Those people around me
My Grandma died last year, peacefully passed away in her sleep on Christmas Eve.
The year I have had has been a turbulent one, and a lonely one, encompassed in scattered triumphs.
I found myself, on Christmas day 2013, facing the can of worms I had put off opening, my entire life.
I found myself sitting in a house with the most broken, of broken families. Staring at twisted faces and bitter emotions, secret hatred and open pain.
I found myself losing myself, and coming face to face with the real me, all in an instant.
All those people around me saw their paths fall away in front of them. And I found myself desperately clinging to sanity, hoping somehow I would be strong enough to walk my own path of education, turmoil, confusion and grief.
I learnt so much about relationships with people this year. I learnt that kindness sometimes just falls upon you sometimes without meaning or purpose. Laughter can be the most treasured event. And anger can be therapeutic when it enables you to push through a barrier of fear.
I learnt that sometimes you have to be the most compassionate person, and sometimes you have to be the least compassionate person. And sometimes you have to simply be kind to yourself and just 'be'.
I became a grown up when I wasn't ready to grow up.
I remember crying about nothing on Christmas Eve, completely unaware my life was about to take a rather big turn in a direction I wasn't ready to pursue. I cried about the fact I was ill, the fact that Christmas Eve wasn't perfect in the way I wanted it to be perfect.
Broken thoughts surrounded me in a busy coffee shop on a sunny winters day, and I remember telling my partner that I wanted to, every year, focus on bringing kindness to others because at least then, something positive was happening for someone.
And in my unjustified sorrow, we meandered across to a bargain shop and bought dog treats for a local dogs home, a simple pleasure that eased my petty pain on the day.
And since the day the came, the day it all fell down, the one after the day I cried about nearly nothing, and made the vow to bring kindness to others at Christmas. I learnt above all else that you must seek to bring kindness to those around you, every single day of the year. Because no matter what life brings you or throws at you or absolutely smothers you in, if we are all kind to each other, we all stand a better chance of getting through anything.
Those around me have been bitter, angry, beautifully strange, crumpled and broken, disgusting, confusing and occasionally, incredibly kind.
I say again, to all of you…