J~ It’s been the best year, full of excitement and contentment, yet the year of the biggest disappointments, the most extreme near-misses, of the unexpected, but above all else a year of total commitment
B| For me the year began with a plan to take us away from all the things that didn’t fit with our lives – production-line education, small-mindedness, skewed values – for the opportunity to embrace so many things that did
J~ On the eve of a new year my emotions are confused and conflicted. I feel sad, I feel like I have lost something. But we have gained so much self-understanding, and never stopped progressing our ideas, and digging deeper into our hearts’ ambitions.
B| What I didn’t expect was that in the process of everything we’d hoped for coming up nought I would actually feel as though I had still gained something special. This year has been a kick in the teeth and I find myself grieving regularly for how our lives might have been, but the feeling I’m left with at the end of the year is hope not sadness.
J~ I wouldn’t want to change the way events played out this year. I’m grateful for the twists and turns and the silver linings we are left with. I’m grateful for the lessons. I feel humbled by the inability to force things to go our way. We have so much. Even more than we asked for.
B| Our lives are definitively better now than they were 12 months ago, and that’s not a coincidence, it’s not just the way things turned out. It’s a direct result of us commiting wholeheartedly to pursuing a dream, and the life I’m living now is as much a dream life as the French version would have been. Only admittedly with fewer mountains and less sun.
J~ I don’t feel embarrassed of our loss. We’re onto the new plan for 2017. I should feel excited by the new challenges ahead. I should feel confident that at the end of next year, I’ll feel we have yet more than even now. That we’ll be even happier. Because we’ll have lived a year steering our destiny, carving our lives into the shapes we want them to be. I have the energy, but I suspect I haven’t fully let go of this year’s dream.
B| Regardless of what we do next or where we go and irrespective of the challenges and tragedies of this year I’m still proud of the last 12 months. I’m proud of the things we did and the things we tried to make happen and the discoveries we’ve made along the way. Because it isn’t now a matter of returning to some kind of normal existence, that’s no longer an option for us and nor would we want it to be. 2016 may have hurt but that’s what shedding an old used up and redundant skin should feel like. We’ll never be the same again and that’s something to be very happy about.