As promised: Review of the

As promised: Review of the Year 2001:

Blimey. What a year. It’s certainly not going to be a year that I forget in a hurry. There have been high points and low points. Anyone who has been reading this site throughout the year will know that. But, as the year draws to a close, it is a good time to look back, take stock, perhaps try to draw some conclusions, and then look forward, make plans, carry through ideas.

The event that defined the year on a personal level, needless to say, was Andrea leaving me for Kev. I’ve never experienced anything like that, and wouldn’t want to again. But, at the time, someone came out with the old platitiude: “that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. I think I laughed in their face at the time, but there is probably quite a bit of truth in it. Not that I’m recommending that, if you want to become a more rounded person, you should get your heart mangled in a particularly bloody and painful way. But it is true to say that if something horrid happens, you really must make a firm effort to build on it. Otherwise you end up wallowing in a pit of your own self pity. And I did that – the wallowing. It really wasn’t until later in the year that I finally began dragging myself upwards and onwards.

The whole experience has changed me. And one of the ways it has changed me is that it has improved my self-confidence a little. I’ve got a long way to go in that respect, but there is no way that I’d have had the confidence to do some of the things I have done unless I’d had the drive to do so – and that drive was born out of a desire to improve on the crappy situation I found myself in in January.

But what else went on? It would be rude not to mention that I’ve dated some amazing girls, nearly all of whom I’m now building good friendships with (I won’t name names to protect the innocent) – in fact, there is a running joke that I’ve dated more girls this year than in the whole of my life before! That’s not actually true, but let’s say that my ego was boosted during the course of the year.

But more importantly, I’ve made some brilliant new friends, and built on and strengthened some existing relationships. I’ve become established in the Nags as a regular, with many new friends and acquaintances there – Dave, Gary, Malcolm, Cath; our little crowd at college has grown closer together – especially Hev; I met and became friends with several other bloggers – Meg, Mo, Marcia, Nick, Bella; and a few people who were merely acquaintances before have become good and trusted friends – Bren, Greg, Aris, Julie.

However, special mentions must go to two people in particular: Paul F and Sarah, who have, in different ways, been brilliant friends throughout this year. I hope I’ve repaid at least some of that.

What about other events? Well, I passed my Advanced Certificate in Marketing (it hangs on the wall above this desk), and continued into the Post Graduate Diploma. The course is difficult and hard work, but I’m determined to finish it. Hopefuly, by the time I write my review for 2002, the diploma will be hanging above this desk as well.

I turned thirty. Not half as scary as people make out. To be honest, my twenties weren’t bad, but they weren’t amazingly brilliant either – like most people, a mixture of good times and bad. But I have a feeling that my thirties are going to be good – of course some bad things will happen, but I feel that by the end of this decade I will be a much better person in a much stronger position than I am now.

Work finally lost the last vestiges of appeal that it had. I really must make an effort in 2002 to find a new challenge, either in my current environment or in pastures new. That might become easier after I’ve finished my diploma.

And then there is the flat too – I’m determined to make more of an effort to finish doing it up – new windows first, I think.

I’m definitely going to take a holiday in 2002 – I didn’t have one in 2001 (apart from the Peak District jaunt, which doesn’t really count). Revisiting Lisbon is a possibility (and has been seriously discussed), and maybe somewhere new – Prague perhaps, or Italy.

And a girlfriend. That’d be good. I know who I’d like it to be too. Maybe a lottery win as well. And the flying car, Nobel Peace Prize, knighthood and personal spaceship.

Dream on.

And Grayblog. Yep, it’ll still be here this time next year. It’ll be strange to look back to this day by then – lots of things will have happened, circumstances will have changed. Maybe I’ll have changed too. Who knows?

But hopefully you’ll be here too. Stick around.