Wow. What a year. I was going to do the usual summary of the year and put it up on Facebook, but its been an action-packed year and I didn’t know how to fit them all in, especially with photos, so I thought I’d put it here instead.
Saw in the New Year in Sydney on a rooftop overlooking Sydney Harbour Bridge. Fireworks porn.
Carried on zig-zagging all over Australia, next stop, Brisbane and ended up getting my 7th tattoo in Gold Coast with Jarrad.
We made the decision to get a compass because it signifies our love for travelling. We like to be spontaneous and go where the wind takes us.
The lines and the arrows signifies the wrong turns we have taken in our lives. However, regardless of the decisions we have made, we learned from them and we moved on.
The circles represent the people we’ve met in our lives. Some people stay in your lives for a season and then leave you. Some people stay for a lifetime. They fill you up with happiness. Some leave you feeling weak and empty. Some people are taken away from you before it was their time. Whether you like it or not, they made a difference to your life.
Life makes twists and turns, and you’ll find yourself in places you thought you’d never end up in, but life has a way of revealing the hidden magic in these moments down the road at the appropriate time.
Live for adventure.
Adventure should always be about the experience, it should be about the people, it should be about the memories.
Adventure should always be about discovering yourself or remembering something you had forgotten.
Road trip down Great Ocean Road with Saul and Lisa. Visited the Twelve Apostles and Blue Lake on the way. Beautiful.
Adelaide for the Australian Deaf Games. Reunited with old friends and made new lifelong friends.
Won two Silver medals. See? I told you I was an honorary Australian.
Watched Susan and Mikey perform with Cats in Melbourne.
Back to London just in time to see Ashley win the ‘Young Person’ award at the RAD awards night.
Ashford has a new heart! ❤️
Off to Iceland for Tobi’s birthday.
Snowballs, snowballs and more snowballs. Quiz night. Cheaters. Shameful behaviour. Visited a volcanic crater.
“Don’t go down the crater. It’s dangerous.” Ashley and I slide down the crater.
Wine and mud pack in the Blue Lagoon.
Saw my wife, Adele, at the O2 with Marie.
Finished my script for my play and saw it come alive at New Diaorama Theatre.
Got a cochlear implant.
Moved to Brighton.
Started 100 Happy Days again.
Got accepted on the Frontrunners course.
It’s a wrap! 10 months of filming BBC documentary is done with Camilla and Clare.
Random last minute trip to Barcelona for a date. Mimosas for breakfast, Prosecco on the beach, Dinner at Ziryab Tapas and shishas at Ziryab Lounge.
Popped over to Lisbon to see Adele with Claire.
Medina has new lungs! ❤️
It’s a wrap! OFC magazine is done. Well done, Belén, Netta and Lisa!
Glastonbury, fuck yes.
Saw Adele at Glastonbury. National Treasure.
Brexit. Fucks sake.
Had an article published in The Telegraph.
Our documentary, Life and Deaf debuted on BBC4.
Shaved my sisters hair off. Ledge.
Gorgeous summery weekend in Tenby for Jodie and Hasan’s wedding.
Olympics! Go Mo! Proud Brit.
Dyed mums hair blue. Smurf.
Reading Festival. LOVEYOURTITS. The mangina.
Conor and Louisa finally arrived! Absolute beauties. ❤️
Moved to Denmark for Frontrunners.
Became a vegetarian again.
Became a coffee addict. Shocking.
Road trip around Denmark. Illegally camped on Skagen beach. “PUT THE FIRE OUT! PUT THE FIRE OUT! Oh. It’s not the police.”
Watched Veronika get smashed to pieces on the rocks at Thy beach. Dilemma. Laugh or comfort her? Both.
Jugendfestival in Stuttgart.
Trump wins. Hell freezes over. Civilisation as we know it is coming to an end soon.
Erasmus+ where 50 Albanians, Belgians, Danes, Kosovars and Spaniards descended on Castberggåard for two weeks. Craziness.
Colin on the drums. A memory I’ll never forget.
Nice Deafs came to Denmark. Cards Against Humanity. Camilla, you dark horse. Tivoli. Swing ride. Robert hates me.
Photo shoot. Paint in my eye. I am blind.
Walk in the woods, æbleskivers, gløgg and the drillnisse reveal at Ole and Elinors house! Hygge.
Aaaaaaaaand back to London for Christmas.
Today I was asked what my resolutions for next year were, and I thought about it carefully. For a minute I thought one of my resolution should be to calm down, because… well, I’m always zig-zagging all over the world. Last week, I had an air of melancholy around me. I was reflecting on the last few years and what I had done with my life. Instead of feeling happy about it, I actually felt sad, because despite doing all those amazing things, every time I go away, I am drifting further apart from my life here. I spent a day or two in a fugue state, wondering if I should abandon all hopes and dreams of future travels or migration and stay in good ol’ England instead. Then I spoke to a few friends about how I felt and they shook me out of it, and I realised… going away didn’t lose me friends; it had shown me who my true friends were.
Travel speeds up the process of separation and exposes the quality of your friendships. Being away strengthens the friendships that will withstand the distance of time and space. My lifestyle doesn’t make maintaining friendships easier, but it doesn’t make it impossible either. I have friends around the world I only see every few years but we make the effort to stay in touch. When we are together, our bond is still strong. I’m grateful for all of my friends.
This year, I’ve learnt so much about myself. Every year, I say that, and I’m so glad that I keep saying that, because life… is long. I think that much is pretty obvious. If you’re still the same person you were five years ago, then how can you progress? No matter how old we are, we can still learn something new about ourselves. We learn new things, we apply it to our life, and we evolve. Then we do it again.
The Frontrunners teachers have a mantra.
Yeah, I know… I didn’t think it was particularly inspiring as well. I mean, whatever happened to ‘Aim for the sky‘, ‘You can do it‘ or ‘Try your best‘…?
But now that a few months have passed, I truly understand what they meant by that.
On the last day of class, we had to write two positive statements and two things that could be improved about each person in class, including the teachers.
I read mine, and to be honest, I already knew what most of the notes would say.
‘Stop interrupting’ or ‘Stop procrastinating’ and I was right. There were some comments that I was touched by and some I were surprised by, but like I said earlier on, we all learn and we evolve. I will take those comments onboard and look at myself more.
Yeah. Look at myself more in the mirror. Hey, you sexy thing.
Grow up, Abigail.
There was a note that I particularly liked.
To be improved
Give time for reflection.
Do not be ashamed of failing. Every one of us learn by making mistakes.
You spread lots of positive energy and laughter.
You are good with people. You treat them as you want to be treated. You are authentic.
So… maybe I was right earlier. I do need to slow down, but not physically. Up there. Take a deep breath, Abigail.
2017: Take time to slow down and reflect on my actions, realise that I am only human, and that I will make mistakes in life.
Neil Gaiman summed it up perfectly, methinks.
‘I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.‘
You learn, and you realise that you have to change.
So, my new year resolution is to… stop, breathe, and learn.
One thought on “Stop. Breathe. Learn.”
Sounds like an amazing year! I completely agree with you on the friendship part and the eternal struggle about whether or not you are ‘wasting’ your life when you are essentially a roving nomad. As you rightly pointed out however, while yes, it does affect your life over in your place of birth, you are growing and changing at a rapid rate. It is possible some of those changes may have occurred even if you did stay, just slower. In the meantime, live it up I reckon and take every opportunity. – From a fellow roving nomad.