I feel like it’s tradition to look back on the past year, and witness the changes that happened in our lives. I didn’t want to write about mine because it’s not the brightest recap you could read on the internet, but damn it, why should I not write about a bad experience? It’s as important as the good stuff.
Whenever I think about 2016 I am smiling and proud of what I did, of what I became that year. Proud of standing out for myself, and accomplishing so many things in those twelve precious months. Proud of giving myself my best chance.
2017, however, was the exact opposite. It balanced out the magical year that was 2016. This past year I did nothing out of the ordinary, and I know it’s ok but I feel like a failure. Did I set the bar too high the previous year?
Whenever I re-read this article, I can’t believe I’m the author. I can’t believe I could have felt so inspired, so empowering. I want to make that version of myself proud of me.
So, what changed? Did I just let life happen to me?
A lot of stuff happened to me. I was assaulted. More than once. I lost people in what could be considered tragic ways. I was confronted with some difficult situations. My mental health has not been the best.
It’s the result of several traumas, heartbreaks, deceptions and an overall lack of confidence in myself. It happens, my brain has its own ways and I barely acknowledged it until now.
There’s one song I’ve listened to a lot this year (599 times according to last.fm) that perfectly reflects how I felt this past year : Breaking Down by Florence + The Machine.
“Ah-ah, ah-ah I think I’m breaking down
All alone on the edge of sleep
My old familiar friend
Comes and lies down next to me”
In 2017, I did not create as much as I wanted to. I didn’t travel enough. Didn’t take pictures enough. Didn’t read enough. Didn’t meet enough people. I wasn’t enough. I felt (trying very hard not to use present tense right now) like such a disappointment.
What does it feel like a failure? Is this society’s pressure, or just me pressuring myself to be at my best all the time? Success is a relentless quest for our generation we have to be constantly able to prove that we are successful. It’s sickening, right? I don’t want to measure my success by how much books I’ve read (even though I absolutely adore statistics) or by how many countries I’ve been to. It’s not healthy, well, for me at least.
I did not have a good year. I didn’t achieve much. I am trying to make my peace with that.
I won’t set myself high goals for 2018. I just want to breathe. I want to see landscapes. I want to read. I want to love. I want to live… at my own pace, and that’s completely fine.