message you sent me when you found out I was coming home, made me cry – thanks for that. We’re so similar in so many ways, not just the fact that we were both Grandad’s favourites. We’ll always be cousins because of the whole ‘blood’ thing but I hope we’re always friends too.

Denise (or Dennis the menace) – who’d have thought that my very first supervisor at work would turn out to be such a good friend? 10 years is a long time to put up with anyone, especially when you work with them too. Thanks for always being there with a cup of tea to listen and tell me when I’m being a dick. You’re one of the few people I actually will listen to. We don’t really do emotions but I don’t think I’ve said thank you enough over the years.

Rachpal – Thanks for being my best friend. We’ve done a whole lot in the last 7 years but mostly we’ve laughed. We’ve laughed so much. An afternoon with you is the best tonic for most of life’s woes, even if you can’t fix it you’ll always try. You always keep me realistic when I’m chasing something. You’re not just a ‘yes’ person and I love that about you. Oh, and thank you for making your babies. I love them dearly.

The 4130 Rincon fam (Momma Sophs, Liseeee, WIlf) – you were all so cool during my breakdown, when the decision was made there was a simple “that’s cool, there’s no judgement. Just a margarita when you’re ready”. I know I’ll always have a safe place there with you if I ever need it and that puts so much peace in my heart. You are the greatest. Love you!

Markus – my brother. You were the one (along with Momma Sophs) that reminded to listen to me and what I wanted; no one else had done that for a long time. How you made out what I was saying during those voice notes where I was crying I’ll never know. Thanks for always being there to pick me up when I fall and to then push me back over again so we both have something to laugh at.

The BFG – I think I’m stuck with you whether I like it or not! You are one of the most genuine people I have ever met (and the most talkative) and you never tell me something just for the sake of it – you’re another person who isn’t just a ‘yes’ person. Thanks for taking losing the Oz holiday so well, at least we can adventure together now… oh the fun we’ll have! You’re a good egg, and I’m glad you chose me to harass all those phone calls ago at work. ( I know, I know HOW RUDE).

Humy – when you look at us we are so different, you are the glamorous, cool girl whilst I’m the dorky girl in comfortable shoes but somehow it works. It has since day 1. We might not see each other as often these days but I’ve survived a few personal shit storms with you by my side and visa versa. You’re incredible. Thank you.

Alice Lorraine – in the words of our favorite, Rick Astley “never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you, never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie and hurt you” I realise that he means it in the romantic sense but it translates to friends too, kind of. Thanks for sticking around.

The best of the rest…

Byng – you are bloody brilliant. My life would be sooooo dull without you.

Mr and Mrs TayTay – thanks for offering me a home from home and thanks for always being supportive. Amy Jayne, you’re one of my biggest fans. Love you.

Charles in charge – There’s no one I’d rather singalong to T-Swizzle with.

The original 010 crew – you know I’m an idiot but you take care of me anyway. Thank you. I have never laughed at work with anyone more than I did with you.

Sophia and Leanna – I feel like I never see you anymore but remember you’re always my favourites.

J-RO, I miss the days when you and I could just hang out , the two of us. I miss you, friend. Thanks for the memories, we’ve had the best times.

Steph, RhiRhi, Ags – we’ve gone in such different directions and even though I am not much older than any of you – in fact I’m younger than one but won’t say which 😉 – we’ve never lost each other. There’s something really beautiful about that. I’m so proud to call you my friends.

Naughty Norman, you deserve your own shout out. You’re a top bird, cheers mate.

Heather, the sass queen, you’re bloody brilliant. Thanks for being you, crackhead.

In case you couldn’t tell I’m surrounded by some pretty f@ckin’ awesome people! I don’t know what I did to deserve it so I’m not questioning it, just saying thanks a bunch!

Something else I am also thankful for is to be going back to work! Around this time last year I was out with a friend and I remember saying “ I really love my job” and they replied “ I can tell”. I start back at work in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait to get back to feeling like that. Various things in last half of last year made me lose interest in work and I felt a bit bored with it all. I am going to be working for someone who I have a lot of respect for and surrounded by faces old and new. I’m so excited to be given this chance and to be out the house and interacting with everyone again for wholes days rather than just hours. To be working with friends again. Being unemployed is boring and I’m so bad at it. I think this is the best time to thank Netflix for keeping me company, though.

2017 is only 2 months in, and already I have so much to look forward to. I’m feeling good; life is good. 2017 holds a lot of potential and I’ll try and remember to say thank you every step of the way.

Oh, and to anyone else I may have forgotten… thanks

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