This year vow to do what makes you happy. This year let all the outside voices pass you by and focus on what you really want out of life.
Apparently, this is the New Year’s resolution I should make according to my zodiac sign (which is Gemini). When I opened the blog post about this topic, I was expecting a resolution I couldn’t personally relate to, but instead, it was the opposite.
There have been so many happenings this past year that it feels almost impossible that they all took place in the space of 12 months. There were many moments of joy and achievement, but just as many of sorrow and pain.
In February and March, I placed in my first dance competitions with my dance squad and also during this time, I had made a huge improvement in dance, and sought out more opportunities. I was able to attend not one, but two workshops by dancers I admire and look up to, in April and in September. In May, I secured a graduate job that I really wanted and was passionate about, but a year in advance. In June, I turned 21 and started to really explore the world around me. In October and November, I made new friends, and grew closer to people I never thought I would get along with. In December, I realised who I should really be trusting and caring about. These are just a few of the moments that made me grow as a person, in one way or another, and I treasure each and every one of them.
But whenever something positive happened, it was always followed by something that completely broke me. In March, my nearly 2 year-long relationship started falling apart, and was put on hold in April. It tore me apart, and I found myself struggling to focus on upcoming deadlines and exams, and just crying instead. In May, I had to go through a painful and upsetting passing of an aunt, which ruptured through the whole family. I remember the moment I got the call: I was walking to campus, when my mum called but my cousin’s wife answer. I hit me instantly, and was told how my cousin didn’t make it on time to see his mother before she passed. In June, I found out I hadn’t reached the average mark needed to progress into my final year of study, and the following few weeks were stressful, as I desperately tried to figure out what I needed to do.
In July, whilst I was coming to terms with studying for my retakes, I was diagnosed with severe depression and my relationship ended, both of which really took their toll on me emotionally and physically. In October and November, I wore my heart on my sleeve and found it being bruised and ripped apart. My depression worsened as a result of this, and I experienced moments of self-abuse and suicidal intentions for an extensive period of time. In December, my family went through an incident which I had written about previously, and we’re still recovering from the emotional and financial damage it caused.
I’ve never been someone who saw my personal problems as being worse than someone else’s. In my opinion, the severity of a problem is subjective, and so can’t really be compared. However, I have been thrown around and battered and bruised so much this year that it started to overshadow all the moments of happiness I was blessed with and I could not live with it anymore. I don’t regret choices I might have made which led to some of the negative happenings, because all of them were valuable lessons that I had learnt, and can still learn from.
There’s a quote from Doctor Who that came to mind when thinking about this balance of positive and negative occurrences. He says,
“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”
Through this, I learnt to be open about my mental health, and now try to advocate and help others with my experiences. This gave me a huge motivation to not take my life at a moment where that was all I could think of, day in, day out. I learnt, the hard way, that trust and time don’t really correlate; you just never know where a betrayal could come from. But I also learnt to be more confident with myself, my appearance and my skills, and to not let one bad apple ruin the rest. I made more of an effort to improve in areas that mattered to me, and to learn to be selfless whilst still protecting myself. I opened myself up to the world, but proudly wear a shield around me. The confidence helped me step out of my comfort zone, and as a result I made friends with those I thought would never like me, and reconnected with so many old friends as well. Which brings me onto another resolution I found recommended for Gemini’s:
Spend more time with your true friends and less time trying to get in with the ‘cool’ people.
The whole year, I spent so much time worrying about other people’s opinions, and trying to please or impress others with my actions. With a few people, it became a ‘if you’re happy, then I’m happy. So I’ll do what makes you happy’ situation. Looking back all I can think is why? They didn’t deserve to receive that from me, or from anyone, because I think it’s one of those things like saying ‘I love you’. Only a few people hear it, or should hear it, and it’s those you know you really want to say it to. This takes time to figure out, and the time I’ve spent with people isn’t enough for me to decide that. Regardless, the person you say the above sentences to should feel the same way about you. If you’re having to give up your happiness for theirs, and they are okay with that, then they’re not the right person. I realised that a little too late. It feels stupid looking back, but now I know better.
This is one of the reasons why I can relate so much to the resolution above. Even yesterday, I had a conversation with my mum about doing things in life that make me happy, and opportunities that I should consider taking. I had been living my life for others this whole time, and planned on living it that way in the future too but mainly for my parents. Now I know that as much as I want to help them, it doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice my happiness to do so. I can do what makes me happy and still be there for them and hold their hand as they have held mine throughout my childhood.
With supportive parents to watch over every step and every decision, and a select few friends and extended family members, I hope 2017 will be a year of growth into the young woman I want to be. It’s time to start putting myself first without compromising the care and help I give others. It will be a clean slate, a fresh start, a new me with a new attitude. As Churchill rightly said:
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
They say if yesterday upset you, why introduce it to today? So that it can ruin today as well? Instead of introducing all of the incidents from 2016 to 2017, I’m going to learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow, as my story is just beginning.