It seems customary, at the turn of a year, to reflect back on the past twelve months, to revel on the highs and lament on the lows. Yet for me, looking back on the previous months, has never felt quite right – especially so with 2017 which has felt a little … well, a little none.
You see, there is nothing particularly remarkable that has happened this past year. It has been a year where I have really fallen in love with travel and, thanks to Hair by Lauren, a year when I have finally gotten to grips with the art of a good blow dry! It has also been a year of struggle, although nothing particularly huge and certainly nothing to cry about – or at least, not excessively.
2017 has been, ultimately, a little bit vanilla. Beige. Bland.
But the end of the year bought with it some impending changes.
My husband was offered a job in Devon, Totnes area to be precise. It is an areas we know very well; my in-laws live there and we have spent so very many weekends down there. Long walks coastal walks and excess amounts of seafood are our cup of tea so we have always felt at home there. But it is more than the scenery; the locals are friendly. Yes – they talk!
This may mean little to those living in the North but here in Oxford (and in London where I so often work) no-one speaks. I have lived here five years and still scarcely know a soul out of work. I sit in the local pub and not a sole says a word. Sure, I know some people in my village but only as ‘Jasper’s Mum’ or ‘Moss’s parents.’ That’s the thing about dogs – they always form a bond.
I’ve never been entirely at home here in Oxford. As beautiful as the place is, my heart longs for more variety, more landscape, and more affordable housing.
And so, as 2017 drew to a close, we decided to leave. 2018 will see us move to Devon, to pastures new but loved.
It is both exciting and a little bit daunting.
I don’t know what will happen with work for myself and I will be leaving behind some extremely good friends, although they have already offered to club together and buy a bed for the spare room so they can all stay together so I doubt I will be free of them for long.
Because of this change, I have too much uncertainty for New Years resolutions – and I don’t entirely believe in them anyway. I’ve never been sure why a New Year needs to mean change – couldn’t tomorrow trigger the very same change? Or a new hour?
Instead, I will be building on the changes already made in my life; embarking on a new challenge that has been weeks in the making – although I have no idea what that new challenge may be.
All I really know is that I should probably invest in a wet suit!