I tried parties and reconnecting with old friends. I tried making new friends. I enjoyed amazing music. I threw myself violently out of my comfort zone. I took part in various workshops and programs. I started exercising. I started eating well. I started figuring out what suits me and what doesn’t, what works and what doesn’t.
2018 was everything it was supposed to be. It was everything I had expected, in ways I wasn’t expecting. It was my year of lessons, of new beginnings and transformation. It was my year to turn 30 years old and joyfully say goodbye to my turbulent twenties.
I thought I knew what was coming, and yes, I did “know”, but I was looking in the wrong direction entirely.
I looked for stories and labels. Looked for an identity to attach to myself that would show everybody I’m the “success” I was “supposed to be”.
Ironic, when my all time favourite quote from any book is “to define is to limit”.
But I’d felt like a failure. How could I not, having grown up hearing all about who I was going to be and what I would become? They said I could be anything and I would definitely be SOMETHING. Definitely no less than a star!
Writer. Actor. Lawyer. Politician. Musician. Doctor. Prime Minister. Psychologist. Label. Label. Label.
I started trying to do what I thought I was “supposed to do”. And lot of this stuff I tried to fill myself up with just made me feel empty.
Nothing works, not even the stuff that’s supposed to, when you’re doing it all for the wrong reasons. Attachment to stories and ideas, attachment to expectations and avoidance of your whole, true self in the here and now is some of the dumbest things you can inflict on yourself.
I knew by the middle of the year I was heading for something BIG and unavoidable: A neck-breaking twist, that would force my head and eyes to look the right way.
That tower I’d only just started to build, already crumbling down.
This year, I got the all-clear for one cancer and then found out I need tests for another cancer. I’ll find out sooner or later.
I started university, doing what I always wanted and was “supposed to do” and then found out everything I thought I’m “supposed to do” is a lie.
I had never felt closer to someone in my life, someone who has often been a source of a lot of upset for me, and just as I felt we had reached the point of unbreakable, our relationship was severed. It’s both sad and a weight off my shoulders.
I worked hard, studied hard and began training myself up to remake my life, to break away from the shackles of the DWP. I put all my time, money and stock into this “transformation”, to be told by my landlord I can’t run my business from home.
And I got this new home, away from the trauma of the old and it kept falling apart around me. It ceased to be the “thing that I needed to feel better” faster than you can say April Fools.
The year rolled in like a steamroller, squashing everything that I am out of me until there wasn’t much left. I tried to keep turning my head back to where it was most comfortable, looking outside for something to make things better.
Distracting myself with social media. Attaching to stories. Assuming that if I get the things I want, then things will be alright
And all year, it’s like a greater force has been with me all along saying “Stop looking. Start seeing. I’m here. I’m real. I have all these wonderful things waiting for you, if only you’d just notice me.”
My neck “broke”. My head turned. I sat here in darkness for the longest time, finally beginning to ask the right questions and look for the real answers.
So, 2018 is both the start of a new cycle and the ending of an old one. Everything it was “supposed to be”. I’m going on a new journey, full speed ahead, transforming more and calmly going to war with everything in my way, including myself.
I am ready for a brand new year. I’m not becoming something new or old. I’m getting real.