Happy New Year.

Here we are. The ending of another year, and so I’m going to keep with tradition and try to write yet another insightful reflection of the past 365 days.

This was an off year for me. There were parts that were fucking terrible. My depression had moments this year where it was on par with 2012/2013. It got pretty bad. I self-harmed for the first time since 2014 back in June. I called out of work one day because I couldn’t force myself to get out of bed. I’ve spent the majority of this year feeling trapped.

I’ve felt trapped by my own decisions. I had been so hyper-focused on getting a degree and trying to prove something to myself and everyone else — that I wasn’t a psycho fuckup of a human being — that I never stopped to think about what happens after I finish. What am I going to do next? Not that there’s anything wrong with just having a bachelor’s degree, I truly used to believe that would be it for me. I’d just find a job that paid the bills and work forever and that’s it. That’s what I get this time around.

I began to reject that reality in June, which is coincidentally when my depression began to beat me into submission. I began to think about going back to school for a master’s, only to realize that my undergrad GPA isn’t competitive. Like, at all. There’s reasons for that, reasons that I’ve clung to and argued when people would bring it up, but at the end of the day, my undergrad GPA sucked because I didn’t put enough effort in.  The classes I loved that were taught well, I aced. The classes that didn’t have an attendance policy, I aced. But unfortunately, the majority of undergrad classes aren’t taught well. The majority have attendance policies —which I still think are fucking stupid and an easy way to dock points for no goddamn reason whatsoever. If you can be absent and still produce quality work I think you should be allowed to but WHATEVER, that’s just my arrogant self still being annoyed for getting B’s in classes where I got A’s on all the work… Some are classes that you love but are taught with zero effort because the professor just wants to get back to his research lab and doesn’t give a shit if you learn or not. Some are boring, mind-numbing courses where it’s a miracle if you can force yourself to show up and waste your own time for an hour. Some are taught by sociopaths whose sole purpose is to see how many students they can fail. The value of college isn’t necessarily education, I think it’s discipline. Which is sad, because it’d be nice to learn something while forking out thousands of dollars to an institution, but alas, c’est la vie.

So I’ve been facing this harsh reality. Yes, I have a bachelor’s degree. I crossed that milestone off my list of life accomplishments. I was so happy and proud that day when I walked across the stage at Mizzou Arena. But now what? There are very few grad programs that I can currently apply to and be considered just because my undergrad GPA is below a 3.0. (That actually causes me physical pain to admit.) So… what? I take classes outside of a degree to boost my GPA? I get a second bachelor’s? Non-degree seeking courses aren’t eligible for any sort of financial aid. Oof. That’s a lot of money. How many courses would I need to ace to boost my GPA? 3? 4? 5? Throw in money for textbooks, etc., we’re looking at a few thousand dollars.

This is where my depression found an opening in my otherwise healthy mental state. I felt trapped. Trapped by money. Trapped by my stupid, impulsive ideas at age twenty-three to try and be pre-med again even though I tried that out TWICE at Truman and both times I decided it wasn’t for me. Yeah, sure, let’s try it again. Oh hey, you don’t like it? It’s not your thing? For the third time? What a shocker.

It’s not that good things didn’t happen this year. It’s just that the bad things that happened outweighed them. Going to NYC for work was so fun. So fun. Highly recommend visiting NYC and I look forward to going back just for fun so I can really explore. But then as the year progressed, and high season arrived, I found myself walking on eggshells at work, trying to be perfect, and being terrified of being fired because someone else messed up something. I jump every time I get a text message because I’m worried it’s about work.

This year beat the crap out of me. I found myself in situations that made me feel small and insignificant, from work to the relationship I wound up in this year. All the while I’ve been clinging to alcohol to fix all my problems, a lesson that I’ve learned over and over again doesn’t work.

The past four weeks I’ve adopted a new way of dealing with my stress. When I get home from work and feel like drinking an entire bottle of wine, I go to the gym. When I feel insignificant, I go to the gym. When I feel worthless and invisible, I go to the fucking gym. I sweat, I pick up heavy things, and I leave feeling like a goddamn person again. People could say that I’m just going from one coping mechanism to another, but when I wake up the next day and can begin to see the product of my hard work, I feel powerful, and sexy, and good. Alcohol has never done that for me.

 

So here’s to 2019,

to not dating fuckboys you know aren’t right for you,

to being honest and upfront and putting yourself out there,

to having the guts to say, “Yeah, I fucked up, so let’s try and fix it.”

 

I refuse to be paralyzed by fear.

I refuse to let myself believe that I don’t deserve love.

I’m moving forward,

and I’m going to find a way through all of this.

 

Happy New Year.

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