Like Kylie Jenner said at the beginning of the year, 2016 was definitely a year of ‘like, realizing stuff’. And whilst I didn’t realize my way to a million dollar house in Casablasas, or a Ferrari into the garage, I did host my own makeup line, pose for a sexy calendar of myself and tease the world with the golden question: Did I get butt implants?
Oops, nope. That was also all her.
But if you’re wondering; no, I didn’t. I’ve just been sitting around a lot so idk, maybe it just got fatter.
What I did realize this year is that my ability to suppress memories has improved, so as I found myself reflecting on the past year this week, I stuck out like a drunk at a pub quiz questioning ‘was that really 2016?!’ as the ‘name that tune’ track played in the background.
But, after a few days, I’ve conducted a solid list of things I’ve realized over the past year:
Making friends over the Internet is more likely to end in kidnapping
After setting myself the resolution to make more friends, I followed my brother’s advice and downloaded apps to talk to people in the local area.
January lead to meeting my first ‘online friend’, and gave me plenty of opportunities to meet 40 year old French men hoping for their chance to ‘chat’. I didn’t take them up on the offer, for reasons other than my six years out of practise C Grade French AS Level.
Cat man, or – my personal fave -Bowling Ball Billy was nice enough. And I felt like we had a deep connection and could be good pals.
It became apparent very quickly that he had a lot of personal issues he needed to sort before starting a friendship, and with my own crap going on, I was not ready to feel depended on.
After a couple of meet ups, neediness kicked in, conversation got tedious, tickets and receipts got stuck to the wall like posters and strands of my fallen hair were played with whilst I ate my Hunter’s Chicken in the pub.
In the space of 2 weeks I went from a potential new social life, to knowing who to call in an emergency when I needed a clone or a shrine making. It was nice whilst it lasted, though.
Yik Yak, on the other hand, gave me the chance to be temporarily friends with a number of anonymous people. So that was pretty happnen’. It also gave me the chance to remind myself how hilarious I am, even if nobody was around to listen.
Some guys just suit the phrase ‘fuckboy’
I lost two important friends this year for reasons I shan’t explain. In my opinion, they both definitely suit the disgusting tween phrase ‘fuckboy’. I always thought people were being a little harsh on guys, and maybe just misunderstood them. But nah, it’s a phrase and it suits some people perfectly.
If people want to stick around, they will
I have spent years and years trying too hard. I’ve had to learn the hard way that people who want to be part of your life, will make sure they’re part of it.
My mum always used to tell me that a friendship takes effort from both sides, to which I’d reply ‘but what if I’m the only one making the effortttttttt?’ in that classic moany voice teens have got down to a T. Finally, I just distanced myself from people to give them a chance to contact me.
Some people reached out, others didn’t. Their loss.
I rekindled a friendship with school best friend this year, too. It was all done by her subtly reaching out, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more innocently wanted by a friend.
I’ve bonded, rekindled and grown my friendships and I’ve realised that having a small amount of friends is way better than trying to hold on to everyone at once. Sometimes my friends drive me insane, make me so nervous and scared that I cancel plans or stay a little too quiet, but honestly I don’t know how I’d survive without them. I hope that we stay friends till the bitter end; sipping our Hooch in Whetherspoons, debating politics and space travel whilst filtering in as much wit and sarcasm as possible for 80 year olds with no teeth.
CBT isn’t for everyone
After numerous attempts to chit-chat with a therapist about my – actually totally fine – childhood, CBT seemed a last resort. The therapy gives you coping mechanisms to apply to everyday situations in order to rationalize thoughts and stop worrying about too many things at once.
For anyone with racing thoughts, that seems 50% laughable, and 50% impossible: Totaling 100% not worth the hassle.
I found out how my thoughts were controlled by rules I’d subconsciously set for myself from past experiences. And after 10 sessions or so, I’d heard the word ‘mindful’ enough to last me a lifetime and I felt quite proud to have finally completed something.
I did take a little from the process however, I don’t think CBT is for me. It’s not a case of ‘I out-smart CBT’, it’s just that perhaps I think too complexly for the methodical approach, and often see it as a very sheltered technique: Not every worry is possible to write down on a list, schedule time to deal with, pro and cons it, ask yourself ‘what if’ and take a deep breath to calm down the situation. Which seems to be their way of solving everything.
Sometimes worry is just worry, and panic is just panic. Sometimes trying to find a reason of your anxiety, might just be leading you to other reasons to panic, rather than finding the real reason.
Not everything can be solved in the same way. I’d much rather sit at home with a crossword till it all blows over.
People actually like me
I have a huge issue with self-loathing and can’t quite understand my appeal to others, so this was a major realisation for me.
I’ve never truly felt ‘liked’ and I still wonder whether friends, family or even my boyfriend is lying about liking me. But this year I’ve felt individual and I’ve felt liked. People have spent time with me and you know what? I don’t think it was torturous for them. I might even go as far to say that they enjoyed it!
I believe people more when they talk to me now, and appreciate my friends a little more deeply.
The biggest hurdle I’ve overcome this year is my insecurities; my inability to trust that I’m not surrounded by friends and my boyfriend out of pity. And that I’m part of their life for a reason.
I’m much less of the person I used to hate; needy, sensitive, and crazy to a new level. And I’ve learned to be a little more chilled out (though anyone who doesn’t know me properly may think that *this* is not chilled…) and I think that’s helped me gain a little more confidence in my likability.
I’m not totally there yet, and still hold the worry in my mind just in case. But so far, it’s going okay, and perhaps 2017 will lead to me experiencing life and realising more about myself and those around me.
Perhaps I’ll travel the world or become a pro in my job.
Maybe I’ll make new friends to stash away in my little album of besties
Maybe I’ll get even sassier
The year might even bring my own make-up line, butt implants and a Ferrari
But for now, I’ll probably just focus on finishing my crossword book.