There is so much to say about this year. It has been hard, maybe harder than ever. Do we say that every year? I think so.
Naively, I had so much hope for 2022 after nearly two years of lockdowns and what I perceived to be lost time. I was wrong because time was not lost at all. The passage of time is a funny thing. During those lockdowns, time was flowing, and we were all changing.
It isn’t all bad. There have been some great things in the year and I’m grateful for even the smallest win or glimmer of hope.
Recently, I have been comparing a lot of things in life to fitness. You have to work at it, it isn’t always fun or flattering and the most important results are not visible to the eye.
I’ve found a sense of community where I work out. From being someone who hated sport and physical activity in high school because of the way my sports teacher treated those of us who didn’t fit in, I now run towards the challenge, power and confidence that working out gives me.
The main theme of this post is to do with the passage of time. It is possibly one of the most emotional and difficult things to come to terms with, for me anyway. We cannot change it, we cannot reverse it. I am still learning to surrender to the passage of time and for me that is a work in progress.
What have I learned or experienced so far this year?
Don’t assume that your friendships or any kind of relationship will remain constant. Any relationship is constant work – I don’t subscribe to the notion that relationships are effortless. I get the concept, but I don’t agree that it requires no effort. Everything needs work and effort, it just comes down to what you think is worthy of your time, work and effort. I was introduced to the term fair-weather friend. These are the friends who are with you when it is easy to be with you but disappear when you start having issues. These are people who lack accountability and do not follow through, particularly when it is of no tangible benefit to them.
Related to the above, keep yourself open to meeting new people always. I’ve had people ask me why I feel the need to meet new people all the time. Aren’t you happy with your friends?! To which I would say, well, if I took that approach then we probably would not have met.
By keeping myself open, I have made new friends this year who have had all kinds of wonderful impacts on me. It brings a smile to my face when I think of how lucky I am to have met these people.
This year I finally confronted in a very real way that I was a victim of rape seventeen years ago. It was so difficult for me to say that I could not even fathom typing the previous sentence up until this point. After extensive therapy and some time, I finally had the courage to report this to the police and going through that process has been really challenging for me. While it is still difficult for me to talk about openly, I am slowly moving to a place where I can. It took me this long to realise how much that event impacted me, my emotional and sexual relationships. I am on the journey to heal and grow stronger, this will take time and effort. I am grateful that my close friends, family and community supported me through this time (and continue to do so).
I have learned to be more vulnerable this year. I used to think that showing my weakness would make me undesirable as a person but this was quite the opposite. Putting up walls has alienated me from people in the past. This year has been a big step towards bringing those walls down and being more vulnerable with people as they are with me.
Dating has been absolutely hilarious and overwhelmingly crap. No surprises here but always a fun one. From the highs of January to getting banned on Tinder and Hinge, it has been a ride. The way people present themselves to the world and the bizarre ways they treat people privately is…an interesting contrast. You betcha you are a story I’m telling to people, makes for great dinner conversation. What I will say though, is that I have made more friends off dating apps than I have had successful dates. That is not a bad outcome at all. While I pretty much stopped going on dates about two months ago, it has been a nice break and allowed me to throw myself into doing more things I love.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to fall in love but it is also not a requirement for me. I will meet people and explore the opportunity but I will not force it. There is nothing worse than being in a relationship that makes you feel like you are fading as an individual. I want someone who challenges me, makes me grow and compliments me while I do the same for them. I am not looking for someone to complete me.
With that said, living alone is hard work. You need to work to be active in all components of your life because it is far too easy to fall into isolation.
I have no idea what 2023 is going to bring for me but as always, I’m hopeful and excited. That’s all from me for now.