Well I can safely say that 2015 was the hardest year I have faced in prison so far. It really did start to seem like I was going to lose one thing after another (and one person after another) until there was nothing left and often I never even got to know why.
When you know the reason why your life is falling apart you can actually try to do something about it and, even if that isn’t possible, at least you can start to come to terms with it. You can learn from your mistakes and move on. Not knowing why things have gone so wrong, there is nothing you can do about it at all. At that point, looking back is pointless since there is simply nothing to be done.
However, if there is just one lesson I will take from 2015 it is acceptance. If someone you care about treats you badly, accept that they are not the person you thought they were. If someone with power over you stitches you up, accept that you cannot just keep trying to get along with them and that it’s time you stood up for yourself. And if it starts to feel like there is a dark cloud hanging over your life, don’t obsess about how bad it is or how much better it could be, focus on actually making things better for yourself.
And that’s the note I start 2016 on. I can’t change the fact that some things went wrong last year, but I can do something about the effects of those things and I can also try to focus on some of the things that went right too, carrying them forward into the year ahead. Things like the pleasure I got from being successful in the Koestler Awards, for example.
With that in mind you may have noticed that the site has undergone a bit of a redesign and rebrand. We’ve added a playlist section which I hope you will enjoy, and (by popular request) we will soon be adding a glossary to explain some of those jargony terms I take for granted sometimes too. There will be an increased presence on Twitter (follow me using the button on the right), and I hope to update the site with new posts a bit more often than has been possible over the last couple of months as well.
As always, feedback is welcome, encouraged, and gratefully received, and your support over the past year is much appreciated. Thank you all, and a Happy New Year.