As 2017 comes to a close, I can’t help but look back on what this year has been like for me.
To put it simply, it’s been an adventure.
I began 2017 with all my energy focused on getting to the next chapter of my life. I set up a plan that I put my heart, my soul, my everything into achieving. By doing this, I had sacrificed so much. I put a lot of what I love on the back burner because I stuck myself too deep into the future to focus on what was happening right in front of me. I hadn’t realized that I put a great deal of my life on pause because of the blinders I put on while working towards the future. I thought I had everything laid out exactly as I wanted it, and all the moves I was making towards these plans for my life would work out as I’d hope for them to.
In the great words of Dr. Ian Malcolm, “Life, uh, finds a way.”
As much as I wanted things to work out my way, if life has other plans, than those plans will find a way to coalesce when they are supposed to. My life has always been lived by plans and self-made expectations. It’s to the point that I forget to focus on what’s most important: Me. My mental health, my emotions, my mindfulness.
I was in a place that things got so bad, I refused to acknowledge and actively blinded myself to what was in front of me. Every day I woke up, and my soul felt heavy. Doing what I love felt like a chore. The me that used to wake up and want to shine every day became okay with being an empty vessel, submitting to a rhythmic and mundane life, all for a plan.
On the outside, I was rapidly making strides towards the next stage of my life. I worked two jobs and saved a good amount of money every month, and in my eyes and to everyone else around me, it all seemed as if I was doing really well with getting where I wanted to go.
The more I lived my life like this, the more I let the light within me dissipate. By the time I left my other job, the light within me evaporated to almost nothing. I only realized how settled into a routine of misery I had gotten once I left.
You don’t just build up a dilapidated house overnight. Especially if the foundation that it stood on had some cracks in the first place. Once I realized how truly far gone I was, it took me a while to figure out how I could rebuild myself. I was terrified. Taking on the task of rebuilding something so broken is obviously not easy. I faded away, and I drifted from the light of who I was, but one thing I realized was that I wasn’t destroyed.
I’m here. The plans I’ve set for my life will still come to pass, but I’ve changed something that I’ve needed to. I’ve changed the way I take care of myself by beginning to actually do it.
For years, I’ve put taking care of my mental health to the side and just jotting it down as a phase that I could get through. Two years ago, I realized that you can’t call a constant a phase. I realized that I needed to speak to someone for the first time, and through my growth, I’ve learned different ways to ensure I live my life as the best version of me possible.
This year has given me experiences that have put me on both the highest and lowest points of the spectrum of my emotions. I began so low and empty the first half of the year, but the past six months have been an elevation of my emotions, my sense of being an adult, and my drive towards my happiness. 2017 may have given me a rough start, but with a full heart I can say that I’m closing out this year completely satisfied.
I’ve learned so much about myself that has pushed me further into understanding adulthood. I want my life to be one filled with love, adventure, and continuous learning.
At the beginning of the year, I said that 2017 would be the year of me. The year I finally learn about myself and how to be the best version of that person possible, and how to lead out a life that makes me feel whole. I feel the light within me nearly bursting at the seams. I’ve learned so much about how to give myself the good life I deserve, and now it’s time to finally do it.
A friend of mine told me earlier this year that I overthink. They were right. I take in so much about how to be a good person and lead a good life, but I think too hard about what I need to do to get there, but it’s simple – just go out everyday and work on what you want to live your best life.
Stop thinking about the minuscule specifics of how to get somewhere.
Stop thinking so hard and overanalyzing and just do.
Do what makes you happy and allows you to live your best life.
2017 was my year of learning.
2018 will be the year I take what I’ve learned and put it into action.
Time to be brave.