To the lovely 37

The best way out is always through.

Robert Frost

A bit of a retrospective….

37 was an interesting year for me. It was the year I feel like I finally started to grow into myself. It was the year I really shook off expectations and did what I wanted to do and started to become who I wanted to be. I started a new job. I made new friends. I fell in love with my husband all over again. I had trials and tribulations. I persevered.

Mentally, there were no major episodes (holy shit, was I really just able to say that?), only a few very minor blips. Honestly most of the time there was a “blip” it was because I was hungry. I admit, I am one of the ones that become hangry and irritable when I don’t eat. There was a lot stress – new job, new situations, things constantly changing, worry about not only my job but Mike’s as well, and how can we not forget a global pandemic? But I managed to survive it all, and come out well on the other side. I’m actually quite proud of myself. Despite really not wanting to take them, I’ve stayed on my meds and stayed the course. It’s paid off. I’m happy. I’m in a good place.

In the last year I’ve made a number of friends, many of them getting closer to me than people I’ve known for years. I’ve also strengthened old friendships and reconnected with some people I haven’t talked to in almost two decades. I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly solitary person – I’m often much more comfortable by myself than in a group of people. People tend to drain me both emotionally and physically. I usually hate being social. But I’ve found that I’ve surrounded myself with people that don’t drain me. These are people that I actually want to spend time with and hang out with. People that I like talking to, people I’ve opened up to. For so many years I held almost everyone at arm’s length, but I’ve found that this year that there has been one or two people that in a short term have managed to worm their way behind my defenses and really see the real me. And they didn’t run screaming. It’s been…. nice. And unexpected. And scary at times. But overall it’s been good. And because of that I’ve opened the doors for some of my older friends, and I’ve been met with the same reaction. Sometimes it baffles me that people actually want to be friends with me, spend time with me, get to know me. Hell, more than half of the time I feel like Mike settled by marrying me. (As you can tell, my self-esteem is usually in the dumpster. I’ve tried therapy for it a few times, and it works to some degree, but not much. These thoughts and feelings are just too ingrained to just turn off.) So this year has really been a revelation in terms of my personal relationships.

My family relationships are what they are, and honestly they’re probably the best that they’ll ever be. They love me, I love them, but if weren’t related I don’t know that these are people that I would chose to be heavily involved in my life. We’re all just so different, and that’s ok. Families don’t always have to understand each other. At the end of the day I have their back, and they have mine. That’s really all that matters.

I seemed to have rediscovered my love for music recently. Music has always been a big part of who I am, but I’ve come to find that I can use it as an outlet for my feelings. I’ve curated a number of playlists based around feelings or moods, and even in a case or two around a person. I’ve found I’ve been singing and dancing more over the last few months. I actually got busted by another manager for singing and dancing to The Killer’s Mr. Brightside in receiving the other day. We both had a good laugh, and I was not nearly embarrassed as I should have been. And I’ve had a lot of fun trolling through my iTunes library which has been alive for 20 years and has seen me through many different phases of musical taste. Matching songs to the moods of different playlists and rediscovering old music that I haven’t listened to in years has been a ton of fun, and in a lot of ways cathartic. I can get out what I’m feeling through someone else’s words and music.

So here’s to you, 37. You really weren’t all that bad, despite everything.

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