The Tough Stuff – New Year
If 2018 was the year of figuring out who I was, 2019 will be the year of investing in who I am.
Let me try to explain what I mean by that.
There is a very distinct time I remember when I was very far into my depression and I was sobbing on the couch to my mom, who had no idea what to even say because nothing ever seemed right (bless her heart and thank you for still loving me mama) and I remember saying to her “I don’t even know who I am anymore” and she said to me “but I know who you are. We still know who you are.” My depression never changed who I was per-say, it just wouldn’t allow me to be that person. My values were still the same. My ideals were still the same. Like my mom told me, I was still the same. But I wasn’t. I wasn’t an active participant in my own life. I was simply going through the motions, not actually applying any effort or emotion into anything in my life.
This past year, especially on the Camino, I rediscovered what it meant to be me. The me I used to be. I didn’t even remember her anymore. I rediscovered what it was like to be in a moment. To feel happiness. And surprise. And humor. And sorrow. And all these things separate, not just one bleak numbness.
I rediscovered what I was passionate about. I remembered my love of travel, of immersing myself in different cultures from my own. My passion for learning. About people, history, literature, nature. Just that love of learning I had lost.
I rediscovered what it felt like to be human. To love people around you and invest yourself in them. To be there for them to vent, or laugh with, or share stories with. I remembered what it was like to be a friend and have a friend.
I rediscovered who I was. I learned to accept that person in a way I never had before. I learned not to care what anyone else thinks. I learned not to worry about anything but what makes me happy. I learned that who I am is valuable and interesting and lovable.
So in looking forward to 2019, I hope to invest in that person I’ve rediscovered. I vow to not become that shell I was before. The way I go about this might look weird to people. Heck, it looks weird to me. But that’s okay. Because I know I’m different. And I know what works for me.
If that means making lists, I make lists. I have them all over the place-the same ones. In the notes of my phone. In a journal I kept on the Camino. Tacked to my bulletin board calendar in my room. Written in expo marker on my whiteboard. It’s a list of things that matter to me. Things I want to focus on. Maverick. Hiking. Family. Writing. This might be odd. Why do I need to write these things down? You see, depression can make you blind. It can make you forget what matters. I refuse to forget in 2019.
I have lists of friends that are important to me. The same deal, in all these different places. Phone, sticky note, white board, etc. How conceited of me, to list out my friends, right? Well here’s the thing: Depression’s mean. It isolates you. It makes you feel completely alone. I don’t want to forget that I’m not alone. These people on my lists, they matter. They bring such a light to my life. In 2019, I want to invest in them. I want to remind myself to check in on them, tell them I appreciate them and love them just because. It may seem weird to you, but I want that. I want to surround myself with people who will help me grow and learn and love this life. I want to be that type of person for them. So in 2019, I’m only adding people who add something to my life. I’m not allowing myself to get bogged down by those who only want to bring others down. And that’s okay. It’s okay to make that decision for yourself. I’m making that decision.
This year, I’m investing in me. This year, I’m putting the emphasis on me. I’m putting the emphasis on life.