It’s been a very long time since I wrote a blog post. Mostly because when I look back on a lot of old blog posts, I don’t feel any real connection with them and it seems weird that they are out in the world when I don’t necessarily have the same feelings and emotions that are linked in them. But as much as I try to write books and poems and diaries and shopping lists and really just anything… I keep stopping. So at least this is a channel through which some form of writing can take place to ensure I don’t forget how to string the same 26 letters into different sentences that somehow connect.
Happy New Year!
2014 was a big year full of ups and downs… just as everyone says every single year. It was intensely fun and intensely sad and I made many, many mistakes. I learned a lot this year about the people I hold near to me, what I want to do with my life, and what I don’t want to do with it.
2014 really was the year for me that put a lot of things into perspective. I found that university wasn’t what I necessarily loved and that the course I had chosen mightn’t be the one for me, but that deferring wasn’t really a viable option for me yet. And so I’m going to keep on keeping on with higher education because I know it’s going to lead to something I really want to do. But I am not going to shape my life around what I’m learning nor the party atmosphere that surrounds it. Because it took a long time for me to realise that what I want (travel, broadening of my horizons, writing) isn’t necessarily found in parties or drunken antics (which isn’t to say that it can’t be fun, because I still go to parties and have a good time…).
Being out of high school for the first year, it was hard for me to get used to the idea of truly governing my own time. Only recently do I feel that I’m starting to strike a healthy balance between doing too much and doing too little.
I also learned a lot about friendship, as corny as that sounds. Growing up, I was lucky enough to be given one very important piece of advice: the mysterious world of boys and love and sex is significant, but friendship is invaluable. I carried that with me all through the sandpits and tantrums of primary school and the stress and fun of high school. I put friends first and I count myself extremely lucky to have had some of the great friendships I had in such an important part of my life. But no one ever told me what to do when people change, when friendships take a turn for the worst, and when connections turn toxic. When I left high school I was suddenly left with an abundance of time to spend as I chose and a world out of academic life to continue friendships in. Although I enjoyed my newfound freedom, I wasn’t involved in the same things that some of my old friends were and they didn’t necessarily share my excitement to really get going on my dreams of travel and writing and learning.
I just wish that someone had of told me that it’s okay for that to happen. Scratch that, it’s not just okay but normal! It’s common! It would have helped when a close friend of mine from school and I grew separately and differently — that would have helped! Instead, it broke my heart and made me really deeply unhappy. I questioned myself and put myself down for not growing the same way and at the same speed that she did. We had shared so much, had been inseparable (and probably insufferable); I loved her like a sister. She was the Amy Poehler to my Tina Fey when we were at our best, and it felt impossible to give that up. Losing that, it felt like I had done something horribly wrong. I must have to have lost such a fantastic friendship. I hadn’t been told that it was okay to evolve into different versions of myself that didn’t necessarily coincide with the evolutions of my friend. But now, I can look back on a beautiful friendship and smile and feel grateful that I had such a fun, laughter-filled high school experience by the side of my best friend, and then I can move on knowing that we are both happy and on the paths best for ourselves.
A lot of my friendships thrived through the transition between high school and the outside world and many new ones formed, allowing me to branch out and access different parts of myself through new and engaging people. Specials shout outs: Laura, who is sunshine incarnate, Tahlia (and all the girls!), whose friendship and acceptance means so much because the friendships where you don’t even have to try, where they are borne from history and solidified over time are the very best, and all my new friends gained over the year. I have amazing people in my life who make me want to be the very best me that I can be. Which is awesome.
I joined and quit a gym in 2014. I saw the good and the bad in the people I loved and truly loved them deeper for it. I went overseas for the first time in my life (to Bali). I saw my favorite band live. I got an amazing job where I am treated so well and have so much fun. I wrote more. I read more. I walked and ran and rode more. I became a part of a wider community. I learned how to forgive and accept and love a little better.
I also lost my Granddad, which broke my heart, because he was one of the most caring, truly good-hearted and content people I’ve ever met. It has led me to remember time and time again all our memories together and I am finding that I learn something knew and understand more what he was truly ‘about’ the more I remember and think. I miss him so very much but he feels like a guiding presence in my life now, just as he was when he was still with us. Although sometimes I wish I had told him more that he really was my hero, that he taught me more through his actions of love and kindness and acceptance than anyone’s words ever could… but he was never one for soppy stories. I think he knew. Through losing him, I became closer to my own dad, which I think would have made Granddad smile.
All in all, 2014 was tough but good and I think it has set me up for an amazing 2015; a year where I already have plans to travel to Europe, to get to know my family in England better, to further my university degree, to work and to enjoy life, all with a shedding of the insecurity and some of the anxiety that cloaked me in 2014.
I feel free. I really do. So thank you, 2014. You went alright, old friend.