All that’s left is the song I’ve sung; the breath I’ve taken and the one I must.

by Bec Hawkings

I’m listening to Johnny Flynn’s ‘The Wrote and The Writ’ blaring from my tinny laptop speakers, and I’m drinking bitter black coffee, and I’m wondering if I’ve changed at all.

I achieved things this year that I thought so far out of my (pessimistic and dull-thought) grasp. I wrote a thesis; I completed coursework; I earned First Class Honours; I earned a place in my department’s PhD program. I realised, once again and with brain-shattering clarity, how much I love what I do. I presented my work at an academic conference, and fell madly in love with the idea that somewhere amongst the noise and competiveness there might be a niche for me.

I fell in love with people, too – with new friends and with old friends, and with new lovers and old lovers. I drank gin, and soy lattes, and danced, and stayed up until 4am talking with people who know me well and persist in loving me anyway. I went on roadtrips, and holidays; I saw friends get married, and friends have babies, and friends fall in love, and friends get sunburnt and drunk and so very, very happy.

I wrote, ferociously, tripping over words in a rush to get them onto paper. I discovered Tumblr, and Doctor Who, and the all-embracing happiness that comes from finding like-minded nerds with whom to fangirl. (Yes, ‘fangirl’ in a verb. In my universe, at least.) I worked, and I slept, and I embraced the notion of the nanna nap with all-encompassing enthusiasm.

I added to my tattoo collection. I got a new piercing. I dyed my hair all manner of reds and purples and browns. I went to Homebake alone, and for the first time, felt as if I were truly a part of this mess we called the human race. I found comfort in my own skin, and I vowed to be happy as a pear-shaped, never-gonna-be-skinny, curvy woman.

I was no longer so unwell.

So I sit here, on the final day of 2011, and I listen to Jonny Flynn’s ‘The Wrote and The Writ’ blare from my tinny laptop speakers, and I sip my bitter black coffee, and I feel like everything is going to be alright.

Happy New Year, darlings and dearhearts.