Here’s a thing I bet you thought I’d never say – 2018 was a pretty good year for me. (If you’re having trouble breathing right now, I totally get you. It’s taken me a while to come to grips with this weird piece of information, so please, take your time and soak it in however you can.)
I mean, if there were a heat map of the most uttered thoughts of my year, I’m pretty sure it would be a toss-up between “WTF, dude?” and “I don’t have time for this shit.”
I cried A LOT. I spent an unreasonable amount of time feeling hopeless about the future, and scared to make a move (any move), and also worried that all I’d ever feel is sorry and scared. Those moments aren’t completely over. I’m pretty anxious, and coming to terms with the fact that my current “treatment” plan of avoidance isn’t really going to cut it. That’s OK. I can work on that. I don’t have to be the best – I just have to keep working towards it in my own way.
But I also found pockets of bravery, when and where I least expected them. I was resourceful and kind, and I allowed myself to trust others to treat me as well as I try to treat them. Last year, I spent my birthday crying alone in my apartment. This year I had a birthday party with actual friends who love me in attendance. Last year, I spent NYE (you guessed it) crying alone in my apartment. Last night, I just went out with the resolve to trust myself and follow my own beat. Guess who had an amazing night doing EXACTLY what she wanted to do? I wore a cute outfit, got glittered up, had sushi, hung out with friends, visited my favorite bar, BOTH of my favorite poboy shops, and signed up for karaoke (even if I had to leave before it was my turn to sing). I even got a New Year’s kiss. It was a lovely way to ring in a big, bold new year.
Somehow (maybe multiple somehows), I was kick-started back to life this year. Here are some of the weirdest things that stand out to me as highlights of the year:
- Finally figured out how to tell people they’re hurting me and kick them out of my life if needs be. (I’m looking at this as finally figuring out how to use my life preserver.)
- 360-degree view of Fourth of July fireworks from the rooftop of a shed on top of a building.
- Scoring a ticket to Burning Man (but not getting to go, sadly).
- Going on a 14-hour long first date.
- Being a nude art model.
- A summer of breakfasts in bed.
- 8-hour long conversation about Fela Kuti album covers.
- Becoming friends with a tree (Yes, this is ongoing. No, I am not on drugs.)
- Spending a whole day and a half with some of my best friends and not a single working cell phone between us. So much laughter. So much love.
- Flying to Austin to attend a psychedelic rock festival. Getting asked by some dude in the crowd if the hand symbol flashed by Golden Dawn Arkestra was meant to represent the Illuminati or a vagina. Pretending to be confused that they weren’t the same thing.
- Finding my own neighborhood haunts, places where everyone knows me and my preferences, and are usually happy to see me walk in. Knowing that I have a standing date at Tiki’s, and the catfish benedict at Who Dat will always make me swoon with happiness on a solo brunch date.
- Reconnecting with friends. Rediscovering that I have people who REALLY love me, whom I can trust with my thoughts.
- Starting to wear color and costumes again.
- After 5+ years of gaining weight, suddenly dropping 25 lbs. with no activity, effort, or plan. I think it’s because I’m happy.
- Collecting crystals.
- Collecting cicadas from the neutral ground.
- Selling my television, once and for all.
- Making not one, but two, perfect green bean casseroles – one vegan and entirely homemade from scratch, the second with cobbled together ingredients purchased at Walgreens at noon on Christmas Day (Funyuns, y’all).
- Really listening to my own needs and wants, and doing my best to attend to those desires first, even when it makes me anxious not to anticipate and preemptively carry out everyone else’s wants and needs around me.
- Learning how to keep my own flame stoked. Realizing that no one else will.
- Expanding my comfort zone with solo adventuring. Finding ways to be brave and make new friends along the way.
There’s so much more to learn. I’m not even close to thinking that I’ve got this shit figured out. But I made strides this year, and I intend to keep it going.
Oh yeah – that reminds me. If you don’t already, please follow me over on my other blog to find out what I’m doing in 2019 – I’m going to be posting on The Bold Life more frequently as a tool to help me transition into whatever magical psychedelic snow leopard creature I’m becoming.