2016 was a hard year for me. The transition out of college into full-time employment was a challenge. I realized that I greatly appreciated the routine that being a student provided me with. Now I am entering 2017 with more uncertainty, less routine, and more frustration than I felt in the beginning of 2016.
New Year’s Eve did not feel special. New Year’s day has not felt special. I think that maybe days don’t feel special because I am older now. I have had a taste of the real world were holidays are not for everyone and religious days are not holy. I have seen birthdays become reminders of lives lost and anniversaries become years couples could have spent with the other they might have loved, but did not pursue. It’s tragic; yet there is something painfully beautiful about observing another’s day-to-day. I do a lot of observing and a lot of reflecting today.
As I’ve stated, 2016 was a hard year for me. It involved a quest for personal knowledge and moments of confusing introspection. I faced mental roadblocks, hurdles, tables, and dead ends as I followed a path that could have led nowhere. I am unsure about whether or not I arrived at my destination. Early in 2016 I chose to stop, in order to ask for a direction in which to head towards while on my journey to self-understanding. That stop indirectly pointed me towards my present location. I don’t yet know if I am or am not in the right place. I don’t even know if I want to be where I am right now. I am exhausted, disoriented, afraid, frustrated, and dehydrated; but, I am not defeated.
I remember eating at a college dining hall a few years ago. Some friends and I were playing Never-Have-I-Ever with goldfish crackers. One of my friends stated, “never-have-I-ever felt alone here,” or something along those lines. We all ate a cracker. 2016 involved a lot of feeling alone. My loneliness stemmed from my insistence on focusing on my differences, when comparing myself to others, rather than focusing on how I am like everyone else. I became obsessed with changing myself. 2016 is a year I could have spent learning to love myself. Although I have a fully-developed frontal lobe, I am still thinking like my pre-full-development-of-frontal-lobe self. I still want to fit in more than I want to be me. I know that there are many people who warmly accept me as I am; I don’t need to be around people who cannot tolerate me or who are constantly frustrated at/with me. I felt alone in 2016 because I made the choice to keep the people who matter on the outside of my journey. I chose to not provide insight into my process. I chose to not accept the responses provided by people who insisted that I am as I am because I am. I was delusional in 2016. I imagined that I could love myself only if I understood myself. I forget that love should have no conditions. I am entering 2017 with a different perspective in mind. My thoughts are less rigid and fixed; but, in the present moment, the idea of acceptance feels like failure. In regards to this, we’ll see where 2017 takes me.
New year, new me? Nah, new year, still me. I am who I am. It’s the same me in a different year. I am still growing, learning, and evolving. I am still moving in the waiting place. 2017 is just a continuation of my journey. While 2016 felt like a challenge, I still managed to make my way into the new year. Let’s see where this continuing journey takes me.