2018 has been a LONG year. Strangely, for the life of me, I can’t remember this past New Year’s Eve. We often forget how things began but never forget how they ended.
So much has happened in 2018 it’s sometimes hard to believe it was just one year. I lived in 3 states, had 3 different jobs, got undergrad degree. I lived hundreds,and for some, thousands of miles away from my best friends. I got through heartbreak the healthy way.
2018 has been a year of uncomfortable growth for me. We are all, inevitably, forced to come to terms with our real selves and our ideal selves. I realized I was in a different place, and while it is not a linear journey and I am by no means close, I’m taking the long way round.
So here are a few things I learned this year.
- Post-grad life kind of feels like being pitched off a cliff, except with less screaming. There’s no room to be afraid but you are, all the time. Forgive yourself the failures.
- Just because someone has wronged you, doesn’t mean you need to villianize them. Anger is important and beautiful and for women, often a radical act. But eventually you will have to release that curl of fire that’s been sitting in your gut. You will not be lesser than, they will not be punished by the universe any less, if you let it go.
- Healing correctly is far more important than healing quickly. It’s strange to take responsibility for our most violent and intense emotions, but you have to do it for your future self. I had to work through a lot of shitty/traumatizing things this year. Including some things that reopened old wounds. But instead of eating a lot of non-dairy ice cream and performing angry poems and subtweeting, I went to therapy! I deepened the love I have for myself. I deepened the love I have for my friends. I baked like I was training for the Great British Bake Off. It was slow and I cried a lot and briefly took up boxing to have an excuse to hit something but honestly I’m so emotionally healthy now I should give a TedTalk or something.
- Men are trash is not a political praxis and while it can be cathartic to scream it into the night under a full blood moon it doesn’t address the accountability men are supposed to be taking for their own shitty actions. But don’t worry ladies, I am still available for drunk bathroom “men are trash, but you’re a goddess” pep talks.
- More cis people should examine their own gender and their relationship to it.
- I really gotta stop being reckless with dairy. I’m grown now.
And like everyone else as this rock begins a new orbit, I have some “resolutions.” I say this with skeptical air quotes because I don’t believe in resolutions. I don’t think we need some time marker to set goals and achieve them, and I also think that most people set resolutions that are unattainable or not centered on the right things. I prefer to set intentions. Essentially, guiding words or phrases for the year ahead. One of the phrases I held in 2017 and 2018 will follow me into 2019: “Be the fanfiction version of yourself.” But I have a few more to add:
- The person you are accountable to is you.
- Self-love is not a feeling. It’s a practice.
- If it takes less than 5 minutes, do it now.
- Be free not reckless.
I am positively thrilled about the year ahead. I hope you are too.