Ten years

We were just at Charlton house, having a leisurely cup of coffee. Lyn was telling us how, at the turn of the millennium, she could see the dome from where she then lived so she watched the fireworks there first-hand. It made me think of how different my life was back then, and how radically things have changed over the last ten years. In 2000, I was still at school – a quiet, out-of-the-way special school with very low expectations of it’s students. I suppose my expectations were equally low: after school, I expected to start at Macclesfield college and stay there for a long time, commuting every day between my comfortable life with my parents and a comfortable life at college. University was a pipe-dream, but I was still kind of scared of thee prospect of ever leaving home, so I intended to put it off for as long as possible. After all, I thought, who would look after me? The idea of ever finding a person to love me was frankly ludicrous.

Looking back, I was young and immature. I’ve grown so much over the last decade, or at least I think I have. University taught me so much: in a way I grew up there, for it gave me so many experiences, and I met so many friends there that it revolutionised my whole being. It turned me from a young, home-loving child to a young man, eager to try new things, meet new people. I am no longer afraid of life away from home, or, rather, I have found a new home, and a new family, safe in the knowledge that the one I left up north will always be there for me. The last decade gave me so much in terms of life experiences and friends. Who would have thought, as I watched the fireworks on television that night ten years ago, that the woman I would fall in love so deeply with was watching them from her bedroom window.

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