Well, it's been a hell of a year.
Even after three years of a pandemic, and the deaths of both my parents not long before that, this year has been remarkable for the drama it's brought to my life.
I've suffered continual rejection by strangers. I've been the subject of harsh critiques and glowing praise. I've had certainties stripped away, and bizarre opportunities fall into my lap. I've struck up email correspondences with famous people. I even had Nancy Sinatra (of all people) follow me on Twitter for an inexplicable reason.
So after all that, what have I learned?
I've learned that I've been living my life wrong for the previous 58 years. I was always concerned about having drama in my life, and worried about being judged, rejected, and mocked. Yet I was judged, rejected, and mocked (repeatedly!) this year, and it didn't break me. Surprisingly, it didn't even hurt me.
And no one is more shocked by this than me.
I still don't like drama, but I won't actively avoid it any more. I've learned to be more assertive too, even though it's difficult to change the habits of a lifetime. Nevertheless, I've found a new, positive way forward.
Having said all that, I don't regret my life so far... I've been incredibly fortunate in many ways. But maybe I've let some opportunities go by because I was too afraid to grasp them.
I'm not afraid any more.