While showing my high school best friend, Steve, around Finland…
2016, like I’ve said one million and two times was tumultuous as fuck. Words I wouldn’t use to describe it would be simple / lovely / fair / fun / or beautiful. Whereas the words I would use to describe it would include ‘shitty-ass-motherfucking-dissapointing-cluster-fuck-of-one-man-shit-show’.
Tragedy, after pain after death after more pain, left me in a very dark abyss I let myself make a home out of. I happily lived in this abyss because it was easier to stay at rock bottom than by any means get up just to be knocked down again. Even if that meant living every day via self loathing and a boatload of tears. So really just a lot of self pity mixed in with dehydration.
It wasn’t until I was third wheeling yet again on new years, with friends I had cut myself off from with the excuse of the Great Chinese Firewall, that someone questioned my description of 2016. Living in my abyss only coming up for air to see that the consensus on the internet too was that 2016 was a shitty year, I was not prepared to face someone who had actually enjoyed themselves. And slowly as I went through my all too tragic Shakespeare play of a life beat by beat, glass by glass of bubbly, I started to realise what he meant. 2016 was a mirror, you saw exactly what you wanted. The amount of negative you put in is the same amount of negative you get out. So instead of having resolutions I have no intentions to keep, I made a list of why 2016 can suck it.
Of failure, of death, of loving. I’ve never been one to control my emotions, and I’m not afraid to admit that I still cry every time in friends when Rachel gets off the plane to choose Ross, but I always felt so overwhelmed by emotions. The amount of loss and grief in too many forms to count last year numbed me. It numbed me to the point where I was afraid to have emotions because it felt like no body cares about you unless you are happy. Pretty much the only emotion I hated at that point. The amount of grief I was drowning in eventually allowed me to open up in new ways, which lead me to form new relations with people that I am beyond grateful for. Every single person out there is fighting a battle you know nothing about. 2016 can suck it because my fear showed me that kindness, toleration and not fearing to love with open arms heals all.
The hardest thing I think is to realise that others success is not exclusive to your own. With that said everyones yardstick measure for success is different. Wether it’s because of my TCK background, or my self doubts, I’ve always felt like an outsider to whatever I do. I’ve always felt that I wasn’t good enough, or talented enough, and watching my peers succeed last year to me meant it was only proof of what I thought. If they could do it, why couldn’t I? A few breakdowns later after disappointing myself, you start to hear how others view you and your accomplishments. I started focusing on what I had achieved instead of what I hand’t and slowly it seemed like the only person who can never see how great you are is you. 2016 can suck it because I learned how to take my set-backs as lessons and use my peers as inspiration to keep moving forward. Baby steps at a time.
Growing up in a highly conservative place, where appearance is everything and actions mean nothing, self dignity and respect are hard values to hold on to. Added in with the community obsessed generation, where self-help click bait articles are all the rage and the approval of others is key, judging yourself on how others see you is not a hard habit to fall prey to. I let the views of others on the amount of tattoos I did last year or my love for lingerie and good innuendo convince myself I was not worthy of respect or being taken seriously. But 2016 can suck it, because actions will always speak louder than words.
I think by far the worst measurement I used on myself last year was how other people treated me. I took everything too personally and I don’t think I have ever doubted myself more. From live-in boyfriends going on Tinder dates because they couldn’t tell if you were committed to them (I mean he only has a key to the apartment, I’d say it was pretty darn casual) to people assuming you can’t have morals and beliefs if you photograph lingerie, doubt was cast from every angle. Slowly eating away at every morsel of value I thought I had. Feeling completely lost in translation I shut myself off from nearly everyone. Feeling crazy, feeling betrayed, feeling dumb as fuck, feeling naive. Whatever way I looked at a situation where I had felt hurt, I felt crazy. The other person always walked away unscathed. It was me, I had done it. I have always been very aware of the fact that it takes one bad thought about yourself to open the flood gates, ending with you drowning in thoughts of pure negativity. But it never occurred to me that it also can take one good one to pull you right out of it. Learning to be ok with myself helped me realise the importance of loving. I keep saying it, but I really do believe in loving openly. Loving myself, and loving what I do. If I keep on loving, hopefully those around me will keep on loving too. 2016 can suck it because I learnt never to apologise for feeling something, or a lot.
In short (and please punch me in the tits for saying this) Kylie was right, 2016 really was the year of just realising stuff. But now it can go suck it.