'My old mum never suffered fools gladly, and you, kid, have a history of not suffering them at all,' my Popskie said to me in the final hours of his life in Portugal, back in November last year. Well Dad, over the past few years, that's not been strictly true. Although I pretty much always know what I need to do in almost every situation where my self esteem or self respect are being compromised, over the last year or two, I haven't always acted according to my instincts and convictions, at least not as soon as I should have. At 33, having weathered and survived some life changing, crushing, earth shattering losses and degrees of pain and sadness, I am in a position where there are very few people in my life who aren't pretty fucking incredible. And this is not something I say lightly: most days, I look at those closest to me and I'm amazed by what we do for each other, by how much we love each other and it truly blows my mind. You are the reason why I'm still here and more than that, the reason why I'm now happy to be here, not waiting to join my lost loves, existing in agony as the only one left.
While the network of love and support around me is so strong and bold, and one of the things in my life of which I am most proud, there are those few (albeit very few) less than honourable individuals that have been allowed to slip through the net over the last couple of years of recovery, those who have seeped in unnoticed, until it's a little too late and some damage has been done. Such individuals are more often that not those who I have at one time or another been intimately involved with, those who I know deep down in my heart have treated me incorrectly, who have disrespected me and never tried to repair it. I'm very proud to have maintained close friendships with the vast majority of ex loves, some of which were present at my dear dad's recent memorial party, almost all of whom called me when he finally passed away to offer their condolences. All relationships have their ups and downs and when you break up or go your own way, if a strong friendship can eventually come out of it, this is truly testament to the two of you, to your capacity to take responsibility for your actions as individuals and ultimately, most importantly, your deep respect for each other even after things fall apart.
Having decided that 2017 would be the year of letting go, of any sources of sadness, of any relationships where there is not 100% integrity from both parties, I have decided that I no longer need to seek validation from those who do not truly see me for who I am or respect me fully. These few just do not make me happy. I am flawed in many ways but I accept those flaws and I talk about them and try to work on them, and in all of my dear and wonderful relationships, we take responsibility for who we really are. As a strong believer in art imitating life and vice versa, I try to operate on the principal that one should follow the road ahead, not waste time looking backwards (thanks Dad and Grandad Fred for this gem) and in doing so, accept love from those who are genuine and give back to those special ones as much as you are able. So may 2017 be driven by integrity, honesty and strictly good vibes only.