You know when you are in the Crimbo limbo and start thinking about your life… well. Have a sit. But not beofre making yourself a cup of tea…
When 2017 started, I seemed to have it all: I was comfortable with myself, I was going to move to my very own flat and I had met someone who seemed perfect, late in 2016, and we seemed to be good together. Great right?
Plan and simply happy, I was soooo looking forward to it and waltzed into it full of hope. It turns out the world went a bit messed up, and hell, so did my life.
While the move into the new flat in February was smooth – and quite frankly, amazing (but we will get to the good once a I have a good old moan) – from there on things started to crumble.
And one of the most difficult things for me to overcome has installed itself in: my anxiety started creeping in as soon as the flat buying rush started to calm down.
“Perfect” man decided, well, that in retrospect, he wasn’t so perfect, and after almost four months, couldn’t “do us”, announced two days before Valentine’s, over the phone. I was left with a card and a gift which would never met their recipient, but worst of all, with a heart so broken, in so many tiny pieces, I still think it will never be mended. I was surprised that A) I was actually in love and B) he wasn’t. What?! And I cried.
Anxiety reached peak. I was on edge, my OCD kicked off into unmanageable levels. I cried some more. I had awful physical symptoms and my blood pressure went up.
I struggled to leave the house except when I absolutely needed to (basically work and pushed myself to go to blog events. I STOPPED DRINKING (what, you say? Who even are you?).
But I thought the summer would sort me out. Well, it didn’t. So I cried a bunch more – alright, a lot more – and started the long road of (yet again) rebuilding my shattered self through therapy and the excruciating hard work on myself.
As in a Mariah Carey song, “you’re all smiles but in your eyes, your sorrow shows, yes, it shows”. That was me.
Then I got injured. Oh, yeah, twice. And recovery has been long. To be away from the one of the couple things that keeps me sane was a huge blow to my balance and self esteem. That pulled me inside that hole even further, together with the fact I could barely recognise my inflating, weaker and inflexible body.
Boys were generally rubbish. Although I did have all he fun, the ones I liked a bit weren’t that upfront with me, some came out of the woodwork after months of disappearing looking for an easy shag, some even reappeared not knowing I knew they were back with their exes. Yes, I knew [insert eyeroll here]. Yes, I liked him an awful lot. No, I didn’t see him again. No, I won’t ever see him again.
I became extremely sceptical and detached on the romantic front.
My ex of 7 years got married within 1.5 years of meeting this (also Brazilian) girl on Tinder I believe a mere 2 weeks after we moved apart, four days before my bday. Oh yeah.
For the record, I hadn’t already been in love with him for quite a while when we broke up and we did so in great terms. I knew he was engaged (he proposed on NYE) and going to get married this year, but I ended up finding out on Instagram on the day it was happening. NOT COOL, mate. Not cool.
Some parts of my small network of friends proved to be more flawed than I anticipated. I seemed to insist on non-supportive, unreliable, “I’ll be all over you when I need you but am rarely there when you need me” only to, surprise, feel let down and lonely.
One of my besties decided to move to Australia. Another great friend decided not to come back from Australia (Australia, I am starting to have a problem with you).
My grandfather passed away in Brazil, it devastated me, it is still hard to think (or write more) about it, as he was a huge part of my life. Then my aunt had some scary health problems.
The blog suffered. As the anxiety exhaustion kicked in, I felt little motivation to write. Traffic dropped and even when I came out of the worse patches of anxiety, the motivation was low. I started posting less and have struggled to get back into it.
What a stupid year, 2017. Talk about disappointment, I had high hopes for you.
So, I feel I HAVE to focus on the good things (I mean, did you read the above? Jeez). And it’s amazing how many there are when you actually think about it:
- I bought a freaking flat. On my own. In London. And I made it up exactly how I wanted. I am f*cking proud of that.
- I reigned back my anxiety. It was a long and painful process, harder than the first time it hit me this bad. Many times I just couldn’t see how I’d get out of that. It is still a day at a time battle, but when you started to have way more good days than bad, you know you’re in the path to controlling your mental health.
- My anxiety had very little impact in my performance at work. And I am very proud of myself for that.
- I found a twinsie friend.
- I found support where I least expected.
- Despite being sh*t at blogging this year, I actually got some amazing opportunities and am so grateful for that.
- My family back home seems to be closer than ever, which makes me so happy all the way here.
- Another bestie is expecting a much desired baby. I might even love a child for a change.
- I rediscovered my love for glitter. Ok, I know, but I had to add this here.
So how I am taking 2018? At my pace; I have no shame to say it will be all about me (I mean, to be honest, it’s always all about me. I hate resolutions list but I will:
- Put myself and my health in the first place. Mental and physical. I will take time for myself, I will be mindful of it, I will go back to fitness and look after my body. Circus activities which I love so much will be back and I’m sorting out my diet.
- Give toxic and unrealiable people no time. At all.
- Give f*ckboys no time. I’m genuinely bored of ya.
- Work harder on the blog. Actually pour in the love I have for it.
- Dance more. Just go out and dance.
- Not be too hard on myself. I really struggle seeing how good I can be, what I can achieve and always think I am not good enough.
- Holiday more. I have only been to one holiday in 2017 and that, my friend, is nowhere near good enough.
- Volunteer. I used to a while back and must return to it. I always felt I got so much more than I was giving!
- Get a new hobby. I haven’t yet decided what I want to do, burlesque is currently at the top of the list, inspired by one of my besties.
- Have a long hard think about my career and where I am going, where I want to be and if the path is right.
- Concentrate on people who matter. Show them I love them, make an effort.
- Be a little bit more sensible with money.
- Nurture (and ideally grow) my network of friends.
Phew. Thanks for hanging in there. Please send some cheer and tell me you had a better year. How did 2017 treat you?