Today, I won’t review a book but how my year has been so far. This is a very selfish post as it is a very therapeutic thing to write. It feels good to take a step back and see what I have achieved these past few months – something that can be difficult when you’re in the middle of… well, your life.
The first highlight of my year was to actually find a job after months of desperately applying to any entry-level role. Of course, I started by focusing on publishing jobs but I quickly understood that I had pretty much the same CV as everybody else and needed to seriously work on gaining new skills. So at the moment, I’m not doing exactly what I wanted but I’m very happy to learn new skills in a professional context – and having a salary, obviously. I realise how lucky I’ve been as I started my job just a couple of months before lockdown and was able to keep on working from home.
And how can I mention the beginning of 2020 without talking about coronavirus and lockdown? This has been a strange time for everyone. In the UK, I am not convinced that the crisis was taken seriously soon enough and as a result, we suffered from a very high number of deaths. Now that the lockdown is easing down people seem to be going back to normal, which feels strange to me. I am happy to be able to go out again but I’m being careful and conscious of others’ vulnerability. Yet, we’ve booked a little weekend away by the sea as we are slowly going stir-crazy in our tiny London studio flat. I miss fresh air and I’m really looking forward to stretching my legs and walk on something other than concrete for a couple of days. Lockdown has changed us all and I think we realised the value of slowing down, the importance of green spaces, and that it’s okay to not do much at all.
We are living in such extraordinary times, a lot of bad things have happened this year but it’s important to look at the bright side. It made me very sad that people needed to see a man die in a video to take full measure of the racial issues that are engrained in our Western societies, but I feel that things are changing. I hope that the momentum will keep going and that we will see our world become more diverse and open to others.
On a personal note, I finally found the courage in me to refer myself to get therapy at the end of last year. It was nerve-wracking to admit that I was unwell and needed help, added to the long wait to actually get to see somebody (not blaming our wonderful NHS workers here, obviously). I have properly started my sessions during lockdown on the phone, and I can already feel a change in me. I feel more motivated and have more goals: getting back to posting on here is one of them, and it makes me so happy. I also try to be more active in the book/publishing community (which is so incredibly lovely by the way, I still can’t believe how nice everyone is to each other!) and refocus my attention on what I want to achieve with my life – at least in the next five years. It’s a long process and it takes time, but I feel very hopeful.
I’m not sure what the rest of 2020 is going to look like, and I don’t know if anyone needs to hear that but please, hang in there. We’ll get through it – with lots of books and cups of tea. x