The obligatory, cathartic, cliched, look back into the year gone by as quick as a blink.
2017. What a year.
I’m sitting in my apartment, procrastinating from writing a uni assignment, scrolling through the photos of me on my phone from the year (I’m vain like that). How did I get here?
In the small sense, I’m looking for a nice photo of me to post to Instagram with a cute summary of how I’ve grown in the last year. The reason I want to do that is because I stupidly went stalking my partner’s ex’s profile, and saw all the little like’s he’s given some of her photos over the past weeks/months/years. It sucks you in. You’re just there to see their latest activity, and then it’s 2015 with their puppy and I’m dying. And now I need a great photo with a better caption that will be better than hers. (excuse me, your crazy is showing. I know, just back off OK?).
How did I get here in the larger sense? Well let’s take a trip down memory lane. Strap yourselves in guys, it’s a bumpy ride.
January. I had finally told my lover to leave if he wasn’t going to stay. I had started living again after all the tears had been cried and all the feelings had been felt. I went to the greatest music festival of my young life and had the best time with my best friends. I can’t really believe that was only a year ago. It feels like a lifetime but at the same time only yesterday. I smiled. I was happy again.
February. I quit my job. I’ve been in Brisbane for just less than one year, and I’d quit my job. Before that, I had been in my last job for more than 6 years. Quitting isn’t my nature. I stick shit out for the loooooooong term. But in less than 12 months, I’d moved on again.
March. I went to Bali! I did some crazy shit that I wouldn’t recommend and I also did some awesome stuff I would definitely recommend! (I haven’t been on a proper holiday for a while – 2018 savings goal)
April. My lover was gone. He packed his suitcase, he booked a one way ticket, and he left. For real. Perhaps for good. To run away from his life, responsibilities, the pain, from himself, from me. I also lost my job.
I had lost quite a lot in these weeks. A friend, A lover, myself.
I’d never been fired before. I was fired because I didn’t sit quietly, I didn’t just get on with it. Because I asked questions, because I pushed for better. I didn’t let trivial shit mean anything to me. Maybe it should have. I would like to say I’ve learnt better, but all I really learnt there was to play smarter.
May. Sat on the couch for 6 weeks. My best friend and roommate left for Canada. We had the biggest fight before she left about who-can-even-remember-now-anyway. And we resolved it, and we had a great going away party. And then she left. And I moved in with Steph.
June. New job, new beginning, new happiness perhaps?
July. My love came back. We decided to make it work.
August. Me and Steph moved apartments. We fought. We made up.
September, October. I learn that I don’t love my new job, let a lone like it, or anyone that even works there. My only comfort was a college from Mackay who started 2 weeks before me. They fired her for being outspoken, for wanting the right things, for being fair. Much like my last job, they just told her one morning that she was out, and pushed her out. And with her went my happiness. I mentally gave up. I was going through the motions. I still am. Just holding out till the holidays are over and I can start somewhere new again. What held me back? I just didn’t want to be that person with 3 jobs in 1 year, when all I’d known previously was 1 job in 6 years.
November. My life was blissful; family, friends, boyfriend. Everything aligned and I am the happiest I have ever been. And of course, the beauty that is Lorde and her live show at the Riverstage.
December. The test of wills. Holiday season. Family time. I think mine went quite well, but I learned afterwards that not one single person (apart from my 90 year old neighbour who met him just that one time) asked something about J. That made me furious. It still makes me mad. They were pleasant and nice. But was it really only on the surface? Do any of my family really give a damn about this boy if they can’t be bothered to ask him one single thing about his life? Fuming.
January. His family time. Harmless. Mostly Harmless. Except for his mother. I learned that his ex used to hide from her. And holy shit can I see why. That woman was RUDE to me. Me, an individual who has been invited into this family by HER SON which she loves so much, but has no respect for me at all. Please. I see why the ex would hide. I tell you now, if that ever happens again I won’t be hiding. I’m more than capable of standing up for myself. I can stand up to my mother, who means more than the world to me. I can stand up to his mother, who clearly thinks nothing of me.
His sister is also visiting. This has me torn. I really like her. On some level I wish she would go back to Canada so I can have my boyfriend back. She’s not here very often so they have spent a lot of time together catching up and going through their lives, reconnecting. But I’ve been disconnected. Or maybe she should stay, so I can have my boyfriend back. Then the urgency to be with each other whilst they can wouldn’t be as urgent. I just want my him to be my boyfriend again.
It was also the year that I learned to be strong. All the things that happened, I got through. For better or worse, love or loss. I am here. I have hard conversations with my boyfriend, my roommate/best friend, my mother. They are important to me, but I will not be walked over, and I’m learning how to be strong.
It’s okay to be a little crazy. Why should I hide what makes my heart twinge just because someone might say I’m being crazy/insecure/overreacting/selfish/silly? I am able to say “You need to block her from your life for a while.” “You can’t treat me like this.” “What are you really upset about?” “Dear Manager, I quit.”
You see, they/you don’t have to live in my skin. I do. I am responsible for my happiness so I won’t lie down and take shit anymore. I have to do everything I can.
2018 is the year that I am strong, not just for everyone around me, but for myself, too.