Every time I think I am done with this post, I swiftly delete it and begin the process of rewriting. There is no way to sum up how the last year has gone apart from one word; unpredictable. Last year, I summarised 2017 as a year of learning and growth. I started therapy and I moved back home, two events which at the time, I was resisting with all that I could – but didn’t realise that I needed so crucially to save my life. There is no way of sugarcoating it, if I had kept on living my life the way I was living it, I don’t think I’d be here today.
So with that, knowledge, I entered 2018 with a positive vibe. I was really looking forward to what was coming my way and I was ready to take on every single challenge that I faced. You may remember last year, I told you all how excited I was for the year ahead, about how for the longest time I had felt like 2018 was going to be my year. It was the vibe I was feeling.
For the most part; I was wrong.
It’s not that my vibe was completely off, and it’s not that my year has been full of misery and sadness – it’s more than I had focused so much on this being ‘my year’ that I never stopped to think that it would include more than just positivity. Life is full of ups and downs, it’s famously referred to as a rollercoaster for that reason – so why I ever thought I could only go up for 365 days, I will never know.
My mum got sick over Summer. Very sick. It’s still something that stands in the shadow of our family from time to time, reminding us of how we were hit with the toughest few months that we’ve ever had to endure as a unit. There were weeks where none of us slept properly and I’ve spent more on hospital car parks than I have on food this year. As all of you who follow my life know, my mum is my best friend, my warm shoulder and voice of reason all rolled into one so for her to be facing such a challenge really caught me. I spent my summer not really sure whether I was coming or going, I think I fell into panic mode without realising it, if I am honest with you. She’s all better now, thankfully, but I definitely took the lesson that nothing in this life is consistent, and that sometimes we have to prepare for something to come hurling out of the distance.
I started my year with a fresh approach on love. 2018 was my year and I was going to swipe until I found my man. Four weeks ago, I stopped swiping and started focusing on myself. No longer am I looking for love, if it happens it happens. No longer will I settle for second best, and no more will I prioritise love over anything else. In my twenty-five years on this earth, I have never had an honest relationship with myself and the most important relationship you can have is a strong one with yourself. So for now, I am happy and I am learning so many incredible things about myself. Honestly, I’d date me.
I celebrated a full course of therapy this year. I’d almost wrote myself off with ever finishing, to be honest with you. I thought I’d forever be the miserable fat kid who just wallowed about his life online. Now, I am the happier fat kid who understands what he went through and has processed a lot of the events that led him to where he is now. I am at my happiest at the moment, and I hope that with the help of my therapist and the techniques I learn in my sessions, that I can only continue to grow.
Yes, 2018 has been incredibly challenging. I have faced things I never thought I’d face. I’ve dated people I never thought I’d date and I have even reached a new level of comfort within myself that I didn’t think possible.
When we are growing up, we think we have it all planned out. We draw our dream house with crayons and we tell everyone what we’ll be when we grow up. We dream of the holidays and the wonderful jobs we will have and we draw ourselves with our family and somehow, we are just so certain that this is what life will be. As we grow up we are thrown into the unknown, we have no set direction and so we just cruise through life wondering what is to come next. But perhaps we should stop cruising and start actively living? That’s my plan for 2019, anyway.
If there is one thing that this year has taught me, and I think us as a society, it’s that anything is possible and the only way to accept that is ride the rollercoaster. In the year of Brexit breaking down and plastic straws doing one, I think we have all come to accept that change is inevitable. Change is not something to be feared, it’s not something you can truly prepare for – but you can be ready to accept it.
When we ride a rollercoaster, we love the build up. As we reach the top of the hill we begin to regret our deciding to board, some of us double check the restraints whilst others grab on to the hand of the person next to them. A few of us do something wonderful, we throw our hands up in the air and we allow ourselves to be taken with the motion. But the same thing happens every time, as our ride is over and we pull slowly back into the station, we wish that we could go again.
With life, there is no redo. We cannot stay on the train for another go. So let’s enjoy our time and all the ups, downs and loop de loops that it has for us with our hands in the air.
As always, thank you for an incredible year. Thank you to all of you who find me funny on Twitter or cute on Instagram. Thank you for the positive comments and the feedback. Thank you for seeing me as the person you can reach out to.
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