I think we can all agree that 2017 was a weird freaking year. In some ways it felt like the world was falling apart, honestly. I can frankly say that this year wasn’t what i was expecting, in any way, shape, or form. I’ve grown a lot, but I’ve also fumbled more than I would care to admit. This isn’t the year I wanted so much, but it was the year I needed.
There was so much going on in my life, in terms of trying to manage everything, and it felt like I didn’t have a handle on everything that I wanted to. In some ways I really succeeded, but in others there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
I haven’t spoken much about my job, but at the start of the year I absolutely despised it. I work as an assistant manager at a college bookstore, and at the beginning of 2017 the manager I worked for had been making my life hell for six months, even going so far as to try and get me fired. But I found the wherewithal to get my shit together and report them to HR and they ended up losing their job. After, for about two months I was working full weeks, and going to school full time.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to try and manage. I was constantly eating out and eating poorly, I was too tired to do anything, and I had little to no time to do anything that I wanted to do. Thankfully, a new boss came in and my work environment complete changed. I was treated like a human being, I was actually taught to do my job properly, and even though there are still ups and downs I’m doing so much better.
For some context, from the end of my sophomore year to the beginning of my senior I was a complete screwup. I started partying, doing all kinds of stupid shit, and I failed half the classes I took. My GPA plummeted to a 2.4, and any dream I had of med school… vanished. So I moved home, got myself out of the environment that destroyed my mental health, and focused back on what was most important to me. I made a plan with my academic advisors, and tried to get my shit straight.
And I’m ending out the year with my overall GPA up to a 2.8, making Dean’s List both semesters. It’s a very surreal feeling now that I’m actually getting almost all As in classes again. I went from praying I passed to being in the top of classes and it feels… amazing. My dreams aren’t so far away and I’m making it happen. And now I know how to distribute my course load with working full time (something I’ve never had to do before).
My health has suffered a bit this year, in some ways. I wanted to transition fully to a plant-based (vegan) diet, but I was distracted by a lot of the other things going on. However, I did stick to a vegetarian diet. I didn’t lose weight that I wanted to, but I’m ending out the year losing weight. Everyone has their opinions on weight loss, but personally, I want to lose weight. I don’t feel healthy, I don’t feel comfortable at the weight I am. This is something I’m definitely going to try and focus on more in the new year, now that some things are a little more steady.
However, I did become more aware of bad habits of mine. Now I can make a plan on how to make better choices in the future.
This is probably one of the top three areas of my life where I’ve seen the most growth. I moved away from organized religion (specifically Catholicism) when I was a teenager, and have had a vague idea of what I felt was right for me. But this past year I really found a belief system that spoke to me, in paganism and Wicca. I haven’t been very specific about this, knowing that there are negative connotations, when discussing it. It was something that I’ve been aware of for almost a decade now, and it found me again. Spiritually, I’m feeling much more whole now. Everything I’ve been learning, my meditations, reading tarot cards, my workings, everything has just settled into place. I cannot wait to grow more spiritually over the next year, I’ve found so much joy.
For about the past four or five years or so, I’ve been stopping and starting with getting my blog off the ground. This past year, I wanted to get back into blogging. For real. It’s something I’ve wanted for so long and I didn’t want to let it get away from me again. And because of all the things going on in my life, I haven’t been able to focus on this as much as I would have wanted. But I have seen growth in my blog. My social is growing, and I’m creating content that I’m finally happy with. My blogging persona, I guess you could say, is starting to dial in. The vision of what I want for my blog is starting to become much, much clearer. So even though I haven’t had the astronomical success that some have, there’s growth. I can look back on content that I wrote a year ago and see the difference and it’s all I can ask for.
Overall, I’m finding myself again. After suffering from depression for about fifteen years of my life and getting caught up in habits I never thought I would have, I’m finding who I am. Slowly stripping away mental health issues, getting rid of the outside influences that I’ve been listening to, I’m getting back to who I am. Something I remember reading on social media, somewhere, is that when you develop mental illnesses early on, it steals part of who you are. It’s harder to know who you are, because you have never been you. Your identity has always been shaped largely by that illness. And know that I’m coming out the other side, I’m realizing that who I am is still very flexible. I have the chance to define myself now, independent of the noise. It’s scary, because it feels like starting over.
But fresh starts are a beautiful thing.
I’ll find my tribe. I’ll learn to be brave. Braver. Stronger. It’ll take work, to unlearn everything. But I’ve shown myself that I can do it. Whatever it is.
2018 is going to be a good year.