Reflection on 2018

This year I have met hundreds of people, traveled across the United States, and read more than I have ever in a year. It was a full and crazy 365 days.

I started 2018 as a recent college graduate with no job whose boyfriend was visiting for the holidays. I end the year as a professional adult with no job who just moved in with her boyfriend. I did work over the course of the year. I actually had three jobs, one working a labor job in a used book warehouse, and two in my field, political organizing.

My family went to Alaska! We plateaued into an ongoing state of existence that we will hopefully we steady in. My sister started high school. I moved out. My brother moved from his jail cell to a mental institution where hopefully he can get the help he needs. We lost our elderly dog just a couple weeks ago, she was just in too much pain. It was a big year of evening out the rocky results of 2017.

I grew so much as a professional. I got up everyday and went to the same place. I learned how to manage other people. I learned how to manage myself! (Much more impressive. Trust.)

I joined groups and made friends, discovered mentors. Reconnected with old pals from high school and before. I was more social and free and open than I had been in years. Being in therapy for the whole year definitely helped with that. I got closure I didn’t know I needed from friends I didn’t know I still had.

Even though I failed almost half the resolutions I set myself this year I feel like I got more than I expected from 2018. After so many down years it was nice to have a positive one. I hope you all got through this year in one piece.

Wish 2019 luck, we are coming.

Moving out for good

So last week I packed up and moved out of my family home to move in with my boyfriend 6 states away. This post however is just about moving away from home.

I had been living in that home for 8 years even though for three and a half I was at college. I never really lived anywhere permanently for long. However, I was always with my family and spent most in the same county in Maryland. Now I am gone.

Packing to leave I thought would be the same as leaving for college. It wasn’t. I need things for year round versus seasonally. All the momentos and things from my childhood to make a judgement call. PICKING WHICH BOOKS TO TAKE! It was a hard decision and have since made plans with my family so I will eventually have all of them. To be honest even leaving my local the last time got emotional.

Leaving my home town and the people there was rougher than I thought. Because of the quick turnaround a lot of the time the first time I could see a friend was also the moment I was telling them I was leaving. It was also in most cases the last time we could see each other before I left. Saying goodbye to my dog even though I knew she was going to die before I saw her again. (It was less than a week before she went)

Still a little homesick.

Wish me luck.

I burn bridges and it’s a good idea

Ending any relationship with those close to you is hard, even if it’s for the best. Closure is harder. I find that burning bridges is the best way to achieve closure because it doesn’t let you go back, there is no temptation of the grass being greener behind you. I have a bad habit of going back on my decision, treating myself like a doormat because I prefer to be friends with someone. Even if they are TERRIBLE friends.

I don’t know that I had ever actually experienced closure until recently. Mostly because I am a super fan of quitting people cold turkey, because of the reasons mentioned above. However in the past 2 months I have a had to see a couple people that I had thought, hoped, prayed, I would never see again. This time, instead of feeling crazy and stressed, I felt good.

I felt so satisfied with my decisions and like oh yeah, my life is better without these humans. My pushing them away after the relationship needed to end, keeps them away and keeps me from going back. Anyway closure is a wonderful feeling and for me burning the bridges really helped me get there.

Thanks.

Can People Change?

I knew what I have wanted to write about for a while. But writing it wasn’t working, because I was trying to write this post on forgiveness. Recently, I had the mind-boggling experience of having someone who hurt and manipulated me for years and then hurt my friends, decide that we were “okay”. General conclusion is the forgiveness is not necessary for closure.

It was very confusing. What was more confusing is why this threw me into such a tail spin. I mean it’s all I thought about for days trying to figure out what could have been going on in her head. Then mostly through powers of therapy I realized it because I always assumed one day she would change and/or care about the people she hurt. It appears that it was not the case.

I went through the same thing for years with my brother. He would mess up, he would hurt or steal or push buttons. He would be in the dog house and have stricter rules. We would trust him less but eventually things would return to normal and all would be forgiven and forgotten. Then it would happen again. He could justify doing what he wanted because in the long run nothing would change.

For someone to change there needs to be a real reason to, an opportunity cost, something to lose or something to gain. If they remain apathetic to the consequences that happen naturally I don’t see it being possible to achieve real growth. Until someone starts caring, they don’t see a need to change and that’s what must happen first.

Sorry just something I needed out of my system.

Ambiguous Loss

So right now life sucks a little bit. Not just the stress of the year but my family suffered a loss. A loss but not a death. It’s hard to explain to others why I am hurting so bad when they aren’t dead. It is instead the loss of someone that was such a large part of my heart and my life that can no longer be that person, at least I don’t think so.

For a while I was trying to validate my feelings of grief when I came across the phenomena of Ambiguous Loss. It’s a very specific type of grief where there is no closure or true understanding of what happened just that it has happened. Unfortunately, there is also hope. The person that you love could become back to the person you loved again. It leaves you in the grieving process but doesn’t allow you to get to a point of acceptance because there is a hope of change.

So yeah, while life continues I am in a constant state of numb and sad. It’s definitely made planning for my future hard while there is such a hole in my present life. I’m restarting therapy this week but hopefully things start looking up or at least moving forward.

Wish me luck!