It’s been a helluva year:
2 mental breakdowns
2 house moves
7234 ‘I want to quit my job’ moments
1 new diagnosis
2 Lost bank cards
1 poorly timed dislocated knee
3 lost besties
3 existential crisis’
And plenty more. But that’s just the bad bits
1 holiday out of Europe on my first long haul flight
1 Trip back to Italy
Closer knit family time
1 sleepover with puppy
1 bust lip from go karting for the first time
3 new close-ish pals
First pair of heels that make me feel super cool
And that’s 24 (if you don’t count the 7234).
So I could end the post here with a successful list that completes the title’s objective, no?
For reals, here’s 24 thoughts I’ve been thinking about to sum up 23, and how I intend to grow in 24.
1. 23 has been the second most challenging year of my life and there have been times where I’ve accepted I’m not getting out of this one alive.
They’re a funny little thing, suicidal thoughts; sometimes they pop up with random passionate and determined bursts of ‘I want to die’.
Other times it’s weeks long dullness and an acceptance of ‘this actually needs to happen. I’ve done all I can’. And it’s sad – like really sad – because you don’t even fight yourself on the matter anymore.
There’s an internal battle that people who suffer from these thoughts have to fight: where you have to tell yourself you can push yourself that little bit harder, last that little bit longer. And that’s the strength that I’ve struggled with this year. A lot. And that’s hard and it’s exhausting.
2. And along side this, I have the fabulous gift of being too self aware but haven’t figured out how this helps me yet. I’m also pretty, well, universally aware, too, which leads me into pits of existentialism that I struggle to reach out from.
My counsellor last year finally put a name to the strange void I felt that couldn’t really be filled, and suggested I find friends who were more intellectual – so to speak – who also feel the same.
Naturally ‘do you ever feel like you’re watching the world from the outside and just know we’re all just wasting the time till we die and nothing really matters and everything is a bit pointless and there needs to be more to life than this surely humans are here for some other reason but to serve ourselves and then die and hi my name is Abi’ does not, in fact, work as a solid introduction for new friendship invites.
Somehow I need to learn to shut off the basement door of my mind in which lies a big old hole that leads to the end of the universe. Because getting trapped there is pretty awful, and it makes it extremely difficult to live my life to the fullest.
3.I cannot explain how fucking enormously grateful I am to my parents, auntie, cousin, brother/sister-in-law, Emily (soul sister) and my boyfriend this year for taking all of my crazy and wrapping it in a blanket, feeding it cereal and disaronno and waiting it out; for forcing me to speak to them on the phone when I’ve been curled up in the toilets in a bar because I can’t see anything other than judging faces staring at me, or speak to anyone without fearing it’ll ruin everything; for inviting me places even when I’m a black cloud over their life; for doing absolutely everything for me or absolutely nothing, and knowing which way is the one I need right now.
You see, it’s hard to maintain a light hearted, fun to be around persona around friends after they’ve seen you in the dark. Letting people see that side is a risk that could twist and change the friendship forever. It’s not really something I’m comfortable with. And yet, my brother and I can one minute be crying and panicking on the phone while the next screaming Britney Spears songs in the living room together – and that’s the kind of friendship I’m looking for.
4.Speaking of friendships, this year has ended beautifully.
The problem with moving away is that you’re not necessarily in the forefront of anyone’s mind anymore. And when you come back – after a mental breakdown where you blocked yourself from all group chats and deleted everyone off social media (minor detail) – it’s extremely hard to bring yourself back to where you need to be. In a sense, I forced my way out of what I needed most at the time.
But I was also left, and neglected by people I needed through no fault of my own, and in light of that I started my parade of self destruction, then through the path of recovery which has lead me to where I am today.
Don’t get me wrong, the people I’d call my friends I love very much, and yet speaking to them feels like I’m a balloon and they’re all needles; they’ll all talk and ill join in and when eyes are on me, I feel suddenly like the odd one out and kind of can’t put the words or topics together to possibly look cool enough or worthy enough of their attention or friendship.
The people that used to make me feel the most comfortable, actually now make me feel the least, and with that, I spend a lot of time feeling uncomfortable, having panic attacks and then thinking about how my life is not how I thought it would be.
