2017 has been a wild year. I dare say, the wildest year of my 19 years so far, which to be fair, is not saying very much. If I’m lucky and remain healthy, I’ve lived a quarter of my life – which is to say, there are many more potentially and hopefully wild years to come.
Still. Wow. It’s strange. 2017 has passed remarkably slowly and so so much has happened. It amazes me that so much can be packed into a single year. I started 2017 depressed as hell. I was working three days a week and aside from that, more or less, I was grounded. It drove me crazy. I can’t tell you how claustrophobic it felt. One of my greatest fears is a lack of freedom and I felt that lack. Acutely. It made me panic and it felt like walls closing in. I compensated with holding on, working, and waiting for uni. I tend to hate holidays as well. Without the routine and distraction of schoolwork and without seeing my friends everyday, it is easy to fall into depression. Which I did. Hard.
Life gets better. It really does. But not right away. 2017 saw my first year at university and I don’t know what to say about that, even now. While other parts of my life got better, university was rough all year round. I felt like all the socialization I’d done in year 13 had gone out of the window. I was back at square one. I had no idea how to make friends and was too terrified and exhausted to speak to anyone anyway. I can tell you that I made 0 friends from university this year. Maybe 0.5 friends because there is one person who always says hi to me when we pass?
I can tell you that university didn’t exactly help the depression.
But. There’s something to be said for adventures alone. Even if it was isolating, it was also freeing and eye opening and incredible to go on adventures on my own for, really, the first time.in my life. It was fun taking public transport, as strange as that sounds. It was great discovering the freedom of being able to get around on your own and to go everywhere around the city. It was fun discovering what it means to be your own person … to buy what you want, eat and drink what you want, dress how you want, go where you want, hang with who you want. It was freeing to have the option to go or not go to lectures. It was freeing to have the world as my oyster, even if I was too lonely and sad to fully appreciate that. Still. It was nice to know that that was an option.
I moved out. It still amazes me that that really happened. I’ve been dreaming about moving out since as far back as I can remember and to think that it actually happened … when I was 18 like I wanted … I can’t stop marveling in it. I don’t remember to appreciate it nearly as much as I should … that I’ve really achieved this dream of mine. I rent an apartment room in the city. It’s mine and mine alone and it’s cozy and comfortable and cute. And it’s in the city! Tell me that isn’t lovely. I can look out my window and see the city lights up close and I can go anywhere at midnight and I’m on the 13th floor! If that was my only achievement this year, I could even say that I was happy with it.
Academically, uni was fine. I got the grades I expected both semesters, and even better than I’d dared hoped in second semester. I didn’t take advantage of extra help and I ended up simply studying for exams and assignments much of the time rather than truly immersing myself in learning. I found myself too depressed and tired to care about uni unless grades were involved. That makes me sad. But I made it through and next year will be better. Yes, I always tell myself that but that doesn’t mean it won’t really happen.
I suppose if my social life took a dive, at least my love life became existent. A hella lot of flirting, three relationships, and a rollercoaster ride later, I can say that I’ve come out better for the experience. It was beautiful. It was fun. It was eye opening. It was all of them. I can really say that. It was the friendship that I didn’t have platonically … but also love. I fell in love for the first time, and I would venture to say, it was a good thing … if I had to classify 2017 into columns of good and bad … but of course I don’t do things like that. I deal in grey. Always grey. I suppose it was grey. But a pretty grey.
I discovered some of the best music this year. It’s wonderful. Coupled with the amount of public transport I take, I do really need it. I’m in awe with just how good music can be.
I learned to cook. If you can call it that … 75 percent of my food is good or edible. The other 25 percent must be disguised with copious amounts of sweet soy sauce … but I get by. I learned to clean a shower … sort of. Spoiled child that I am, it’s been a process.
I feel like I’ve found my style this year … or at least a good portion of it. I’m dressing in clothes that I really love and wearing colors I want on my face. I’ve learned to do makeup and it’s brilliant. I am in love. I’m trying not to let fear and embarrassment discourage me from looking the way I want and I think I’ve done a pretty decent job of that. Two years ago, I was self conscious about my mascara looking too obvious. Now I WILL wear a bright red dress and I WILL wear green lipstick and I WILL not care that I look like Christmas.
I’ve tried a lot of new things – food, drinks, places, movies, experiences. I’ve taken risks. Social anxiety aside, I’ve made choices and gone for experiences in which my bravery impresses me. I didn’t like some of them, but mostly I loved and breathed everything life has to offer.
Creativity-wise … I suppose 2017 has been a flop. This blog has been one of the only things I’ve been able to keep up. Flute and piano practice have completely gone out the window and I have written …. let’s see. 2 songs? I have progressed backwards on every language I was learning. I wrote 15000 words of a novel. I read more than twenty books but they were mostly for my uni course. I’ve been taking the year slowly. That’s ok. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will probably not have a creative career and that I’ll probably be happier for it. I’m doing and creating what feels right when it feels right because … that feels right for me.
I’ve written a lot of introspective, non fictional content. I’ve had this platform … always there for me when I needed. I’ve written pieces on the things I love, on music that speaks to me, on boys. Ah, boys. Boys. There have been love letters. There have been existential crises. I’ve kept up my instagram accounts and found art there.
I’ve gone through more than one identity crisis. 2017 didn’t help at all. But I feel a lot more clarity now. I am every feeling I feel and every mask I put on. I am all of them. I am dynamic and colorful and a kaleidoscope. That was a discovery.
A lot of friendships have faded. I haven’t forgotten my myriad of posts on loneliness just one to two months ago. Loneliness is real. It may be one of the most real things in my life. But. (There’s always a but) I’m feeling positive about it now. I’m looking up.
I have a friend that I know I can rely on. I have a friend group that is flaky and fragmented but … we do have good times. Sometimes. I’m not sure who my real friends are. But maybe that doesn’t matter so much. Even though there’s a part of my brain that tells me that THATS ALL THAT MATTERS … I don’t know. Maybe I’ve just come to a point where I’ve realised there’s no point in getting upset over it. I’m a little resigned right now to being the third wheel … or fourth or fifth or seventh wheel. To being the one to ask to be invited places. It doesn’t matter. I’ll find happiness where I can. I’ll give love where I can. Maybe people don’t care especially for me. Well maybe I don’t care especially for most people either. We find people that make life bearable and that surround us with noise and fun and maybe … in rare moments of luck … friendship. What is a friend even? Maybe it doesn’t matter. The people I know are enough. Maybe one day I’ll find the place where I belong. Until then, maybe I’ll be a nomad.
I’m obnoxiously giddy with happiness right now. I’m not sure why. Maybe because the year has been good after all. That might be because I’m in a happy mood and am only therefore remembering the positive moments in HD (my psychology classes would say that’s why – see, I didn’t forget everything). But if that was the case, I’m glad it is. I’d rather remember the good because it was pretty darn good. I achieved and learned so much. I’m in a place I want to be now. I’m living where I want. My relationship with my family is better. I have the best friend a girl could ask for and I have lovely people in my life. I’m in a relationship and I have so much hope for it. I’m maybe dangerously happy with my boyfriend and dangerously committed in a dangerously short amount of time. I don’t care. Life is short and I’m one quarter of the way through. 3 quarters of a lifetime is hardly long enough to do everything and discover everywhere and share the infinite love of a bursting heart with another person. I’m going for what I want.
I’m so so excited for next year.
I know that the high will fade eventually and that maybe the low will come in. Sooner or later. But that’s ok too.
Right now, it’s 2017. And I’m alive.