This isn’t what I originally planned on my first blog post being, but I felt like I ought to start this off from a place of honesty about me and my life or else I wouldn’t be true to what I want this blog to become.
This past year has been one of toil, turmoil, and conflict and I am kind of a mess. In summary, this is what the past year has looked like for me:
I have went from living as an only child to having my three siblings back in my life, plus four nieces and nephews who were previously unaware of my existence, after six years of estrangement. Long story, but let it suffice to say it had everything to do with The Divorce From Hell and reconciling with these people has been excruciating.
I went from being unemployed and having basically no job experience to joining the work force part-time. Having my own income is great, as is the work environment, but though my work schedule is stable, it’s difficult for me to adapt to arranging all my activities around my work schedule. The time of day when I would normally be doing schoolwork, the time of day that I am the most awake, is now when I work. And I’m not sure how to fit in all that I need to do. And it requires People Skills and People Energy. I don’t have an abundance of those.
I went from being (quote unquote) “fine” to leaving school on a medical leave and getting diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) with Depressive Symptoms. Of course, I was anxious to begin with so when it comes to being diagnosed with GAD, my feelings were “Took you long enough”, if I’m being really honest.
I went from a full-time university student to a university dropout on a medical leave to now returning to school with a reduced course load as a student with a registered disability. Let’s hope I make it through the semester this time ’round.
I went from having unwavering confidence in my intelligence to worrying that I’m somehow getting stupider.
I went from being single, which I’ve always been, to being in a long-term romantic relationship, to breaking up, to getting back together again. It’s different from what they show you in books and movies.
I’ve survived another year of life below the poverty line.
I’m twenty-two now, which was the age at which I’d planned to finish my BA but instead I’m now only halfway through that degree. Thanks, GAD.
I went from not exercising at all to exercising regularly.
My bestest friend moved away. And after almost nineteen years of friendship, my best friend and I had our very first fight. It was quickly resolved, but still.
I’ve watched my friends and siblings grow up, get boyfriends, get engaged, get married, have babies, get new jobs, switch majors, graduate post-secondary, move homes, and it’s funny and strange seeing them go through all these life changes, seemingly in the blink of an eye, and all of a sudden, it’s their second wedding anniversary, or their seventh.
I’ve grappled with my beliefs on every level, and have come up with more questions than answers.
I’ve struggled with guilt and shame, which seem to have replaced the righteous rage I used to have whenever I saw injustice in the world.
I’m really having trouble integrating all these new experiences into a coherent, whole “me”.
And now, after many months of what I consider to be signs telling me to use my voice, I’m going from being voiceless to starting my own blog. After months of contemplating it and putting it off and of trying it then quitting, I’m finally doing it. Even though it kind of scares me.
I’m a bit nervous about starting a blog. I recently realized that I am very much a writer, but it’s different than some of my other passions. Example: my music. That is a passion of mine. I am a musician. I am a composer. I am comfortable writing music and associating my name with it. But with writing, I don’t feel comfortable associating my real name with it. I feel vulnerable and unprotected. My words are a much more secret part of me and I tend to guard them very carefully.
I worried that this might wind up becoming a project I obsess over and ugh, I already have a lot going on in my life, but blog or no blog, it’ll be a hell of a year, I can feel it, so might as well scratch something off my bucket list while I’m at it, seeing as my music is not going anywhere and my degree is not going anywhere for a long while.
I’m also worried that blogging will let my perfectionism and people-pleasing demons out to play and wreak havoc on me. But I’m hoping that I will grow stronger through this and that I will become the person I’m meant to be and be able to do some good in the world in some way.
I’m in a bizarre limbo state of mind. I’m weary of change, yet I crave more of it. I’m exhausted yet restless. I alternate between being almost ready to face the coming year and being petrified of whether or not I can handle what will come next. I’m trying to conquer my fear. I’m sick of it dictating what I do or do not do with my life. If I want to accomplish anything of worth, I must get rid of this fear.
But despite all this fear, I’m still going through with this. Why? Because I’ve tried being truly honest with people about difficult subjects this past year and it’s actually been rather rewarding and others seem to find my openness inspiring so I’m hoping to replicate that here. I’m hoping that by seeing my confronting my fear, you will one day have the strength and courage to conquer yours.