I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like 2016 was a difficult one. I’m definitely a new year truther, I go into January believing the arbitrary changing of numbers signals a line drawn and a fresh start. And so, this year started the same way every year of my adult life has started – drunk, soppy and full of optimism.
Fast forward 11 and a half months and the world is a very different place – the dark cloud of Brexit and Trump future looms over us and suddenly everything feels colder and more hostile. Before you think I’m going all politico and head for the cross in the corner, that’s not what I’m blogging about but I feel like it mirrors a very real loss of hope and resilience I’m feeling in my own life.
Saying goodbye by its very nature is not easy, if it’s worth a goodbye it’s probably something you cared about at some point. I feel like I’ve said a lot of goodbyes this year both out loud and in private. I made a resolution last year that I wouldn’t keep chasing the people who didn’t return the effort – and that’s created a lot of casualties that whilst unsurprising leave you almost mourning something you weren’t ready to lose.
This dynamic is one of the hardest things to get your head around – whether it’s from your friends, your family or romantically. Unrequited feelings, conspicuous by their absence at least provide clarity but when it's a case of unreturned effort rather than feelings it's harder to process. You think when it comes to it there will be someone who can’t get by without you, but they always do.
I love this quote, from 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' - and it's true, the way you let people treat you says as much about how you feel about yourself as it does about the other person. If you, like me, are always the person who loves more, who needs people more. It’s tiring, every person who’s left my life has taken a part of me with them so I find myself here at the end of the year emotionally drained with nothing left to give and no idea who I am anymore or what I 'deserve'.
So here I am not to make some bold statements about how next year is going to be our year but to organise my thoughts and hopefully draw my line after this one. 2016 was the cleanse, stripping away everything which will not help me to grow and thrive. Our girl Kylie wasn’t wrong when she said it was the year of “realising things” – realising the people, the things, the places that used to make me happy, don’t anymore. But realising who I'm not, doesn’t necessarily give me clarity in who I am.
I don't think I'll ever stop being a New Year optimist. So if you've had a shit year too, please try and believe it’s in our hands to make 2017 the year we become the next version of ourselves. It’s more important than ever as the world becomes a scarier, smaller place to push yourself to do better, to be better. You can sit and wait for the world to hand you opportunities and replacements for the things you lose, or you can fight and be better and worthy of the things you want. Make your own luck by doing more of what makes you happy.
For me maybe that means I’ll blog again. But really it is going to mean finding and rediscovering passions to give me joy and identity then giving them the time and the attention to grow. It means finding the happiness to want to let people in again, but not to need to. And here's to hoping that by this time next year we'll be sorry to see 2017 go.