For the past 2 days I've been reflecting on my entire year of 2017. It left me incapacitated all of yesterday, save for the 3 hours spent doing festivities in all traditional manners of ringing in the new year and the better part of today being frustratingly productive. Like, doing things beyond your skill level but still attainable with time and patience kind of frustrating.
Technology. Web design. Unlocking achievements.
I considered just plastering this page with a word vomit consisting of putrid chunks of emotion, streams of bitter bile, and partially appetizing chunks of what use to be. However, that's not how I want to remember 2017...
Because 2017 deserves a better title than the year I got divorced. It was the year I gained freedom and the ability to see my own strengths and faults for what they were. I didn't have to maintain a happy facade for a guy that wasn't happy with himself. I didn't have to prove my self worth to a man that no longer wanted me. I didn't have to pretend to like the women that he chose to "impress" himself upon.
Nobody saw the years of break down, they just saw me move on. And how dare I.
A friend of mine who went through a similar situation in life told me about this unspoken rule that after a divorce, women are expected to take time off to "be sad", "single", and "discover ourselves" for the sake of social appearances. She laughed, as she talked about her adventures with moving on, dating, and marrying the British man she loves. We poured our hearts out that morning as we secretly poured whiskey into our coffee...
I've always known that I've had certain strengths. The ability to plow forward through obstacles. Creativity in finding multiple ways of accomplishing something. I can dive into things and never look back. Those are the tools that have greatly helped me get through this year. It helped me stand by my decision to get the divorce, it also helped me get through a lot of the tougher things to navigate as a result of that.
I packed up as much as I could and got out not really knowing where i'd go. My weakness was never allowing myself to open up to anybody. All of my dreams, goals, passions, and fears were locked away in a man that indifferently flicked it all away. My initial saving grace was a close friend in Whitehall. I'd drive the hour there and back a few nights a week just to have a warm place to stay and good conversation supplemented with plenty of wisdom...and mead. As I opened up more and more, it became easier to discuss with others. Slowly unraveling my layers of depression and anxiety that I masked with focus and overworking myself. I didn't realize how uncomfortable I was, and allowing myself to be that uncomfortable was the worst realization of all. I was in a 7 year relationship where my self worth was only measured in income and status.
My life meant nothing.
We lived his life.
I was just allowed to pick out the tile.
And so I took my life.
This past year I have slept on couches and discovered stronger friendships. Recognized that I have to open up. I've familiarized myself with the signs of discomfort, though I'm still working on allowing myself a voice. People I don't know, I don't let hug or grab me. I reach out to other people more. I follow my original passion of making art- whether its writing, drawing, or working with metal. Surrounding myself with other like-minded people has been key.
Ultimately, that's what I want to go into 2018 with. There are a lot of strong willed and inspiring people, mostly women, who are also breaking into 2018 with the tenacity to succeed and go even further.