Let the confetti fall and settle in the past
It’s 9am on the 5th of January. I’m sitting in my quiet living room, the Australian summer sun already hot on my back. My cat sleeps at my feet, the greyhound on the cool wooden floor. And, for the first time since leaving Sydney last May, I am listening to the soundtrack of my original theatre production that never was.
And while it’s one of the painful things I’ve done in a while, I need to listen it. Then, I’m going to leave it in the past.
I don’t know what I was hopping for when the clock struck 12 Sunday night, but it was not that everything would be the same. That I would be the same. I had put my book down and picked up my phone. 12:34.
The worst year of my life was over and I hadn’t even noticed, hadn’t felt anything. To be honest I don’t know what I thought I may have felt, as if I could feel the pull of time. I don’t know what I thought might happen, a miracle transformation to take place and turn me into someone, something new? Better than what I had been?
But of course, nothing happened. The confetti fell and landed in the past. And I hadn’t even noticed.
And I now here I am, days later, the confetti long cleared away, writing this and daring myself to be better. To do better this year. Because I can’t go through another year like 2017.
I need to face what happened, or like this soundtrack I listen to now, I need to face the music.
I don’t need to be anyone new. I just need to improve on who I was. And to do that, I need to leave some things in the past.
Things I’m leaving in 2017
1. Childish Expectations
I’m a dreamer. A big dreamer. And I guess that’s gonna pay off some day – especially in this creative industry – but it’s gotten me into a lot of strife over the years. You see, I far to easily become lost in my thoughts. And I’m always disappointed in things – that I plan or know the intended plan of – because I subconsciously create ridiculously high expectations. Day-dreaming my time and happiness away. You ever see those funny expectation vs reality memes? Well, that’s what its like with everything. But it’s not funny. I am always having to fight off disappointment. And I’m tired of it. I’m done with it. I’m done with waiting for Peter Pan. I’m done looking for a door into Narnia. I’m done with wishing I was anywhere but where I am. I’m done with my childish expectations.
I done with the ‘why?’
The hardest thing about living with chronic pain and anxiety is that hardly anyone ever understands. And if you say no to doing something, there is always this pointed ‘Why?’ which you can never answer. Not truthfully. Well, I’m done with explaining my personal issues to people that don’t need to know.
You know, no one should have to. We shouldn’t have to explain the way we are or why we do something a particular way. We’re all different, and that’s a good thing. The world would be a pretty boring place if everyone was the same. And I mean, do I actually have to say it? It’s not our excellence that makes us different, but our differences that make us excellent. Everyone needs to hurry up and realise that. We aren’t equal and might never be but we are all human – different, flawed, imperfect but beautiful – and deserve each others understanding.
But on the flip side, I also need to stop making excuses and coming up with half-truth explanations. I haven’t yet gotten to where I want to be in life not solely because of reasons out of my control. A lot is my fault, a lot of pain and heartache could have been avoided. There is a difference between an explanation and an excuse, its time I learn the difference and accept my part in the failure of 2017.
I’ve met a lot of people and made a lot of friends over the last couple of years. I’ve lost a great deal too. And not out of hurt or hatred or anything negative, time and distance has simply taken its toll. And through it all I’ve battled the grief and dealt with the loss. But it still feels like I owe those people something, I feel like I should be trying, at least to bridge the gap and remain connected. And in this technological world we live in, it really isn’t that hard. If you think of someone, send them a message. It’s that simple, and it might make that person’s day.
But on the flip side, I think I need to let some people go. I will never not consider them in a positive light and there will never be any hatred aimed in their direction, but for my own heart and mental health, I need to loosen my grip.
A friend is someone you share your life with, someone special who makes you feel special. A friend is helpful and understanding. A friend is always a phone call away or a Snapchat photo!
But, goodbye to all those others. I will no longer feel sorry for leaving you behind. I cannot keep apologising for moving forward. I love you and always will, and we can catch up if you ever need a friend. But for now, goodbye.
4. The Hole She’s Made
Here stands a women, at the bottom of the hole she’s made. She’s still sweating from the rush, her body tense, her hands, they shake. Oh this, this is mad girl.
I explain what happened in 2017 as being out of my control. But really, I had dug myself down into a pretty dark hole long before the water overflowed. I drowned because I was too far down in my sorrow.
Finally I climbed my way back out, but in a act that I can only describe as pathetic, I remained pretty close to the opening of that hole.
But if I am ever going to regain confidence and move on, I need to fill that darn thing in.
I can’t keep playing the victim card. I can’t keep blaming the stress of college or the lack of money. I can’t keep blaming this broken body. I can’t keep hiding down in the dark and blaming the world above. I dug this hole, now I need to fill it in.
5. Fear of the Things in my Brain
I’m a creative; an emotional eccentric, feminist, traditionalist, out-of-the-box question asking, problem solving, adventure seeking type of a person. And as I mentioned above, a self-deprecating day-dreamer.
I struggle to get the worlds out – having to think long and hard before I speak or face the embarrassment of sounding like a stutterer – but none the less, I’m a straight shooter and I tell it how it is. And despite the fact that I could hardly read at age 12, I’m now a writer. But the things in my head, while beautiful fuel for beautiful stories, are dangerously dark and destructive. And I don’t want to dig any more holes. I’m done with that stage of my life. So, I need to let those fears go. I need to find myself again. Not the me I was, but the me I am now. After everything.
Because this me may still have some demons and her thoughts are still worryingly self-deprecating, she’s come a long way. So, here’s to trying – again – to concurring anxiety and depression. To being more confident in my abilities and less self-judging. Here’s to the version of me who’s less afraid of my past selves, less afraid of where I’ve been, less afraid of the things in my brain.
And there is of course many more things that I am going to do differently in 2018. And this is not all for my benefit. No, once I am better I will be able to do better and in turn do better for others. This is so that I can be of more help to those who are need of help.
This year, like any really, is for us to make. And it will only be as good as we make it. So decide what you want your year to look like and join me as I attempt to make this year what I envision it. Let the confetti settle in the past.
Let’s do this together, join me and become a Difference Maker.