As we edge ever closer to the end of 2016, I decided to take some time to sit down and reflect on the past 12 months. I wasn’t going to, originally. I thought, “what on earth can I contribute that won’t have been said a million times over already? What have I got to add that won’t be an horrific cliché?” But then, I decided to shrug away the negative side of my brain.
2016. “What a horrendous year!” they say, “So many deaths! So much political discourse! Good riddance – roll on 2017!” I used to love New Year, until I realised that time is just an illusion, and bears no real meaning in the grand scheme of things. Maybe this is why as a human race, we’re obsessed with ascribing meaning to it, to make it matter. As much I resist, I still can’t help but feel a lightness at the end of the year, the feeling that it all starts over once again. Tomorrow is just another day, the clocks may be changing, but nothing will really change. But there’s something refreshing about ‘starting over’, even if it’s not really starting over, just continuing on.
2016 saw my mental state deteriorate once again. First, the anxiety, causing me many sleepless nights and zombie-like states the next day, then the depression, descending into a heavy fog as I started to lose sight of what I wanted, what really mattered. I’d be lying if I said I got through it stronger on the other side, because I’m still very much navigating through it, holding on to my sanity as tightly as I can whenever I so happened to come across it. The darkness in my mind has a pretty strong hold on me, convincing me that I’m not good enough, that I’m not trying hard enough, even when I try my very best. It’s conceived a numbness in my emotions, causing me to not feel as intensely as I used to. Joy, excitement, passion… even pain and sadness. I walk around a shell of what I once was, not being able to relate to others quite as I did before. Cries for help muffled and stifled by The Fog.
I’m taking all the appropriate steps I need to see the light again. In 2017, I want to work harder on lifting The Fog. I want to be braver. I want to fight through the demons in my mind that consistently tell me, “No.” I want to say “Yes” more. I want to be more impulsive, and not feel like I have to be the responsible, sensible one all the time. I want to feel less embarrassed, of myself and the things I love. I want to tell the people I love that I love them, so very much, constantly, endlessly. In 2017, I want to be kinder to myself.
You can argue whether the concept of ‘New Year’ matters all you like. But here’s to 2017 being brighter, better and bolder – for me and for you.