My 2017 Reflections (And Some Life Lessons)

I make resolutions every year, but a few years ago I decided to stop making `physical` ones. Less `loose X amount of weight` or `take daily showers` and more `be kinder`. I achieved a lot of things this year: I started my degree, achieved something resembling a schedule, and got A’s on all my assignments (so far). So I thought, for the first time, I’d take a look at the resolutions I made on January 1st and see how I got on.

1 – think less. your place in the universe is something you find by doing, not something you discover by sitting around thinking about it. 

I’m amazed I was self aware of this problem so early on, then proceeded to do very little about it. I would say I spent 3/4 of this year doing very little, but perhaps that’s being unkind to myself. Looking back, I can see I did a lot of things this year. I visited Hever Castle and Stonehenge (finally, considering I’ve spent a decent amount of my life living about an hour away from it). I finished working at my first paid job, and had the joy of realising I was still as broke as I was before I started. I took my best friend in the whole world to meet my family and got kinda tipsy on one bottle of strawberry and lime Kopperburg, because we’d been walking in 30C heat with no water for over 2 hours. I went to a convention for a weekend for the first time and hugged all of the friends I’d known for years and never seen in person. Most of all, I spent most of this year just working out what kind of person I was, after the copious amounts of antidepressants and therapy had eased the depression away after years and years of it being my whole life. I think I’m going to remember this year for the rest of my life, but It won’t be because I finished a novel, or went travelling. It will be because I finally worked out who I was, and spent real time with people I love. Maybe that’s more important in the long run.

2 – love things. un-ironically. write about how much I love. love myself more. fall in love with the world again. this year will not make this easy, but that’s exactly why you must. 

Yeah, I got that last bit right, that’s for sure. I wrote a poem about this resolution, which ends like this:
Aren’t you tired of all this
ending,
my child?
After all these years
perhaps
you could allow yourself
even hope?
I’ve come to realise that in order to un-ironically love again, you have to surround yourself with good and supportive people. People who engage with your interests. People who support your life choices, and don’t bring you down. Then you can look inwards and start to accept yourself. Then the writing came as naturally to me as breathing.  Maybe the world was revolting this year, but you have to take joy where you can find it.

3- be kinder. be forgiving and accepting. push forward, and leave my grudges and my bitterness behind.

This was the hardest resolution I’ve ever given myself. Ever.
What 2017 taught me, more than anything, was how easy it is to be angry. Sometimes, you need it. Sometimes the anger is the only thing that will keep you going. I’ve heard people call it the Outrage Machine, which is a concept I don’t entirely agree with from a moral standpoint. Yes, when injustices are done, you have to dig your heels in with everything you have and fight back. What’s hard is stopping. What’s hard is focusing on yourself when there’s so much evil in the world.
This resolution isn’t political. It’s personal. It’s about forgiving people in my life who have done me wrong and moving on. It’s about not winning to spite them, it’s about winning in spite of them. I have gotten to where I am on my own damn spit and blood, and it was damn time to stop letting people drag me down.
I wish I could say I’ve done this. I wish I could say I did this absolutely, and cleanly, and no one got hurt. But that wouldn’t be true.
Sometimes, it is better to be kind than honest. Sometimes.

4- try.

This is my fourth resolution every year, and something tells me I’m going to need it next year more than ever.
Here’s to many more.
Emma