Another year is coming to a close, and that means everyone is posing their #2019bestnine on Instagram and writing long af captions about what they accomplished and learned over the past 365 days. Well I’m going to one-up all of those people and share an entire blog post that absolutely no one asked for. If you care to know about the ups and downs and lessons of my 2019, you’re in the right place (and u should care, i promise it’ll be good).
This year has gone by incredibly fast, but at the same time it has felt very long. From the early months which feel like forever ago, to today, this year has been a big pot of everything mixed together. Adventure and comfort, growth and stagnancy, happiness and heartbreak, growing together and growing apart, clarity and confusion. The good has by far outweighed the bad, but somehow it can be so easy to think back on a year and focus on the hard times, especially if they were most recent. Lately I kept finding myself wishing and waiting for this year to end, as though any negative energy would magically disappear with it as the clock struck midnight. But then I started to catch myself. Yes, the last few months of my year were honestly not great, just like many of you, I’m sure. But to allow that to overpower the rest of my year, is discrediting all of the light and love and fun that it held. For some reason it feels normal to focus on the parts of your year that weren’t so great. Maybe this is partly due to social media culture, ridden with memes that allows us to poke fun at and dwell on the parts of our life that suck, because at least being able to laugh at our hardships makes them a little bit lighter. So after realizing that I was being a debby-downer, feeling sorry for myself and allowing the bad memories to be at the forefront of my mind, I decided to stop that nonsense and focus on the good that came to me this year. Cause there was a lot of it. There was good that I asked and worked for, there was good that came to me by surprise, and there was even good that came to me disguised as bad.
If I’m being honest, when 2019 started, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had just settled back in Saskatoon after spending the past year on the greatest adventure living in Toronto. 2018 was my favourite year yet, because it was full of new experiences, new people, and new places. I grew immensely on a personal level and thought I knew myself as well as I possibly could. I had a great relationship with myself, and with life. I was independent. I was happy. Moving back home, I worried that submerging myself in a life that I had already lived would take me backwards, against the progress I had made the year before. And to some extent, this did happen. It affected me in a negative way for awhile. I found myself constantly searching for a feeling that would fulfill me in the same way. So I made changes where I could – I got a new job, I went on dates, I found new hobbies, and when those things weren’t enough, I hopped on a plane every couple months.
I thought I had done all of the growing I could do in my early twenties. I was so sure of who I was, and while I maybe wasn’t sure of what I wanted, I was sure that it would come to me at the right time. But as it turns out, there are always more parts of ourselves that we have yet to learn about. When we’re put in situations that are new to us, we learn things that we maybe didn’t even think we needed to learn. Sometimes these situations are ones that bring us joy, and they teach us what a new kind of happiness can feel like. Sometime’s they are ones that make us make difficult decisions, and they teach us what matters the most to us. Sometimes they are ones that break our heart, and they teach us that sometimes nothing but time can fix it, but also that a good cry on the bathroom floor and some Taylor Swift can help a little.
This year I learned that you should do more of what you want and say more of what you feel. I learned that I need to get better at speaking my mind. I learned that people actually aren’t mind readers, and that it can be incredibly frustrating when you keep things in that you should have let out. I learned that you should believe what people mean based on how they act more than what they say. Words can be pretty and they can be used to manipulate or to give false hope, and they can be used even when they are not enough. You can believe what people say to you, but more than that, you should believe what they do.
I also learned a lot about my flaws. I learned that I am stubborn, and that I am too independent and that I push people away because I think I don’t need them (I’m just gunna blame all those on the Taurus in me). I learned that I can be too trusting and too forgiving and that I sometimes want to make people I care about happy so badly that I end up making myself unhappy. But I learned that I am strong and that I am kind and compassionate. I learned that I would rather care too much than not enough, even if it sometimes causes more pain.
Most of what I learned this year came in the second half. The first half of the year was fun and full of travel and friends and living my best life, but truthfully, it didn’t bring me a lot of growth, maybe because I didn’t push myself far out of my comfort zone. As for what I’ve learned since then, that deserves it’s own post. Or maybe a few. (Stay tuned. And in the meantime read Break those walls down, baby). All I can hope is that it is all leading me somewhere that is happy.
When I think of 2019 I think of love. Love for the life I am blessed to have, even when it feels messy and uncertain. Love for the world. Love for the people and creatures in it. I think of the love that grew within friendships. I think about my complicated relationship with romantic love. I think about the love I’m finally learning to fully give to myself.
So here’s to 2020. May it bring us peace, love, and happiness like we’ve never known. May our dreams come true, may our political leaders take climate change seriously, may we not cry over boys who don’t deserve our tears, and may our coffee be strong.
With love and lattes,