Greetings, world. Back by (not-so) popular demand, your favorite self-pitying emotional masochist, here to wax faux-poetic about 2017.
Links are provided for each of the moments I reference, because this is a new level of self-absorption.
Here it is. The last day of 2017. It’s odd to think about this exact day last year and how completely different everything was. I lived in a different apartment, had a different job, and knew different people.
As I’ve stated over and over again, this year was fucking hard. Strangely, it began in utter bliss. For the first few months, I foolishly convinced myself that I was in love and it would last forever, that I was fulfilled, that I had everything I needed. As explained here and here, none of those things ended up being true. What followed can only be described as the darkest moments of my life. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and evidently, nor does writing. I found somewhat of a foothold eventually, but it quickly dissolved beneath my feet and sent me spiraling again. I convinced myself I could write my way out of it, but there were old habits I only pretended to lose.
The last quarter of the year proved more promising. By the end of September, I had machinated the changes that shifted me into a new perspective. I moved to the other side of the city, got a cute new apartment with a couple of roommates I like, and bought my own furniture. Bold rays of hope shone through the curtains I’d had drawn for so long, and I dared to think I would be happy. Unfortunately, my newfound joy came face-to-face with fresh heartbreak and humiliation within a few weeks and I tumbled back down into bitterness and despair.
What I was ultimately missing was a sense of self. I had hung all sense of identity in this new, postgrad “adult” life on external hooks. I needed a foundation, some solid ground to stand on.
2017 was the year I finally learned that bursting into tears, frantically apologizing, and careening wildly into the throes of hatred about my very existence every time something went wrong wasn’t normal (who knew?) and started going to therapy, for which I must thank someone. He knows who he is, and I’m sorry I ignored him the first time he told me my chronically low self-esteem was dangerous. I learned that I’m somehow not the insipid failure I’ve always seen myself as, and that maybe I’m more capable than I think.
2017 was the year I made writing a priority, spurned forth by the burning rage of a broken heart and an existential crisis. To be fair, I didn’t just write about my feelings: I gave my unsolicited opinion on various television series too, which people apparently… liked?
I turned to Hey, Can You Hear Me? to survive. Perhaps word-vomiting my feelings all over the Internet wasn’t the wisest thing I could have done, and maybe I got carried away from time to time and caught a bit of flack for it, but I did this to save myself. As previously stated: I have never named anyone I’ve written about, nor have I ever said anything that wasn’t true. I was reclaiming a narrative. I was reclaiming my dignity. I was reclaiming the vaguest of grips on my own sanity.
I’ve become smarter, harder, less naive. The wide-eyed girl who cried and insisted that she wasn’t going anywhere when her boyfriend admitted to not being over his ex would now have flipped him the bird as she walked away. I’ve learned to call men the fuck out on their bullshit and make expectations clear. I’ve learned that it’s okay to say “no” to a job you don’t want. I’ve learned that if something isn’t helping me grow, I don’t need it.
Other miscellaneous good things that happened in 2017: got a new tattoo, recently started volunteering as a tutor at the adult literacy program at my local library.
Cheers to ya, 2018. It can only go up from here.