Today I start my brand new job and I'm incredibly excited and nervous - all those good things. This is the first job I've taken that I think I could be happy doing for a long while - it's a job that's taking me back to my hometown of London, where most of my friends and family live.
And yet, the last few days I've been tearful.
2016 was a shit year. It started stressful - with Rich living in Portsmouth and me in London, desperately looking for a job so that I could move down there to be with him - and ended in a similar way. I'm in London and he's staying in Portsmouth for a couple of months to finish up some work and do the bulk of the packing before moving back to London.
In between those two moves was a hell of a lot of heartache and anxiety. I wasn't enjoying my job at all, I missed my friends, had some financial worries and Rich in particular was having a really tough time.
Nights were spent huddled up in bed, whispering together to see if we could talk up a plan, a way out of the hole we felt we were in. We thought we had to get back to London, but it's so much easier to leave that city than it is to go back to it.
There were times when I was absolutely, totally and completely certain that I was never going back to London. I didn't see how it could ever work.
And yet, here we are. Here I am.
Where I am is new - a new job! A new sense of purpose! A totally clear focus, for the first time ever, on what I want to do! - but this is also old ground. Me and this long distance thing are old friends (as you'll know if you read this post, or this one, or this one).
I'm familiar with the weepiness that can set in hours - days even - before you have to part again; the way you cling to those final minutes ('Oh wait, just look at this... But if you catch the later train it's quicker...'). The familiarity makes it worse - I know it hurts. I know it doesn't get better. I know that I will reach a point where I long for even those fraught nights, neither of us knowing how to take that next step forward.
2017 promises so much - but the first couple of months are going to be tough.