Ohhhh ya’ll, another year has passed, and you know what that means – I am knee-deep in journals and drowning myself in self-reflection. Perpetually trying to find meaning, pinpoint answers, identify trends… WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
This year has passed at both at both hurtling, and haltingly slow speeds, and when I reflect on it, I can’t believe how much has changed in 365 days.
Just when I find I am at peace with where fate has led me, the universe tosses in a grenade and blows it all up. What I have come to realize, however, is that all the grenades that have been tossed in my path this year have a had an enchanting effect on who I am becoming.
Never comfortable with change, this year brought so much of it, that I have had no choice but to adapt. And one word I will add to my list of attributes? Resilient. Of course, I comprehend that resilience can often cross in to the realm of other adjectives, such as “idealistic”, and “naive” , but it’s natural to me to focus on the positive, whether that is wise or not. No matter what I faced with, I will always get back up, I will always love with more than my heart is perhaps capable of handling, I will never give up on what I believe in and I will do all of this with the usual dumb-ass smile on my face.
Anyways, as I am never quite satisfied with things at face-value, I have dug into my own psyche, taking a deep, unflinching look into my soul. Scary? Yes. Necessary? Always. So, with no further ado, I give you the lessons learnt in my 28th year, which was rife with moments of sweetness, but not untouched by turmoil.
1. Friendships, like all relationships, take work. My track record for taking relationships and people who are important to me for granted is… less-than-impeccable. I always fall back on the foundation; the people in my life have been there for a long time, so there are so many memories, so many situations, that make me feel safe enough in our bubble. But, like anything, you can’t coast forever. Eventually, feelings will sputter and stall, and you will be left with a tattered, broken relationship that can potentially be too far gone. Effort is important, and showing the people you value that you cherish them, is even more so. I love my girlfriends so much, but I can’t always rest on the assumption that they know that.
2. Even if your condo fees are like $600/month, that doesn’t mean it includes power. And Enmax WILL cut it off in the dead of winter if you haven’t paid it in a year because you were blissfully unaware that you had to. Look into that. Lol.
3. Putting something off, just because you don’t want to do it, typically makes things worse. I’ve been lucky enough in my life to have people in it that have followed behind me, patiently dusting up the chaos I create, finishing up what I have left abandoned, tying the loose ends I could potentially trip over later. The past year, however, those responsibilities have fallen more on my shoulders than ever. And you know what? I held up. I realize that avoiding something means it will be worse off, and having no one there to deal with it, I’ve learnt that facing it head on is probably my best bet. In less fluffy terms? If you drive around with a leaky tire for 4 months it WILL blow up on you, causing more damage than it would have had you dealt with it earlier. Similarly, if you skip the dentist for a few years in a row, you WILL end up having to get put under on your birthday due to all the extensive work you need to have done. #Sweet
4. I should really have a case on my phone. #67andCounting
5. Everything works out exactly how it’s supposed to. Holy fackkkk. This is a mantra that has become inherent in my though process this year. As much as I desperately try and keep a white-knuckled grip on control, there are some things that are outside of my power. I can obsess over it, I can make myself sick with anxiety at the fear of something going off-course, or I can sit back, and let it unravel as it should. Where I am is where I am meant to be. I can strive to position my path in the direction I envision, but it is inevitably going to hit some potholes (or go off some cliffs, but same/same). But, guess what the good thing about that is? I’ve fallen off a couple cliffs over the last year, and I am a-ok (and thank goodness for that – this a v. expensive nose to be falling off cliffs all over the place).
6. I literally do not know how to be sad. I don’t even know exactly what this means for me, just yet. Is it a good thing that I am upset with something for all of half-a-day and then get up, dry my eyes and keep it moving? Or am I burying un-dealt-with emotions that will simply end up seeping out later on? What happens when something really bad happens? Am I equipped with the skill-set to handle that? I suppose recognizing something is the first step to a resolution so… stay tuned for that fun unearthing of emotions. *Hair flip*
7. You cannot, in fact, get drunk on Bailey’s. But you can get very sick if you try.
8. I’m not a “people pleaser”, I’m a “personal ego feeder”. As I get older, I recognize more and more my most valued commodity: time. Each year, it seems there is less of it to go around, as I find myself pulled tightly around my commitments, obligations and choices. I’ve always identified as a bit of a people-pleaser – I want to help in any way I can, taking extra on to my own already-overflowing plate if it means relief for someone I care about. This year, however, I finally identified that saying yes to so many things doesn’t actually please anyone in the end – least of all myself. If I say I can’t come to an event, or can’t take on an extra project at work, NO ONE CARES. It is my own ego that whispers in my ear that I am a disappointment, not the person I am saying no to. That person will care, however, if I do a shitty job on the project I took on, or cancel last minute because I have, once again, overbooked myself. Saying no is 100% an option. Seem obvious to you? I have been warming up to this idea for a few years.
9. I’m allowed to take a day for myself and not move from my couch. No one is going to come and forcibly remove me, or guilt-trip me so bad I have an anxiety attack (except myself). No one gives a fuck (except myself).
10. I really look terrible in high-waisted jeans and should stop trying to make them happen on me. They are NOT going to happen. I look like a try-hard potato in them. And that is the WOSRT kind of potato.
Although I am constantly making mistakes, I take solace in the fact that I am concurrently constantly absorbing lessons, arming myself with knowledge I can apply to issues I will undoubtedly face later on. Excessive cliff-falling or not, I am so satisfied with wear I stand on my 29th birthday, and so grateful for those who stand beside me.
I am looking forward to what my 29th year will bring, and know that no matter how many times I fall, or how many tires I blow, I will always land on my (typically 4-inch) high heels.