Writing, Music and Friendship - 2019 in Review
I think we go back to our childhood selves when we become adults. With every birthday and every New Year's Eve I find myself saying I feel like I know myself more and I feel more like myself and I suppose that's an obvious thing, since we learn as the years tick by, but I think it's more than that. When I was a teenager, and I think this is true for a lot of us, I was obsessed with being someone else, someone I aspired to be, who I thought others wanted me to be. I wanted to get as far away from that weird child with the imaginary friend as I could, but that's me, that fearless, creative, introspective kid. And sixteen year old 2009 Mathilde was as well, she was just more insecure, more scared and wore too much eyeliner. Through my teens, and early twenties, I forgot about childhood me a little. I'm 26 now and nowhere near feeling like an adult yet, but I do feel like I'm finding my way back to 1999 me, year by year.
2019 was packed with experiences, joy, stress, life lessons and wonderful people. I lost myself and found myself again, at least twice. It simultaneously feels like it flew by and lasted for an age, especially when I look back at what my life looked like twelve months ago. Back in January, I had quite a lot of spare time, perhaps too much. I started a good routine for myself, including yoga every morning and I eventually started to take writing more seriously. This was enormously helped by meeting my wonderful writing friend in April and going to my first writer's retreat later that month. Writing became my priority and through the month of May I took on a writing challenge and started posting poetry to Instagram. I learned to let go of perfectionism and embrace creative self expression. In June I started this blog, which became an extension of that. I'm so proud to be able to say that I, with this fifteenth post, have successfully posted every fortnight since it started (yay me!).
June was an important month, giving me a blog, a second job and a band. The blog has kept me writing, which I've learned from previous years, is absolutely vital for me to do. The job gave me more security and financial comfort. Audiokicks have to be top of the list. They gave me music, belonging and friendship and joining them has meant more to me than I could ever have known back in June. Thank you, guys!
When Autumn came around, I had more work than I've ever had, I was writing more actively than before and I was back to creating music every week. I felt unstoppable, until I was forced to stop. I learned the hard way where my limits are. It turns out working six to seven day weeks, writing a book, being in a band and volunteering while maintaining a social life and putting everyone else first isn't a good idea. So I learned to slow down. I learned to take care of myself. Paraphrasing one of the new friends I made this year: I learned I needed to be less of a dog and more of a cat. I learned to start respecting my own needs.
2019 took me to Copenhagen, Jotunheimen, Edinburgh, London, Oslo, Trondheim and Iceland. I saw Spice Girls live in Edinburgh and fourteen year old me's dream came true seeing McFly live at the O2. I saw my childhood and teenage heroes and discovered a lot of new music. I met some wonderful people, made close friends and grew closer to older friends I was starting to lose touch with (even hearing from an old friend I hadn't heard from in 14 years!). I didn't quite manage to read the 25 books I set out to or run the 10 k, but I did run 7.89 km and I'm now about to finish book #21. I didn't send my book to an agent, but I made a lot of progress on the second draft. I didn't learn how to drive, or start learning Spanish again, but that's the nature of resolutions. They need to change and evolve as life does. We can't know what the year will be, but we can start it with intention. And for the things we don't manage this year, there's time next year. And the year after that, and as long as I'm getting to know myself better and creating a life for myself that fits me, I'll call that success in progress.
In 2020 I look forward to trips to the Alps, New York City and Orkney. I look forward to more time spent with friends, old and new, and creating music both for myself and with the band. I look forward to touring, recording, writing and learning. I step into 2020 with full time work, a band I couldn't be happier with and a novel in the making. I step into this new decade with more knowledge about myself and what I need, with the creative energy of my childhood self. Maybe I'll find some of her fearlessness along the way too. I say this every year, but I truly have feeling this too will be a good one. Happy new year to you all!