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Q01

Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

This year, I fell in love. Real love. The kind of love you grow into. Comfortable, and yet still exciting. Love that pushes me every day to want to be better. For me, and for him.

My sister's death. I'm devastated that I lost her, blessed to have had her, grateful for the support I have had, and surprised by the reserves of strength I didn't know I had.

My father died. We had a great relationship, no regrets but it was so quick. I never thought that it would hit me like this. I don't know if it was the suddenness - he was healthy as far as we knew, he had recently traveled with Mom, he was still working at 85, or the shortness of the illness - less than two and a half months, or the fact that I am now doing so much caretaking of my mom, but it is so present, and I miss him so much. Now I keep aging and he will stay the same. We had a great run but I am human and greedy and I wanted more time.

This past summer Aden proposed to me at Pride. He told me I was getting a puppy but really got down on one knee and asked to "travel through Space and time with me" and gave me a note about his love for me. It was amazing and I said yes. We walked through the parade holding signs that said "I asked my partner to marry me" and "I said yes". It was exciting, overwhelming, and uplifting. It was a great day surrounded by great friends.

I started my own business. I'm grateful, relieved, inspired, exhausted, sad, scared, amazed - and more. The reaction when I launched was incredible. I had no idea so many people would be so supportive. I was so happy to be free and in control! It's also been a load of hard work, which has been, well, hard. It's hard to prioritise, and I second guess myself all the time. It's been lonely. I've had young voices reactivate to try to keep me safe. So I guess I'm grateful that I'm learning so much and moving forward so far.

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