This past year, the twenty fourth of my life, has been a mix of highs and lows. Euphoric 'yes!' moments mixed with some of the toughest challenges that life has thrown at me.
It marks the year I sat up all night writing, and the year I handed in what I hope won't be my life's work.
It marks the year we almost didn't get down from a mountain. The year we waded through a river. The year of Daniel My Hero.
It marks the year I moved in with Daniel and started to build a home. The year he became more than I thought one person could ever be. The year we chose a couch together and argued over curtains.
It marks the year I got my first full-time job. A job I have been lucky enough to love.
It marks the year I woke up every morning at 5:15am, ready (or not) for a 2-hour commute and a 12-hour day. The year I was always tired.
It marks the year that I spent my first Christmas with Daniel.
It marks the success of my MA; standing next to my parents one chilly January morning and not needing any form of word or gesture to know exactly how proud of me they are.
It marks the year I went wine tasting for the first time.
It marks the year I ran three half marathons, fell in love with fell running, cycled hundreds of miles ready for an amazing 100-mile bike race (and through all this managed to gain a stone). Too tired to feel fit, but satisfied either way.
It marks the year I lost one of the brightest lights in my world; my Uncle Rob. The year I stood before hundreds at his funeral to try and put into words how we were all feeling.
It marks the year I was, so very briefly, unemployed: a short but bitter period of the worst that 'real life' has to offer.
It marks the year when, early one fresh morning in early summer, I knew where I wanted to be, and I started to chase it.
Twenty three, you've been tough, and I've become tougher. Here's to a twenty fifth year of seeing things through and sleeping a bit longer!