I didn’t do a Year in Review type post last year because I was a mess. 2017 was probably the worst year of my life, and I didn’t have much by way of expectations for 2018.
It wasn’t the best year, in fact, it kind of kicked my ass. I’m tired, but unlike last year I am emerging from a rough one feeling victorious, and ready to take on new challenges and changes, and starting the year with a massive, and I think much-needed vacation.
2018 definitely had its moments though. Here are a few highlights:
Going back to school when I was 22 was scary. I felt older, clunky, and out of place in the sea of 18 year olds that I was surrounded by. The coolest thing happened when I started though- I was good. I finally found something that I was good at, and didn’t doubt my abilities in. School has been difficult, particularly when I was working full time and managing in 2017, but it was always worth it. Now, I have (or I will, as of May or June or whatever) a BA in Communications and a Minor in Publishing. That feels SO GOOD TO WRITE. I did it. I wasn’t sure how long it would take, but I knew I would do it, and now I have, and that feels amazing.
25 is one of those milestones that as a kid, I always saw as the pinnacle of adulthood. I assumed I would have my whole life together by this point: a career, a fiance, a house, and a lot less anxiety. As I entered my twenties, however, this dream began to unravel. But that’s okay, because I think that reality is a lot more interesting. 25 gave me a few fantastic things, including becoming much more at peace with who I am as a person, getting to know the quirks of my anxieties and finding ways to work with them, and the ability to rent a car almost anywhere in the world.
Another thing that was incredibly special about turning 25 was the fact that I had a birthday party. I hadn’t had one since I was 19, which had been a horrible evening of vomiting and spotlight stealing friends (mutually exclusive), and I’d always kind of made peace with the perceived fact that I would just always have shitty birthdays. Instead, I was spoiled by my partner, and had an amazing, ridiculous night with a bunch of wonderful people. It all worked out and was more fun than I could have hoped. Special thanks to those who made that night so dope, you have no idea how much it meant to me.
I closed another massive chapter in my life this year, by deciding to leave Vancouver and return to my hometown of Calgary (surprise, if anyone didn’t know that… I’m back!). I’ve been in Vancouver for a little over 7 years, and have wanted to leave for the last two. Vancouver and I have had a love-hate relationship, but in the end, I knew that my health and sanity lie in Calgary with my family and my friendships that have lasted from 7-21 years, despite my not having lived here for so long. I needed a change, and more sunshine, and a sense of optimism when looking at apartment listings, and this place has all of those. While I didn’t forget how cold it is here, I completely forgot how annoying it is to need to brush off your car EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU USE IT.
I’ve been seeing a couple of counselors over the last year, and I cannot tell you how much better it has made me feel. The best thing to come of all of this chit chat is the fact that two professionals have told me I definitely have the tools to get my shit together, I just need to trust myself. That’s pretty cool.
Not specific to this year, but holy moly, I have some amazing people in my life. Some are newer than others, some have been around more than 20 years. Some I see weekly, and some I only talk to once a year. I love you all. I celebrate your moments of triumph, and I cry at your pain. I am always and will always be a call or a text away, and you will always be in my heart and my life. Thank you.
Doing a job in my field
It wasn’t full time, it wasn’t a ton of work, but oh my goodness was it satisfying to practice some of the skills I am hoping to put to work now that I’ve graduated. Thank you, Meghan, for the kickass opportunity, I’ve loved every second.
Coming back from heartbreak
I don’t like to talk about this too much, because I don’t want to say too much, and hurt anyone’s feelings, but at the end of last year, I basically had my heart shattered into smithereens. I didn’t think I would be able to trust anyone ever again. I was sad and anxious all the time. I didn’t know how to pull myself out of the painful black hole that my heart had turned into. But we made a decision, and we made it together. There was no shortage of hard work on either end, and we still fight incredibly hard every day.
Yes, I could have done it on my own. I could have washed my hands and moved on with my life. I know I’m strong and badass enough to do that. I didn’t though, because there is something about love, friendship, and connection like we have that lights a fire under your ass and makes you want to work harder than you ever have before. This was by far the hardest part of my year, but it’s also offered the greatest reward. Now, there are no barriers, no quiet insecurities in our way, and that makes me incredibly hopeful for what the next year brings.
And a lowlight:
I don’t want to dwell on the rough stuff, but I lost my Grandpa this year. He was the sweetest, smartest man with the loudest and loveliest singing voice. I miss him, and I love him a lot.
2019, you are the first year in a while that I didn’t look at with fear and apprehension. You’re definitely scary, and hold a host of adventures that I can’t possibly predict, but it’s more of an anticipatory tingle of nervous anticipation, rather than the shrinking of fear, that I feel right now, and I’m running at that feeling with open arms.