Dear 2018,

You were supposed to move slower. You weren’t supposed to zoom past like 2017. We were supposed to savour each moment and waltz through the days, taking our time as we lived our lives.

What happened, 2018?

I was at a beach watching the first sunrise of the new year — your year. Next thing I knew we’re already here, getting ready for the end of year fireworks.       

It’s not fair, 2018. You moved just as fast as the year before.

Thanks to your speedy ways I am now facing the prospect of being a mother of a high school boy about to enter his teenage years. I don’t think I’m ready for it. He is growing up and eager to test his independence. It is terrifying.

An early morning walk many moons ago. He came along and rode his scooter.

Our boy has long since stopped accompanying me on early morning walks. It’s become more difficult to shift him to what I want to do as he starts to develop his own ideas and interests. I miss seeing the sky turn different colours with him as the sun rises.

Although, I didn’t see as many sunrises during 2018. I slept in most weekends while jogging and exercise enthusiasts did their thing in the early morning hours. I missed it. But I appreciated the sleep in.

Speaking of exercise, I received my yellow belt for Karate last year. And soon quit the sport this year. I discovered I didn’t want to be really good at hitting people. 

I started yoga instead. It hurts. But I like the discipline of trying to focus on your breath as you try and tune out the pain. Let’s see how long this lasts.

As well as awkward yoga poses, you introduced me to some interesting people, 2018, through the process of writing this blog. I will always be grateful to you for that.

Nomad celebrated its first anniversary in May and this blog has allowed me to speak to people and capture their stories.

The Top 5 most viewed posts in 2018 were:

  • Four Brave Women — a social enterprise run by one remarkable woman that provides much needed support for refugees and vulnerable women around the world.
  • Ice Cream and Good News at Midnight — It was the night my husband found out our son passed his audition and was accepted into his school’s Senior Strings Ensemble. It was a small moment. But a happy one.

Many people I spoke to directly were women. While I won’t list all of them here, some of them include:

  • Danielle — a yoga instructor who is working with people who have experienced war and persecution overcome their trauma. 
  • Cindy — a survivor of the Pol Pot regime who has set up a social enterprise for marginalised Cambodian women in Australia.
  • Ria — a blind soprano and Braille specialist who says her disability is the best thing about her life.
  • Emmah — a missionary from Kenya who has prayed and prayed for Australia for years. 
  • Kirsten — a businesswoman who bought a fast food joint on the outskirts of Hobart with the specific intent to provide refugees with a job and introduce Afghan food to Tasmania.

It’s been a privilege that I can’t quite believe has been given to me as a blogger. I can only hope I do their stories justice.

There are so many more stories I would like to list. Stories of social enterprises, businesses, achievements and experiences that people have allowed me to collect.

We met a Singaporean-Australian poet. I talked to the founder of a mobile laundry for the homeless. We walked around Newtown and snapped art on the sides of buildings on our phones. There was a bookshop that was doing its best to bring a community together.

I also collected and repurposed other stories from media outlets and old press releases because I was desperate to remember them; to keep these stories before they fade out of my memory.

It’s been fun getting to know you as the days passed, 2018. There were some rough days and better days as we did life together. Thank you for those moments of joy and laughter. Thank you for keeping us safe and relatively happy. For throwing us difficulties we could overcome.

Tonight I will spend time with good friends we’ve known for almost twenty years. We’ll probably eat until we’re silly and sing 80s pop songs as we howl in the New Year.

Not much time left to spend with you, 2018. Thank you for all the ups and downs you’ve thrown our way during your 365 days. May we say good bye leaving more good memories than bad ones. 

Kindest regards,

Agnes

Featured image by Steven VanDesande Jr on Unsplash

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