33, The Year That Was

Tomorrow, the sixteenth of December 2018 is my thirty-fourth birthday and unlike most adults I know, I am really looking forward to it.

Being the constant self-evaluator that I am, I find myself in a reflective mood. I feel the need to look back on the past year, see what I have learned and set some goals for the year ahead, (most of which I know I will not keep).

This year, I gained a Sister. No, Mum and Dad have not had another baby , my brother finally put a ring on it and he and Amy got married. Do not ask me how the wedding was though because I could not tell you. For the first and to date only time ever, my Cochlear Implant and my Hearing Aid both died at the exact same (and most inconvenient) time, so although I was there, I missed everything. Having hearing loss is definitely worse than impaired vision.

The worst thing is, i look terrible when I cry…Like way worse than normal.

Once I realized I would not be able to communicate, hear the speeches or participate at all, naturally I burst into tears. at that exact time the photographer chose to take one of the only photographs of me from the day. It is not pretty.

Damion and I went on our first holiday together. We had a whirlwind visit to Melbourne, where somehow I found myself at the Melbourne Cricket Ground watching  what would turn out to be a Grand Final prebiew, between the West Coast Eagles and The Collingwood Magpies. Damion is still trying to convert me to the dark side (AKA WCE) but I am sticking with my Fremantle Dockers thank you very much!

To Be Honest, I was a bit apprehensive about this trip because I was not sure how we would be, not being able to escape each other for four entire days. Turns out, despite the various bouts of taxi drama and getting lost constantly, it was the most relaxing holiday I have ever been on.

A good thing too, as not long after arriving home, we found out that Damion has Melenoma on his lung, meaning he would need to start chemo in ernest. Up until then, I had been managing my depression/anxiety quite well. But this tipped me over the edge (not literally though thank goodness). Obviously, I was devastated by the prospect of loosing Damion, but with added bonus guilt about (again) making it all about me. I decided to tackle it head on and have been seeing my psychologist again regularly. It has really helped, as has the constant support from our friends and family. Not to mention my trusty meds.

I am a person who talks a lot. But, not really about my feelings or anything that might make me feel or appear vulnerable. With all this going on, I had to break this rule. Talking actually does help sort things out and put things in perspective. It does depend on who you choose to confide in though.

Damion has taken it all in his stride and as always, has been a pillar of strength for us all.

For the record, he has just had his three-month review and his cancer (which was covering both of his lungs), is already 60 per cent gone. It seems there is a God afterall.

On a side note. It is official, this one is a keeper!

This year I also tried indoor skydiving and frankly, I will not be doing it again, it scared the shit out of me. Jumping out of a plane at 14,000 feet is way better. It also has the added bonus of giving you a bit more privacy in which to panic. I got a notification this week that the Urban Descent registrations open soon. I am very seriously considering signing up, in the hope I will get to Zipline the 160 metres down the QV1 building in the Perth CBD. I have abseiled it twice before but I would love to compare the two experiences.

I have recently become involved in various initiatives to promote disabled people in the workforce, educate people on the benefits of employing us, and how to go about it. I absolutely love doing this. It is, at last a real opportunity to make an actual difference as opposed to just talking about making one.

Turns out, job searching is far more difficult than I thought. Especially when you are disabled. Makes me super grateful for the more than fourteen years (and counting) I have had where I am. Speaking of which, it sounds like I am sucking up (I am not. I do not think they read my blog), but the team I work with is amazing. They go above and beyond to ensure I can fully participate/meaningfully contribute to everything, and they do it without alterior motives. This is very rare, both in and out of the workforce.

It has guilted me into realising that I seriously need to do something about my daffiness and my lack of spacial/environmental awareness. Improving this is resolution number one for the new year.

As far as writing/blogging goes, this year has been a good one. I have been published by a few new publications (including MANAMIA, which I have been trying to get into for ages). I have had a couple of invitations from publications to submit work, which I am still working on and one of my rants is due to feature in an upcoming edition of The Big Issue Australia. I still have no idea why people want to read my waffle, but I will take it while I can get it.

Like sands through the hourglass, so was the year in my life.



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