But for my birthday party, I was relaxed and super happy. Everyone I loved was there and everyone had such a lovely time. I’m so grateful to get back to this point and can only hope in 24, I’ll be even more comfortable.
5.I have a serious love / hate relationship with myself (which quite possibly might jeoprodise pretty much everything in my life).
If you’ve recently read my body dysmorphia blog, you’ll know it’s not been an easy ride these past few months. And without the confidence in my body, I can’t have the confidence in anything else. Vain it might be, but there’s something very valuable in feeling like you look the part, and for me, that value is huge.
But it’s not just my appearance that gets me irate, my entire being can.
Sometimes I despise myself more than any person should, and I refuse – or become incapable – of understanding how anyone can love me or like me, how I ruin everything and can’t do anything right. Meanwhile, 5 moments previously I might be dancing round the living room feeling hawt af singing away like I’m Ariana Grande.
This isn’t rational and it isn’t mental stability but it’s me. It’s extreme and it’s crazy and it’s difficult to navigate but it’s me. And from time to time (admittedly more when I’m happy and hilarious) I absolutely love it about me.
My highs are higher than your typical happy mood, and I don’t think I’d want to change that.
I find myself staring at the DBT workbook I’ve bought trying to find it in me to start it, but part of me is worried about changing myself.
I’ve felt nothing before and I don’t fancy it again. So perhaps feeling possibly too much for everything is where I need to be (note: entire different story when on the other side of this mood swing, possible future blog post)
6. Stopping fashion blogging was a good choice
I love fashion as much as the next gal, but it’s not where my writing passion lies. I stopped using this blog for a while because I couldn’t find anything remotely light hearted to write about the washed out wardrobe I’ve been living in since high school.
I don’t go out and spend my money on new outfits – I don’t go out and spend my money at all – so my choice in blogging subject needed to change.
And now, I post more frequently, and actually get decent feedback from readers and bloggers I actually relate to. Which is nice.
7.Making my blog a personal space was also a good choice
‘Making it’ is a recurring goal of mine in anything I do, but accepting that this blog is now a personal space and wasn’t going to start making me money in a saturated industry was a stress reliever.
I switched blogs 2 years ago. And despite continued attempts to make this one fashion related enough to gain the following my previous blog still has, or enough traffic to get myself an affiliate program, it’s never become close.
Truth is, while fashion brought in the ‘omg so cute. Read my blog here:’ comments, my down to earth ‘Abi’s darkest secrets’ posts were much more engaging and brought in the following.
I’ve tried straying away from my intense blog posts but simply, I just do not connect with them.
8.I’ll therefore continue on my bulky substance blogging journey
I see people on instagram scraping at the bottom of the pile to find something to write about that they can post to their feed with the #fashionblogger. I recently saw a post where a girl had literally tied a knot in a t-shirt and wrote about how she’d transformed her wardrobe. I watch Home Bargain Hauls on YouTube from vloggers who clearly just needed to keep to their schedule, or see Instagram photos of fashion bloggers holding green coke or Surf washing liquid with captions that do not relate.
And it is so materialistic. And if there’s one thing I’m not, it’s that.
I am much worse; I’m the type to lure you in with a smile just so you sit and read my deepest thoughts. And it works, because you’re currently reading this.
But I feel so much free-er. Without a doubt I love writing, and I love writing about real things for me, or things that I feel so intensely.
And I love reading things similar. Where did all the content go in this little online world? Because I just don’t care enough about where your oversized jumper is from to read your latest post on your Top Five Fave Fake Tans.
9.I’m really good at making Jamie Oliver’s Wonky Summer Pasta, and will one day find something else I like to eat.
Today isn’t that day. Onwards to the cereal cupboard.
10.At 24 I want / need a new job with a better wage in a happier company
This post was getting too long so you’re welcome to take this pointer as you will.
11.I need to change the world somehow
I’ve come to conclude that I need to make a difference to something. So that I can actually feel like I’ve contributed to the world. I think this will help my existential issue – I just want to be known for something and have a good reputation when I die.
