This year has brought more ups and downs than a roller coaster for me. I've hit my lowest point of my life and other times I've been so full of elation I could of exploded! I think I've cried more this year than I have in the last 10 years- sometimes tears of joy but mostly of sorrow. I can't wait to see the back of it! This is probably going to be pretty bleak so I apologise now, I just have to get it off my chest.
Depression can be hard to shake off. Sometimes there seems no way out of a situation, no light coming through that relentless fog. Then out of nowhere someone takes your hand and guides you through the darkness, to me this is the greatest high when you know the deepest low. Thankfully I have an amazing girlfriend, family and friends to help me out when the going gets tough- thanks to you all.
One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was get in touch with my father whom I had not seen since I was about 3 years old and I couldn't remember any of it- I wasn't sure if he had just left my Mam or what the situation was. It was getting me down but I had always been afraid to brouch the question to any of my family- I didnt even know my true ethnicity- but rolling with Mexican John wasnt so bad I guess, ha.
I figured that I was 26 years old and he wasn't getting any younger either (it was his 50th in September) so it was about time I got in touch.
I spoke to him on the phone for the first time, I didn't really know what to say or what to expect and we arranged to meet the next day. I was so nervous! I was sure he would be nervous too.
I will never forget that moment when we saw each other and he just froze, I walked over and gave him a big hug- it was amazing. We went to a pub and talked and talked, so many questions were answered as we got to know each other again- it turns out we had so much in common- both keen cyclists with a penchant for eating! I was so happy to find out about my 2 half brothers Ethan and Darryl as well as my Dads wife Christine. I went back to their house to meet them, it felt totally comfortable and we seemed to get along great.
Once I got home I felt so good, such a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and that dark cloud was gone.
Everything was going so well, me and my Dad were seeing each other most weeks now. I was back at work after being on long term sick and I had a positive outlook on life.
What happened next felt like someone had pulled the carpet from underneath my feet.
I was on the Metro going to work on the 9th of November and I got the worse call I've ever had in my life, it was my Uncle Mark ringing with the terrible news that my Gran, Carole Bowman had died. I was in total shock. I staggered off the Metro at Shiremoor and my mind went blank. I thought I must have been having a bad dream. My Dad picked me up and took me to my Grans house.
The following 3 or 4 weeks were awful, the hardest part was seeing my Uncle and Mam so upset. My Gran was such an amazing person, its hard to believe that she was gone- only a few days earlier we laughed and joked over a Chinese takeaway. The loss brought my family together like never before as we all supported each other and remembered the good times with Gran- the way she would have wanted.
Christmas was looming and we knew it wasn't going to be easy, my Gran was head of the family and it wouldn't be the same without her there. In the morning I went to my Dads and exchanged presents, I was made up with what he bought me -a Tag Heuer watch- totally unexpected. It was great to see Darryl and Ethan open their presents and enjoying themselves.
Me and Dad went to the pub for a couple of festive pints and met up with 2 good friends of mine. It was really good craic- I felt proud to have my Dad with me drinking and joking like one of the lads.
'Dad' its still funny to me to say that word, I'd never really used it a lot in my vocabulary before! We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
I was having lunch at my Mams and it was excellent as ever- only took one fool to spoil that though..
Of all the things that happened in 2009 for me, the holidays, the riding, the partying etc ect I just cant really remember them anymore after those 2 things- sometimes it seems like you lose one great thing and gain another.
2010-bring it on! I have such big plans and expections for next year. I've handed my notice in at work and my last day is going to be the 30th Janurary (if not sooner!) and I'm vowing never to get bogged down in a shitty office job again! Life is too short to be sat in a shit grey office wishing your life away. Trust me on that! I'm going to Thailand in Feburary for 4 months and I cant wait! No riding for 4 months is going to be hard but I'm sure I can make do with lazing around on the beach and scuba diving! ha. Berlin in the summer for defs. Then NYC for 2 weeks.. looks like next year is gonna be good- and yeah I fucking deserve it! See you next decade.