It’s midday, January 1st 2018. Currently I’m sitting at my desk, trying to think of something poignant to write, but all I can think about is how uncomfortable my chair is (I put the legs on backwards when I built it, and now I can’t find the dang allen key), the half-eaten pastrami sandwich downstairs that may or may not make me feel better, the potential for coffee, and how utterly hungover I still am from last night.
Despite how tired, dehydrated, and slightly nauseated I feel right now, last night’s makeup smeared across my forearm from where I passed out face-down at 5am and wearing my Xmas pyjamas coupled with an oversized lumpy cardigan (it’s a look, okay) I feel fairly happy. Oh, there are things happening in my life right now -way over in the background- that are causing me pain, stress, and sadness, but overall? Overall I’m contented.
When I look back on where I was this time last year, there’s a very stark difference. I greeted 2017 with an early night, lots of crying, and followed up by going into work the next day to clean out the stockroom, just so I had something to do. The loneliness of it all was almost unbearable.
This year I was at a house party, surrounded by good, fun people, quite tipsy, ladders all up my tights from where we’d been playing twister, and stumbling along over the words to Auld Lang Syne because none of us were in sync. We all held hands and droned along like a classic herd of drunkards, and in that moment I wanted to cry a little bit for how much I’d always craved that sense of belonging, and to have finally found it.
I didn’t know most of the people in that room, and I was far too socially awkward to make much of an impression, but still I was welcomed with open arms. Even though I was a virtual stranger, I was treated with kindness, ushered forwards whenever I automatically found myself stepping out of the group just a little, and wished a happy new year by each of them as though I’d always known them.
Those I did know I haven’t known for long, but already I love them fiercely. They listen when I speak, they accept me and worry about me, and genuinely want me to grow and flourish in life. For the first time in a long while I feel at home. I feel accepted and appreciated. I feel more like Lorna than I have in a very, very long time. And what’s more? I feel like being Lorna is a perfectly lovely thing to be.
I don’t have any New Year’s Resolutions. I started writing this with the intention of setting myself a few, if I’m honest. Still, the more I reflect, the more I realise that all I want for 2018 is to finally get myself back out into the world again, and live life.
…And find an allen key so I can fix this dang chair.