It’s another year, and although generally I don’t write blog posts about shit like this I think in the case of the 2012-2013 year, I have to make an exception.
So much has happened in the past year. I rang in 2012 in New Jersey, spent the vast majority of it in Boston, and exited the year in Auckland. I’ve held a bunch of jobs — my article at the Suburban News (yes, still), an internship at a literary agency, two telecommuted social media jobs, and a sales assistant position at Lush — and have done a lot of things that I’m proud of, and a lot of things that I’m less than proud of. Because this year was an enormous (if not cliché) rollercoaster of a year, I want to similarly structure this post: ups, downs, ups, downs. And a little bit of waffling in between.
I’ve discovered a lot about myself, especially in the last few months. It was probably brought on by the big move to New Zealand, but it had nothing to do with New Zealand itself. I’ve discovered that if I’m not surrounded by people who make me happy, I’m not happy. And I’ve also discovered that I’m totally unable to stick up for myself, and that it doesn’t matter how unhappy some people make me — I’ll still try to make them happy until I self-destruct into a flaming ball of despair. I’ve gone back on decisions I thought I already had in the bag, such as moving to New York, and working within the publishing industry. I don’t know exactly what I want to do anymore. I haven’t been writing and I’ve felt very unproductive and insecure recently, and I’m not sure why that is. Probably because I’m so fixated on the problems in my life that need fixing. I’ve realised how much of an overthinker I am, and how painful it is to see possibility after possibility crumble apart before my very eyes. But I’ve also realised that even if some people in my life have been totally undependable and make me unhappy enough that I spend whole days crying or miserable, I also have plenty of wonderful and amazing people — friends and family alike — who are always there for me if I need anything, at any time of day or night.
I work really hard to keep friendships. This past year I did whatever I could to make sure people knew I would always be there no matter what. I’d make time for people even if it meant pushing things back that I needed or wanted to do. I’d bring them things if they were sick, talk to them about their problems, and edit their papers — and whenever I had problems, I felt I could go to them without question. And I came out of Boston wondering if after I left, after I moved so many thousands of miles away, I would still have these people and the relationships would last. And they have. I talk to a lot of my friends from Boston and New Jersey here. And they’re there when I’m panicking or unhappy or even if I want to tell them something exciting about my life. And I couldn’t be more grateful for those people. And when I’m feeling really lonely or sad here, I know that I have enough people who care about me that whatever I’m feeling will be okay eventually, if not right away. There is no actual level of love or gratitude that I can express better that I am right now. I love you all so dearly and I can’t wait to see you again (except Ali who I’ll see in like six hours).
I’ve made some fantastic new friends since I’ve been here; I’ve met a lot of people, and some of them have turned out better than others. I’ve ignored a lot of warning signs in favour of stupidly believing that people will change. Instead of saving myself a lot of heartache, I doggedly keep at it, defending them even when all my friends have nothing nice to say. On the other hand, there have been some amazing people who have just waltzed right into my life over the past few months. People who make me perpetually very happy, and who I don’t want to leave behind in nine months time.
I’ve accomplished a lot of things this year. I wrote a lot of stories, I made a lot of difficult decisions, I moved all the way to New Zealand, I worked hard in every job I held and was good at what I did. Even in New Zealand I managed to do a lot. In fact, I’ve managed a lot of things I never thought I would. My goal for the first month of living in Auckland was to have an apartment, have friends, and find a job. And we did that — both Ali and me. We had a fantastic turnout at Thanksgiving, a pretty good Christmas, and even a decent birthday for me. I feel like for most of this year I’ve felt … well, more or less good about myself. We’ll be doing some traveling soon, and have done teensy day trips, and I feel like this is a step in the right direction towards the last goal of the trip — which is traveling. But for me, NZ has always been about meeting people and living here, and that’s what I’ve been doing. And maybe some of it hasn’t worked out, but the attempts I’ve made have been really impressive. At least I think so.
Of course, there are also the things I didn’t accomplish that I said I would. I haven’t made things totally right in a few respects. I’ve lost a bit of my direction in life. I haven’t finished — or even come close to finishing — my novel, and I’ve not written as much as I should have, and I haven’t had as much of a drive to do so. I’ve spent so much of my time drowning in the negatives of my life that I am distracted from things that should make me happy. I want to go back to trying to think positively. Because for a while, that worked. Maybe I didn’t get what I wanted out of it, but at least I was trying to change my outlook on life — or at least trying to stop overthinking every little thing and focusing on all of the negative things happening.
I’m not sure if I want to make any official resolutions — I always do it and it never works out — but what I will say is this: I’ve found out more about myself this year than any other, and I’m going to try to fix the things that aren’t working. I’m going to work on thinking more positively; I’m going to work on saving my energy and time for the people who think I matter, not just the people who matter to me. And maybe I’ll be able to write more and read more and do other things that could just be the deep breaths I need between my daily moments of anxiety and excitement. I don’t know if it’ll work. I may look back on this post in three weeks and laugh and say, “Jesus, what the fuck was I thinking?” But … here’s to hoping that I won’t.
Happy New Year’s, kids kids.