Oh 2017. How do I even begin to describe the worst year of my life? A less than ideal year full of twists, turns, tears and turmoil. This was the first year in many years that I felt true instability in many areas of my life, and loathed the uncertainty that came with it. After a very joyous and adventurous 2016, a year that took me backpacking through Europe on my own dime, gave me confidence and immense independance, 2017 has been even harder to accept as it seems I not only struggled, but back tracked.
2017 wasn’t necessarily a year of successes or adventure or milestones, but a year of transition. A year that put me in somewhat of a standstill, in hopes that it would lead to a better future. The act of transition can be tough, at least for me, as the end point doesn’t always reveal itself right away. A transitional year, which this was, often reveals itself slowly as new ideas begin to form, leading to new opportunities for growth.
In May, my boyfriend and I left our apartment of five years, moved in with our parents to save money and found ourselves new jobs. It wasn’t easy leaving our apartment, the place where we made five years of memories and shared some of the best times of our life, simply by being with each other. The place that we were able to call “our own” and come home to at the end of long, boring days. The place I spent hundreds of dollars on at Homesense and Pier 1 to make it cute and colourful (my taste, not his). But we had to leave the city where we’d spent almost seven years living. We had to move on from those years.
It was the right decision, for both of us. And we knew that. The city where we met, went to school and met some of our closest friends in, was not offering us anything in terms of career advancement or personal growth, and we we just knew it was time to leave.
2017 also showed me other areas of my life in which it was “time to leave.” This statement doesn’t only apply to mine and my boyfriend’s decision to leave our apartment and city, but to personal relationships, emotionally detrimental situations and bad habits. Though all of these things are what shaped 2017 to be so unstable and tear inducing, I also learned a lot from each of them.
I learned that it’s okay to walk away from personal relationships if you feel they aren’t helping you to grow or flourish. A friend who uses backhanded compliments, uses “spontaneity” as an acceptable reason to cancel on long standing plans, or uses lies to manipulate you, may not be a friend that has your back in the long run.
I learned how hard it is to acknowledge emotionally detrimental situations that I allowed into my life in the first place, and how much harder it is to step away from them. But because of that, I learned where my inner strength lies, and how to draw it out when I need it the most.
I learned to understand when I’m truly hurting, and how to identify what it is that’s causing me hurt. I have a tendency to live in ignorant bliss, denial even, convincing myself that a situation is not as bad as actually is, simply so I don’t have to take the necessary steps into remedying it. But I’ve learned otherwise now.
Through all of this, my beautiful mom underwent an emergency appendectomy two months after her 60th birthday, while a very close family member was going through a critical and life changing medical procedure.
I got three new cystic pimple scars, two cases of pink eye and one really bad flu. 2017 was not my best year.
But, I grew.
I grew to learn that life is SO VERY DAMN UNPREDICTABLE. I grew closer with my mom, having been living with her for six months now. I grew in my passions, finally releasing my own blog and pushing myself to keep it current with new content and fresh ideas. I grew in my own self worth, coming to understand that although I am truly flawed, I also have true value. And I grew to be happy with what I have now. Because even though it’s not a lot, it’s all I’ve got. And what I’ve got, and who I’ve got with me in this very damn unpredictable life, bring me lots of love and happiness. And if nothing else, I think I’ll at least be able to find a lot more of that in this year to come.
With love and happiness, cheers to 2018.