Sometimes, it feels like life is not going the way I planned it. I plant stuff, it doesn’t grow. Other stuff, which I hadn’t intended to be so prolific, is prolific. It’s unexpected. Sometimes, it’s very disappointing. Sometimes, it’s very frustrating. Sometimes, it’s surprisingly rewarding in ways I hadn’t expected.
Sometimes, it feels like very little has happened in the last 12 years that has been positive at all. My career took off, then I crashed. At the height of my ‘achievements’, at that time when I was a force to be reckoned with, I’d never been so depressed. All that time in Japan, I just felt lost, like I was ticking off boxes of things to do before I died. I was going through the motions. I was thin, healthy, running, fighting fit, filled with vitamins and supplements, eating well, in a great job doing good things, mostly with people I respected, and I was utterly, utterly miserable.
A lot of that came back to work. I had the misfortune to bring out the worst in another team member and she did all she could to make my life difficult at work. My boss was so weak that she wouldn’t pick sides or stand up and say that what was happening was wrong. I made the mistake of showing her how I felt, and she told the woman who was tormenting me.
And then, back in schools for the first time in three years, it felt like it was going somewhere, only for my life to be brought to a standstill on the back of someone else’s accusations. That all went away, in the end, but it took three years and over 1,000,000 pieces of evidence and data on my behalf, with not one single piece on theirs.
Then there’s been the move to France, which has not gone how I thought it would. I watch my world fall apart sometimes, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Luckily, my friends and family have been nothing but loyal, calm, supportive and reasonable. I can’t say the same for everyone, but I know that once my elements are back under my control then it’s full steam ahead. I think life’s like that.
So, when I sat marking this morning, even though Heston had been up since 3 this morning with a poorly tummy, even though I was agitated by the software I’m using, the birds were singing, the animals were sleeping peacefully and I felt lucky again. Last night, driving home from Jake’s concert, the skies were beautiful. The sun set was perfect. The world felt in keeping with me. I felt like I could breathe, properly, deeply, and that the last 12 years of agitation are coming to an end. I hope so. I nearly went down for the count in the sixth round, but I feel like I’ve done 12 rounds with Tyson and that I can build up to my 40th birthday as if it is something marvellous. I have 40 parties more-or-less planned.
I want my 40th year to be the greatest of my life.
Now I need you all to cross your fingers and hope it too.