Perhaps ironically given I grew up in a religious family but saw religion as nothing but the reason I was forced out of bed every Sunday morning for 15 years, I realise I’ve spent the following 20 years after escaping that weekly tour of boredom looking for something to believe in. But of course I have. It’s not ironic at all. Believing in something provides life with purpose, drive, foundation. Without some kind of belief life isn’t much more than survival. So I went hunting around for something to believe in, not understanding that it was myself that I should have started with, and so leaving myself in the position of having to wait until 2016 to finally and wholeheartedly comprehend how to grasp that belief with both hands. This new year supersedes even 2010, which was only 13 days old at the point that me and Jenna met for the first time. I always see 2009 as my prep, my reading year as I called it last night, the year that took me to the place where I was ready to meet the someone who would define the rest of my life. And if 2010 was the beginning of my becoming myself for the first time, after our wonderfully deep conversation with two fellow interplanetary wanderers last night I know that 2016 is the end. It’s done. And my two previous posts illustrate that final thrashing out, where yet again I was beginning to repeat myself, have the same old to-and-fros. I hate not progressing. Progress is life. But time and again I’ve hit a loop in my thinking and my expression that has infuriated me. Not to mention Jen, who has so often exclaimed, eyes turned to the sky, “I thought we’d dealt with this?”. The final piece of the puzzle was understanding that I had no inner, personal, self-driven need to find success as judged by an external force – no real desire of my own to have my dream a’ok’d, my writing given the thumbs up by an agent or publisher, my ideas approved of by some industry authority. Yet I have yearned for this. I have keened for it, desperately, not comprehending until the dying hours of 31 December 2015 that the urge was not for that thing itself but for what it could be used for. That I was not reaching to be approved of in order to feel myself as a success, but that I was needing the approval of an authority in order to present this, packaged and mounted, to my mother who has twice told me that I should be prepared to starve if I want to be a writer. I don’t intend on riffing over parent issues. There literally is no need, not anymore. But I did not know I was doing this, for this reason. I did not know that I was rejecting compliments, for this reason. I did not know that I was discounting the support and encouragement and positive judgement of the person I loved, for this reason. Talking may not be for everyone but for me it is everything, and the only true and reliable route to growth and progress. This unknown known, this fact that I knew as a 2D element of my life without fully understanding the 3D implications of it, the act of talking it through has uncorked something in me, has actually and without going too hyperbolic released me. It’s the summit. It allows me to go where I want to. I no longer have to explain myself. I no longer have to search for something to believe in because I can at last believe in myself, in what I do, in what we have and in the dream we are building. Because I know it will work. I know it will work.