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Well, well, well… 


After 23 newsletters signed, sealed and delivered, we’ve finally come to the end of 2021. Any way I might try to summarise what this year has been, on both a collective and personal level would be underwhelming, to say the least. It would require much reflecting that I haven’t yet done — that I hope to make some space for over the next few weeks.

In that vein, I thought I’d take this opportunity to say thank you for reading I’ve Been Meaning to Say… this year. You have no idea how much it means to me that I have…actual…readers?? And not just any old readers but the warmest, most giving readers imaginable. It’s not only been a great comfort to know my sometimes—heavy—sometimes—silly feelings are in such welcoming hands but a privilege to be able to listen to your own stories you’re so forthcoming with sharing in return. Thank you for your openness and trust, which, will always, always, always give me the courage to… Keep! On! Typing! 


Before I leave you to enjoy your festive season and before I find myself in a Christmas food coma for the foreseeable, here’s a look back upon this year’s newsletters in full…


In January I wrote about choosing to put down the pain you’ve been carrying so you stop bumping into brick walls (because that shit can pile high!!) 


In February I wrote about the 🏄🏼‍♀️ accident that re-wired my brain and the dark underbelly of self-improvement


In March I wrote about how in endings there are a million tiny re-beginnings and then I wrote about false starts


In April I wrote about how I found myself on the cusp of myself during a trip to Hong Kong, a celebration of writing for the newsletter’s second anniversary and an essay on the delayed gratification of self-care


In May I wrote about how you can’t force someone to be “ready” as well as everything I know about love at 25. 


In June I wrote about my “worst depressive episode — of my goddamn decade-long tenure of mental health struggles”.


In July I wrote about how there are affirmations to be found in unlikely places and how to see in the dark when the truth is a cave. 


In August I wrote about what resistance can teach you about the places you’re headed, a recovery milestone giving me the courage to leave when I’ve only ever known being left and an essay on the fallacy of nostalgia and the impermanence of memories. 


In September I wrote about what happened when I stopped avoiding my grief as well as how you can see the past as evidence for all the future things you will overcome.


In October I wrote a poem about what it is like to love a writer and an essay about feeding others to the detriment of your own starvation.


In November I wrote about not losing yourself to busy periods and what I gained from embracing voice notes.


In December I wrote about why I am scared of…December

So...a lot, yeah?

I’m going to be taking January off writing I’ve Been Meaning to Say… in order to replenish my writing well and to apply any necessary maintenance. That said, if you have any thoughts or feedback about what you like/dislike/what you’d like to see more of in this space next year — please do reach out to let me know. 


I am sending you all one major hug and raising a toast to us all for getting through another challenging year. 


See you in February!




As always, I love to hear from you. If you liked today’s newsletter, want to carry on the conversation or have any thoughts or feedback at all, do hit reply. Thanks for reading x

🍄Esme's Favourite Songs of 2021🍄
(click to listen/follow on Spotify)

I Do This All The Time — Self Esteem

All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) — Taylor Swift

Renegrade (feat. Taylor Swift) — Big Red Machine

Don’t Go Dark — Bleachers

Lord It’s A Feeling — London Grammar

Moscow (feat Rae Morris) — Fryars 

Lipstick On The Glass — Wolf Alice

Asking For A Friend — CHVRCHES

Canary In A Coalmine — Benjamin Francis Leftwich 

Goodbye — MARINA

The lovely Amy at WoeIsShe surprised me by designing me some I've Been Meaning to Say... calligraphy in her bespoke style. I've always been a sucker for a slow, romantic love letter (what is more meaningful than sitting down to write to someone in a time of being left on read?!) This stationery collection is perfect for your post-Christmas thank you notes. #Gifted


Esme Rose Marsh is a writer, artist and the founder of Hook Magazine. She publishes a bi-monthly newsletter called I’ve Been Meaning to Say… which contemplates what it takes to live a meaningful life and her collage prints can be purchased in exclusive drops throughout the year. Esme is a recent cat-convert, a current adoptive ginger and a frequent user of the em dash. She has contributed a variety of creative works to the likes of The Coven, Restless and CONKER and is available for freelance commissions…

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Esme Rose Marsh, Retford, Nottinghamshire DN220BU
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Esme Rose Marsh · Hook Magazine · Nottingham, Nottinghamshire DN220BU · United Kingdom

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