It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. That about sums up your year doesn’t it? The sea of change very nearly engulfed you but I would be surprised if after all these years you haven’t learned to claw through the muddiest of muds. You are a messy fighter. You’ve always been a messy fighter. It’s not charming, nor attractive, but you know what? It leaves scars that tell a story. So I’ll take that over a pristine score sheet any day. You lost people near and dear to you. Death is a constant lingering end note in this quartet of life. But like Lou Reed said, there’s a bit of magic in everything, and then some loss to even things out. Nothing like the passing of closed ones to remind you of what you have always known – cherish the shit out of people you care about before it’s too late. In the cosmic scheme of things we are butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever. But we are all we have. This is it. In the teeth of stupefying odds it is you and I who crossed path, left imprints, broke hearts, forged bonds, fucked up, hurt and loved. In a hundred years none of this would matter. But it matters now. So make it worthwhile. Your choices mean you are always going to be vulnerable to temptations. The fleeting stardust in your porous mind is maybe just that, flitting. You still do not know what to make of certain things that have happened and certain people who have come into your life. And you might never will. Be patient, compassionate, and whenever you can, honest. Emotional and intellectual mendacity is the biggest disservice one can inflict on oneself. Cut through the malarkey and look inside yourself. An unexamined life is not worth living. But I must say, there are tantalising hints of hope. You let go of certain baggages and took a huge leap of faith, finally setting the course of your life in a direction I can be onboard with. Good on you. Expect choppy waves and uphill struggles. Allow yourself to feel the fear. But do it anyway. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. Remember, chasing meaning is almost always better than avoiding discomfort. But above all else, be not afraid to fail. It’s ok to stumble, or even fall flat on your face. Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd, really. So if you don’t pick yourself up and march on I’m coming over to whack your sorry ass. Last year I wanted you to move your centre of gravity away from your own centrality. This year I want to wish you the opposite – take care of yourself a little bit. Be kinder to yourself. That awkward, twisted or stupid part of your soul that you are not proud of? It needs attention too. Tend to that weak but persistent voice inside you asking you to slow down and just, be, sometimes. Manage your desires. Read voraciously. Love greedily. Be a better partner. Talk to your folks. Don’t sit when you can stand. Don’t talk when you can listen. And eat your vegetables.