Flash forward to the start of this year: there I was, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I was confident that 2016 was going to be my year. I felt hopeful that I could juggle a myriad of priorities all whilst keeping sane.
But to be frank, this year was a real challenge. It wasn't the fact that it was Year 12 and that I was stressed about school – if anything, I was apathetic – but rather, I had lost sight of what mattered: the things I loved doing, the things I needed to prioritise, and most importantly myself. A lot of loose ends came undone and revealed that I still had so much to work on before I could fully devote myself to other people and responsibilities.
The worst part is, I gave myself continuous excuses and harboured some very toxic emotions. My circumstances felt entrapping, and if I look back on the year, I can't quite say I've achieved a significant amount. The discouraging school environment was draining for me personally, and I held on trying to pretend it was okay; after a while it became bearable. I graduated not too many weeks ago and in hindsight, I've already started noticing the dramatic difference in my lust for life. I have so much more of a will to better myself as we speak.
I found a gem of a video from Anna Akana which was not only groundbreaking but resounding of the truth. The secret to happiness? In a nutshell: growth. For myself it was a year of mental/physical stagnancy, of just sticking it through for the sake of it, and never really investing or applying myself because nothing felt worth it anymore. By not having the room for personal growth I suffered, and it shows.
The roughest realisation was that I had become a negative influence that even I didn't want to associate with. They always say to remove yourself from relationships and environment(s) that keeping you unhappy; but what happens when you're the one inflicting all the pain? What happens when you're the one people don't want to be around? That's what left me dumbfounded. I had become the person I had sworn to never tolerate – I'd become exactly that, one who did nothing except dish out negativity.
Not that there is anything wrong with negativity. I'm always an advocate of a healthy amount of skepticism, as well as paying homage to what is wrong. The paramount step is to attempt to resolve it. The problem comes with incessant self-awareness of your shortcomings, combined with the inability to alter one's such fate. I still don't know the antidote to self-toxicity in a mentally suppressive environment (hello, brain) but I've overcome a great deal, and I'm happy enough with progress.
There's the good news though. I'm now 18 and am greeted with newfound responsibility! (Yay to decisions.) Since graduating I've set out all these grand plans – and now all that's left is to find to my footing and allow said plans to come to fruition. I've actively tried to work on myself, try new things and involve myself in endeavours that will only have me feeling content. (Except that one time I had to be dragged out of the front row at Flume – relentless, breath-taking-away crowds are not for the faint-hearted. Or the petite.) Catching up with long lost loved ones has been what I needed, especially when it feels like nothing has changed at all. Catching up with myself, however, is going to take a bit of time, but I'm happy to finally focus on myself and the paths I choose to take. As well as that, how I'm going to give back to those around me.
Honestly I know it doesn't seem like it, but my love for writing hasn't changed either. I can't wait to start writing again. Writing right now just brings me back to feelings of mirth. I've been playing around the idea of a book for quite some time now, to kickstart my lurking ambition. See, I don't think anyone particularly cares, or is keen to understand, but to be able to finally write again (and forgive me, I'm rusty this time!) is more than enough.
I know I have it in me, and I just have to keep going.