12.At 24 I think I might find a therapist.
Last time I went to a psychiatrist they told me I was fine and should come off medication.
6 months later I found out they’d told my doctor I was suffering from Emotional Dysregulation (BPD) and clearly didn’t think this information was important to pass on to me. I’d been put on a waiting list for DBT and low and behold, I haven’t heard anything.
So it’s safe to say I’m giving up on the NHS and think getting myself a therapist is the way to go.
I need to move on with some parts of my life, and while there’s been a large amount of mourning this year, I need to get over my biggest issue that’s probably holding me back.
Plus, I need someone to talk to that ain’t gon’ judge me. I think this will be an integral part of my ‘growing up’ phase.
13. Six years down the line, and I still crave my degree.
I’ve thought about it a lot, and having a degree feels like a door to the past that needs a closin’.
It’s one of the biggest things that effects me pretty much everyday, and it’s something – ridiculously – I think I deserve.
But it would also prove something to me; that I’m not a quitter, that my life and mind are better now and that I can be who I wanted to be. It would mean that all this growing and strength I’ve built would mean something – and can be used to help me reconnect with the person I once was.
I’m not there yet though; the prospect of standing in a uni makes me want to be sick or cry a thousand years – but with the help of a therapist, maybe one day I’ll make it.
14.I also would like a hobby
If I’ve not mentioned, I spend a lot of time alone after work so perhaps a new hobby is required. I write blogs from time to time but other than that, not much. I’ve looked at dance classes and almost vomited after seeing that ‘senior lessons’ were for 10 and above.
But, there’s a few meet up groups I might try and a singing group I hope to push myself to go to one time. I think I just need something for myself to do to occupy my time so that the only thing going on isn’t work.
15.I’m going to pass my driving test
Driving is a huge issue for me. I’m no follow-through. I drive fine and some times quite confidently, but can’t seem to get myself through the test. It’s something that makes me feel like a total failure and it’s another milestone I haven’t passed yet.
But, my current instructor is amazing, and I feel like this time could be the one.
16.My house feels empty without a cat
Need I say more?
17. I finally finish paying off my loan this year which means I’ll have an extra £114. I’m hoping this will mean I might actually treat myself more, save for all the things I want and almost maybe afford a car.
18.My favourite place in the world is still my bed and that’s okay
I wake up everyday and don’t want to leave bed. And I come home and all I want to do is lay in bed. It’s my favourite place and although I’m in my prime years where I should be out and about, I don’t actually need to beat myself up for being in bed all the time, because comfort is the best.
19.Moving house isn’t something I enjoy anymore, and I’m going to start saving for a house. For 24, I’ve moved way too many times and now I just want my forever home.
20.In later life I’m also going to get braces
You’ll have seen in my last post that my smile and teeth and the biggest of my insecurities and I think this will only get worse. Which is why when I have a little more disposable income, I can get Invisalign. (Okay, so most of the things I want when I’m 24 involve money…)
21.I’m still super inconsistent
I hate you, and love you and everything else in the word. I have passions and then decide I have none. Get motivated and then downtrodden. Start something then stop.
I’m not sure what I could get done if I was consistent, but I feel like it would be A LOT.
Pretty much every time I think something is going to work it ~ shock ~ doesn’t. So maybe I should just make a goal to complete something this year?
22.I spend a horrible amount on costa
And I don’t even like coffee. But frappes have replaced energy drinks for me in the morning because they were hurting my heart…ooops
The lady in HSBC told me to download their app which breaks down your finances and used – and I quote – ‘you can see how much you spend on Costa in a year’ and you know? It’s really stuck with me.
23. Speaking of, working from a coffee shop brings me so much peace and productivity. Seriously, it’s feels like I’ve got my shit together, I’m grown up and surprisingly I get stuff done. Ideally, I want to be able to do this like, everyday – so anyone who needs a coffee shop laptop typer gal – hook.me.up.
24.I’m going to find what makes me happy
I want to be in the happy bubble I felt on my birthday everyday. More on this another time?
Jeez, I really lost momentum with these pointers by the end…. 24 is a lot
I am so old.