This Year in Retrospect (2017)

There are so many other posts I’ve been wanting to write for the past month or two. I have about 4-5 different drafts about half written out; one’s an opinion topic on how hostile discussing gender can be at times, one was a sort of farewell to an old friend to give them some sort of closure or to give me some… I wasn’t quite sure which. With that one I had/still have such a hard time with the tone and figuring out what it was that I wanted to say that I’ve just been sitting on it for the longest time. So long in fact that I’m questioning whether it’s even necessary at this point since with time I’ve come to terms with it and I’m sure (at least I hope) they have too. In case I never finish that or I just choose not to, I pretty much just wanted to say: I’m sorry. I was an awful friend and at times an awful person. If it means anything, your friendship meant a lot to me and I’m grateful I had it for the time that I did. I hope you’re okay and doing well. That’s about the main points, I suppose. Instead of working on any of these unwritten posts that I just never can manage to get myself to work on, I am working on this one instead. Not sure if I consider this a follow up to last year’s retrospect (this time with a lot less mental breakdowns) or if I’m doing this to start a tradition of yearly self reflection. Let’s go with the latter because I genuinely want to grow as a person and if this does become a yearly thing then I will be able to use these as an excuse to work on flaws of my personality, my habits, or just any general character flaw I see about myself which improving that aspect of myself would be reasonably achievable. I have this idea of who I want to be. I want to be a kind-hearted who doesn’t hurt people even if they choose to hurt me and I want to know how to properly deal with those feelings of being hurt. I want to be healthy, both emotionally and physically. I want to be that person that the people I care about see me as when they talk with me. But the truth is I’m not and that ate away at me every day because every day that passed this year I felt more and more like I never could be.

This year was the extremely long process of me trying to cope with this seemingly large distance between who I was and who I wanted to be and trying to understand how I could go about reaching that goal. Except this year I’ve also learned just how damaging having this goal has been to me and even my attempts at trying to reach it as well. Let me try and explain… Having that big of a goal of being a “good” person, someone who I was proud being, made me feel often really uncomfortable being who I was now. I want to be sociable and have an easy time making friends so I hated my social awkwardness, my anxiety around other people, and hated how much I enjoyed being alone. I hated a lot of things about me and I’m not saying this like they’re past feelings. This is all still true. I haven’t quite solved how to fix self-hatred/self-discomfort this year but I’ve more realized how important my idea of current me is to even coming close to being like the person I’ve always wanted to be. The truth is I’ll never be that person. I know that and that made this effort really seem futile, but whether I could actually be that idealized version of me was irrelevant. I had this goal not (just) because I wanted to be like that person, but because I wanted to be okay with being me. I just wasn’t and I thought if I became a little less like me than maybe I could be. Because I hated that I wasn’t what I wanted to be made me not want to put in the effort to do anything about it and it made me sabotage my attempts and opportunities at bettering myself and my situation. I don’t want to do this any longer. Not saying I’m not going to, but I’ve become a lot more aware of why I was still going through all of this. Hopefully that will make it a little easier to get out of the cycle I was in going forward.

I had to say goodbye to my best friend this year. Well, sort of. They moved away and I suppose we always had a very emotionally close, physically distant friendship as we often spent more time with each other online than in person, but I still very much enjoyed those times that we did spend together. I normally have a hard time being myself when I’m out with other people but with them I was to be comfortable being my anxious and awkward self around him because I knew they wouldn’t ever judge me. I figure other people don’t either as often as I think that they do, but still with them I knew for sure that I could always be me around them. I didn’t have to worry about always saying the right thing because they knew that even when if I didn’t have the greatest way with words, that I still cared for them and still wanted what was best for them. Like them moving. I saw an amazing opportunity for them to start new and to actually be going for what they dreamed about doing and though it was miles away and though I desperately didn’t want them to leave. I told them to go. I encouraged them to take the opportunity because even though the thought of losing that comfort that came with having my best friend close enough to randomly ask out to lunch on days we weren’t feeling too great… I knew that ultimately this was in their best interest and it would be selfish of me to even suggest that going away isn’t a good idea. I didn’t want them to go, but I knew they needed to. To them I’d like to say I know things may not seem all that different right now, they will be. You always have that opportunity to make that change whether you move miles away or not. Things will get better and if anyone deserves to finally be happy it’d definitely be you.

Depression took over me much more than I really wanted it to this year. I had hoped with how severely declined my mental health was in 2016 that 2017 was going to have to be much better. That it could only go up from there and I was in some ways right. My mental health certainly got a bit better and I didn’t have a mental breakdown that caused me to write a novel’s worth about the year. This isn’t even a post I feel like I need to write; just one that I want to. However, it certainly has also dropped a bit after it came up and I’m now still in the process of it coming back up, still not quite emotionally healthy yet I feel. My motivation and energy’s seen a huge drop recently and that’s affected my school work immensely. I also for a few months was dealing/kind of still am dealing with a severe depression that’s sort of been based around this idea that a majority of my friends only liked me when I could get them out of an emergency. I was everybody’s therapists but no one’s actual friend it genuinely felt like. I don’t want to go too much into that, I’ll just say there are some friends that definitely only saw me that way and others that I felt they did, but others that I just thought they did. Either way, for a few of those situations it’s kind of just nice being away from those feelings. It’s helped that I’ve met some new people and got reacquainted again with some old friends. I can’t even describe just how genuinely happy I am to talk with some of these old friends. I missed what it was like to have some look forward to spending time with me and for me to be anxiously awaiting the next time I get to spend with them. I think now though being close with the people I’m now close with might complicate things though. Kind of just went into this group wanting to have people to play games with from time to time, but I’ve unintentionally become a lot more involved and if things go wrong then I might not have that anymore. If they go right though, if people can sort their shit out preferably with as little collateral damage as possible then I will be content. We’ll see. I stated I wanted to… “start 2017 with a sense of purpose” last retrospective and I will say I didn’t quite start it with one but I’ve kind of ended it with one at least. Which is to be a better person, own up to my past mistakes and make amends when I can, and just learn to move on when I can’t. On top of that I’ve just really wanted to be okay with being me and I’m a lot more closer to being there now than I was when I started this year. So what do I want for 2018 to bring me? I guess if anything I just want to be given a direction and I want to follow it. Whether it be in life or a relationship.. I want to head towards a future because even though before I always had goals they seemed like end-goals for things I just wanted to do before I die but now I want to have plans for this year and the next. I want to take the fact that I’m going to be here a few more years a lot more seriously and make them some I enjoy or that I at least look on with a sense that I’ve learned something.

I want 2018 to be the start of my new life, but I guess more importantly… I want 2018 to treat the people I care about (even the ones that aren’t quite in my life anymore) well because if anybody should be happy it’s these people. Let me be sad for another year if that’s what it takes. I’ll get there, but I want these people to be there much more than I really need to be.