...how do you measure a year?
I suppose I could just ask the cast and crew of the Music Theatre Warwick production of Rent coming to the Arts Centre very soon, but that'd be too easy, and rather defeat the object of this post, which is that (as you can see from the title)...
...a year ago today I literally took the first steps along the road of this mission.
I can't adequately describe quite how amazing that feels, so I'm not going to try. What I will say, though, is that however fired up I was then, post-botox, I'm not sure I ever really thought I'd hold out this long, let alone be as close to achieving my goal as I feel right now.
So, in celebration of the fact that I am still here, I'd like to measure the year in one simple word - gratitude.
Gratitude for the milestones I've reached and posted about, sometimes leaping over them and other times doing a pretty good imitation of a snail. Gratitude for those I am still to reach, for the fact that they're so near that I could touch them, if only I were brave enough to reach out. Gratitude for those about which you have yet to read, but will be shared when the time is right and free enough for me to do them justice.
Gratitude for the incredible people I've met, some of whom you've heard about, others about whom I am yet to write - but all of whom have supported me in ways for which words will never seem enough. Gratitude for my family, local and global, who have been there since the beginning, not just of this goal and this blog, but of my life. Gratitude for my friends, old, new - eternal! - who have laughed and cried, plodded and sprinted, along with me without me having to ask them to do so.
Gratitude for generosity - the generosity of Starlight, in the part they played to get me here, and the generosity shown by everyone who has donated and helped me to give something back. So very close to the target!
Gratitude for these three years at Warwick. Gratitude for my coursemates, the 'Fam', and for the tutors who have inspired me to work hard - and enjoy it. Gratitude for my helpers, both at home and at uni, who have made my time (and the work) not just possible but wonderful.
...And, of course, gratitude for ability in general - the simple things that can so easily be forgotten. Gratitude that I can breathe. Gratitude that I can see, and speak, and sing, and smile. Gratitude that I can be grateful now because, whether I make it any further or not, this has been a wonderful journey - and one on which I'll never regret setting out.
So, yeah, thanks for coming with me - let's see how much more we've got in us.
And thanks for a wonderful year.