an ode to 2018, the worst year of my life

it’s boxing day as i’m typing this out in my childhood bedroom, my new headphones placed onto my ears, a gift from my parents for christmas. it’s the time of the year where i am most reflective, pausing on what these past twelve months have done in shaping me into the eccentric young woman i am right now. for the most part, i felt fine.

and then a thought hit me – smacking me with the force of a 350 pounder clotheslining you off a cliff; the sting of a slap to the cheek most unexpected; a tight twist of the skin behind your arm from a sibling – that 2018 might have been the worst year of my life so far.

it’s difficult to not come to this conclusion as i fixate on my prevalent mental health struggles that dominated my brain in these last twelve months. my depression, my manic episodes, my apathy, and my loss of inhibitions – all in that specific order – rendered me an emotional wreck this year, finally unable to mask the pain so contingent within my life, revealing to all that my ‘perfection’ was a show; a performance in which no one really bought tickets for regardless.

the place in which i went ‘manic’ – my new room’s view, lit with the heat in which i loathe .

i had moments this year that put me in the lowest depths of my life. from nearly failing a class for the first time in four years to family emergencies to personal relationships deteriorating, to realizing a lot of what i believed to be true a lie – i have found myself glancing back on this year with a frown and a mind fogged up with disenchantment and regret.

i could have worked harder this semester to get better grades. i could have worked harder in the summer to make more money to put away. i could have worked harder at losing weight. i could have worked harder in making an effort in my relationships. i could have worked harder at my hobbies. i could have worked harder. 

i could have i could have i could have i could have i could have i could have i could have but i didn’t.

i will always be struck with this complex of everything i achieve as never ever being close to worthy for myself and the people i adore who stick by my side. it’s a stark blessing/curse paradox – i will never stop working hard to achieve more, but everything i achieve is for nothing as it never satisfies me. 

in realizing my dissatisfaction towards my life, i try scour the depths of my stupid brain to find something good i did this year. a list of achievements pop up – i did do a lot of things i’ve never done before, that’s for sure. i networked and planned things and got new jobs and contacts and connections and insights. yes, i still achieved something. this year was not a total waste. this statement puts me at slight ease, thought agitation and disappointment still pulses through me. but i didn’t achieve enough. i didn’t do what i had set out to, all because of events and mental breaks that put my ambition on the backburner for months. 

i haphazardly declared at the start of this post that this year was the worst of my life. but in saying that, i realize i only believe this statement as fact because this year was hard. it wasn’t what i didn’t achieve that made this year a treacherous twelve months – it was the difficulty of the situations i had to deal with that did. it was me, being thrusted into horrible instances, both real and fabricated in the mind, that i had never dealt with nor had the experience in which to do so. the year wasn’t bad because i didn’t live up to my own expectations; the year was bad because i was treated to the most arduous tasks i have ever experienced thus far.

one of these events i had to deal with for the first time was watching my dog die. bella passed far too early at only 7 years old due to cancer. i was present when she was put down.

i scoff at myself. i can make a blanket statement such as a declaration of an entire year a failure, but i can’t accept the fact that sometimes, things are hard? that maybe, not everything is rainbows and sunshine?

what am i, a coward? a scared little girl, unwilling to find sentiment in the struggle?

i lean my head against the wall of my bedroom and glance up at the christmas lights strewn above me, a florescent attempt to make my barren teenage room comforting. i keep punishing myself for struggling, despite promising myself i would try to be better. i keep thinking i failed due to occurances beyond my control. 

i am a living, breathing, almost 21 year old kid-pretending-to-be-an-adult who did the best she could. i rose, despite wanting to do anything but.

this year sucked. there is no getting around that. but, even though this year sucked balls, and i mean sucked serious fucking balls – i still did things. i still got up every morning. i still took chances, risks, and opportunities and molded them into my favour, despite it all. i still found the energy to live instead of just surviving. 

maybe for once, that could be enough. 

ambitiously,

amanda

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