When I look back on the last year, I've surprised myself because there have been so many moments when I didn't believe I would get through it. My year has been governed by the limitations of the law, its lack of justice and the compromises it demands without reference to morality, versus my desire to do ‘what is right’, the desire to keep doing the ‘right thing’ even when others show no humility and no humanity towards me.
It wasn’t all tears though, there were good moments. Allowing myself to eat cake because there was a breakthrough, such as leaping another legal hurdle after being told I had less than a 0.05% chance of succeeding by so-called legal ‘experts’. Cake would then inevitably lead to a chocolate treat to keep it company. I am proud of what I have achieved this last year, but it was by no means easy, and I am now at a point where I can admit: yes sometimes I despaired, I cried, and sometimes I did want to give up.
I would go from one extreme to the next - full on legal study and work to sitting alone with me, myself and I, for so long I felt the intense pressure, knowing I was just one person taking on something so huge it became all-consuming and leaked into every area of my life, including my dreams and nightmares. It’s been like the presence behind the door in the movie ‘The Conjuring’, a threatening shadow lurking in my life, always close to my shoulder, pressing me to give up, forever watching and waiting for me to break down.
Then there was this light - endless support from people I have never even met, telling me how my story had inspired them to speak out. It reminded me why I started in the first place. My combined social media following is currently at 32,000+ and all those people who have sent kind, supportive and truly moving messages have been a part of this journey and helped me get here today.
If you’re reading this you’ve probably read the press release a few months ago. Since then various articles have been published about me including Private Eye issue 1401. I am still trying to get through all the messages I’ve received, but it’s taking a while because I have been working and planning a wedding (exciting times!), but I do hope to make more time for you this year!
I hope to continue moving forwards, to build and expand the times when I am able to do what I love, to do what gives me some peace and moments of happiness, and above all never let anyone tell me “you can’t do this or that” or “it’s not possible”. I’ve lost count of all the people who said I could not fight the odds, could not prevail against Goliath. Well, I’m still in one piece - I’ve made it this far.
My advice to anyone facing the abyss: keep it simple. Surround yourself with the good, positive people you know, and do not be afraid of moving away from anyone – colleagues, friends or even family - who suck energy from you and who are a negative influence. Because not only is life too short but you are the company you keep – you are a reflection of that company! Why would you want destructive people in your life?? Do at least one thing every day that makes you happy, find something to laugh at every single day (it is possible!), find a minimum of 10 minutes a day of peace and quiet (do not be afraid of silence) have no regrets and finally: don’t eat junk food during the week! Make cake and chocolate time special – a treat. Not a daily ritual. Maybe just at the weekend. And savour every mouthful!
2016 is going to be a better year. My intention is to make it a fabulous year. Not only will I be closer to completing my book but I will also be making more time for my website. Over the next few months I’m looking forward to sharing some exciting things with you: legal tips and advice to party planning & celebration posts (including my own wedding this spring which I very much look forward to sharing with you through my website).
Here’s to 2016! Let’s make it a year to remember – for the right reasons.