Never one to hold back on the dramatic, I probably say every year that the current has been the worst yet. However, this year has been a cracker from start to finish and it’s safe to say it’s been the hardest and most challenging in my twenty-two years of life. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually I have been pushed and placed in corners where I have had to question everything and everyone I know, including myself.
I won’t be using this to delve into the details of why this year has been horrific because quite frankly we will be here all day and I do actually, have quite a lot of academia to attend to. And to be honest, pain is subjective- I will be touching upon this later- and so to try to define what is valid is futile. No one can define what pain is.
Don’t get me wrong, I have also had some of the most incredible moments of my life this year, I have met so many people from all over the world and seen so many new places. So obviously it has been a rollercoaster and I believe without the spirit of other people and the richness of new places things would have been a whole lot worse.
A lot of people will be sharing their achievements and happy memories over the next few days and it got me thinking… people are always quick to let the world know of their successes and their highlights, but never let the raw side of their lives show. It’s always there, peoples pain, in their eyes or their embrace, but they never want to show that vulnerability.
However, it doesn’t have to be a weakness when things are painful, and that’s what I’ve decided to do with this year. I’ve decided I don’t want to be bitter, or allow my loss and pain to overtake the joy that I have experienced along the way. I want to look back and see why this year was important, and what I have learnt from it. I want to be the kind of person who pulls the good from the dark, and doesn’t let the hurt overtake my power and love.
So, here we go… This is what this apocalyptic year has taught me:
I’ve become a better writer- ok you might not all agree! But I mean in expression, I’ve learnt to use my emotions and channel them through the art of poetry. And its lifted me and allowed a rawness that many are incapable of uncovering. I also learnt this invokes paranoia in some cases.
I’ve learnt how strong I am. I’ve broken down and rebuilt myself so many times this year and its getting easier every time. Although it sounds unfortunate, experiencing constant hurt has made m somewhat bulletproof. I now know I can cope with things I know other people my age couldn’t dream of. And for that I’m sorry, because I’m so blessed to have learnt sooner rather than later.
I’ve learnt how selfless I am. Despite my own suffering I would snap out to be someone else’s shoulder. Even in the darkest moments of my life I could still find space for others inside my heart.
I learnt to be transparent. To be unapologetic. If you don’t say how you feel, how do you expect to get to where you want in life?
This was a killer. But I learnt that you can only trust yourself, and you are, ultimately, alone.
I learnt that my intuition is something I need to always trust in- even when it shows me things I don’t want to see. I’m not scared anymore.
I didn’t want to believe certain things about my family and friends as I always chose to see the good in them. But just because you love them, it doesn’t mean they won’t let you down. And it’s not that they’re bad people. They just make bad decisions and they don’t understand the hurt each of their actions will ultimately cause.
Some people aren’t good for me. It isn’t that they are bad people either. They just don’t make room for me to shine
That is an important one. The fact that bad decisions don’t always mean you’re a bad person. I learnt that people are innately selfish and sometimes I need to be.
I learnt don’t always try to please others… when they were doing so very little to please me.
Some people just don’t know how to see the light in themselves, and so they look to others. They’ll suck it out of you. So, I learnt to be more cautious. Because when they’ve got all they can out of you, they’ll leave you. In darkness.
Some people aren’t as confident in their own company as I am. I learnt I am lucky in my self-sufficiency and the fact I don’t need someone to be there for me to lean on. I can live alone, I can travel alone, I can represent myself confidently. And that’s a strength.
Some people don’t know themselves, despite being alive for 40, 50 years. I’ve witnessed so many people discovering and unearthing parts of themselves later in life. And sadly seen people who still haven’t found who they are. These people sometimes seem to be drawn to me in their own discoveries. Maybe it’s my youth, or maybe I show them something they want. Only they can switch their light on.
I learnt love is quite often a lie. I’ve witnessed and experienced so many so called happy people put love on the line. I have constantly been shown all the reasons to never become co-dependent. But despite it all, I really do love.
I love and I love despite being knocked down and cheated and made a fool of. Maybe that is why I love Carrie Bradshaw so much. And despite how many times I’ve witnessed the pain that love can cause, and the number of people whom are unfaithful, I still do try to give people chances. I hope people will change.
People won’t ever change… no matter how many times they swear it, or even if they really do try and believe it themselves. A Leopard never changes its spots. As hard as I tried to look at people in new light, they always show me their same old tricks.
I’ve been given a million reasons to give up on people but I never ever do. I learnt how forgiving I am and how I can’t ever hold a grudge. Some may see that as weak but I’ve learnt its quite a strength… and maybe this shows I can turn all the negatives into a positive.
I learnt to stop trying too hard with people. If people don’t like me, love me or value me I won’t chase them. Why should I? I finally stopped giving a shit what people think of me, and I guess with this year as a whole, I’ve become more thick skinned. You have to.
Pain IS subjective. This year people have continuously tried to tell me I’m overreacting, I’m not seeing things straight or I’m getting worked up over nothing. Until you walk in someone’s shoes, you really don’t know what they’re going through. So please, do not try to tell me how to feel.
I’ve learnt there are no such things as mistakes in life. Everything must happen for a reason. This year has been a complete learning platform, and my soul needed the destruction and the shit the universe threw at me. I can’t stay mad about this, because I needed it. I needed to learn that I am indestructible. I am who I am. And I won’t ever apologise for it again.
So, maybe one day, this won’t be the worst year of my life. But it will be the year I finally grew to understand not only life and other people, but most importantly- myself.