How do I write about this year. I don’t know where to really begin, and I kind of thought that I could just start typing on a real computer and maybe things would come kind of naturally, but they’re not. I’ve scheduled a couple more fun and typical beauty posts and one on my top 2016 tracks, but I feel like I’m skating around really talking about the utter mixed bag that was 2016.
The summer was one of the best of my life. In fifteen years I hadn’t felt so much more myself. America brings out the best in me, and that’s always been true, it seems. My family is wonderful but at times dark and a little insane, very secretive. But at face value, and I do take most Americans at face value, they are the warmest, most loving and most supportive people on the planet. It’s neoliberalism lived out: individuals, capable of unique achievements. Tailoring experiences, building people up, telling them they can be the best possible versions of themselves. This feeling, the one this summer brought back out, has stuck. And I am so fucking thankful. I’ve never felt more myself – and more just unapologetically myself. I am silly and messy, sometimes book smart and sometimes downright dim, I love to laugh and laugh often, I am an open book and honest, I dress how I feel be it skinny jeans and jumpers or dresses and dark eyebrows. I like to eat! I don’t like to feel hungry. I like to go to the gym because it is fun. Stretching makes me happy. I am proud of myself for being at university and doing well. I don’t need to win a prize to feel proud; I don’t need a boy to make me feel proud. I am looking forward to having graduation with my parents and crying with happiness that I did it, that I did this.
I am very slowly but surely becoming the love of my life, and it’s so long overdue that it cannot come fast enough.
I think maybe I found some self worth along the year. I got tired of being taken for granted and got tired of feeling like little more than a crutch, and I think that was me recognizing that I was, and am, more, and that I somehow deserved more than the hand that was being dealt to me. What played out wasn’t nice or fair, everything could have been handled very differently. I think what people don’t always think about is the cause or reason, the driving force behind decision making. They think about the action itself and the result. The results can always be bad, but having good intentions doesn’t make what occurs forgivable, and certainly shouldn’t leave the person blameless. Compared to my last breakup, what was different was the role of responsibility and accountability. He stood in the kitchen and said “I’ll never forgive myself for letting this happen”. That makes all the difference in the world. But it did happen, and all the things that lead up to it did happen. There were stop signs and warning signs, both on the sly and in blunt sentence and neon lights. We weren’t hurtling at full-speed on a crash course, we were making the speed limit but refusing to break, talk about directions, maybe turn on the headlights.
But that’s happened. I keep being told how much happier I am. I think my housemates help dramatically. Probably three of the coolest people I’ve ever met, and I am so grateful to live with people who have left high school far behind. If we have a problem, we speak about it. No shoes upstairs, no coke on the breakfast bar, do your dishes, stop hogging the dryer. Nothing passive aggressive, no one’s uncomfortable in spaces that are meant to be shared. By far though, the person who’s made this absolute year is my best friend. Becoming friends again happened quickly and naturally and I could not be happier or more glad about it. Never let go of people who like who you are and people who bring out the utter best in you, who you can be your absolute self with. Don’t let yourself distance yourself from them, don’t let go, don’t stop sharing or being upfront. Put up a fight for the people and relationships that matter. She’s been an absolute gift. So has my other best friend, who works for my uni and with me and loves me, and is not afraid to tell me so.
At the end of the year it was suggested I was on a bit of a downward spiral. I can see where that came from. I’m looking forward to university starting again. I’ve been picking up pieces a little bit, definitely. Finding my feet again, reminding myself what it’s like to be flirtatious and fun, how to be silly and unembarrassed. Reminding myself that I can have goals that don’t involve rings and weddings and babies. I don’t think I’m bitter about other people’s relationships, I don’t think I’m really missing out. I’m doing a terrible job of keeping warm at night, at making meals that are portioned for one, and at opening jars, but I think I’d rather be where I am right now, than anywhere else. Not yet, at least.
I hope that 2017 brings on more fun. Lots more laughing. More dates that involve skyscapes, sunrises and sunsets, prosecco, bruises and matted hair. I hope 2017 takes itself far less seriously. That I graduate with my first, that I make it into graduate school, if not into a job or onto a scheme. More travelling! More galleries, long walks with good music, more ethical and sustainable living, too. 2016 was loss, 2017 will be love.