Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Great Electricity of 2016

I know Blogmas is over, but I just can't seem to stay away from you. I have a lot of midnight thoughts, and while normally that'd be the type of thing I'd just write in a journal or distract myself from, I think these are productive midnight thoughts that I want to share with you. This post might be even more disjunct than normal, which is saying something. But as that rando in Mean Girls (she doesn't even go here!) once said, "I just have a lot of feelings."

So, let's get started, shall we? Of course this post is going to be a 2015 In Memoriam of sorts, because as New Year's Eve approaches I find myself pensive and self-reflective and preparing a list of resolutions for 2016. I think the big thing that I really want to emphasize is that I want 2016 to be the Year of Me. There's no way to say that without it sounding self-involved, but I just really need to prioritize myself and my goals. Because 2015 was a pretty good year, and overall I would give it a thumbs-up, but in some ways 2015 was the year I lost myself, and that's scary. But let's backtrack a little bit.

I am a lover of intense proportions. I love my family and my friends with a vehemence so strong that it can be overwhelming. In fact, part of the reason why is I'm super single is because I'm kind of scared of how much I might love another human being if there were romantic entanglements, seeing as I'm already fatigued from all the platonic love I have going on inside me. But it's not just that I love a lot, it's that I have a tender heart that bruises super easily. I feel everything, really hard. And in theory that's not a bad thing, but I've learned that I don't really have boundaries for myself, and I end up voluntarily dragging myself through other people's wreckage.

I love my friends and my family and I want them all to be happy always. Clearly that's not realistic, but when I know someone I care about is unhappy, I feel a pang. And obviously I don't want to appropriate anyone else's pain by saying I know exactly what they're going through and exactly how it feels, because to say that would be to unfairly misconstrue another person's lived experience. However, I am subject to my loved ones' secondhand trauma. I do get overwhelmed and cry when I can't help someone who means a lot to me. And I'm learning that maybe that's me giving too much of myself sometimes.

2015 was the year I gave others my peace of mind. If you totaled up the minutes and hours spent panicking, stressing, and obsessing over everyone else's personal problems, the time might amount to days and weeks gone from my life. That's a lot. That's a lot of time that could've been dedicated to myself, and that's no one's fault but mine. I gladly bore my own burdens and then tried to carry everyone else's weight, too. And in a shocking turn of events, there were times (there are still times) when I collapsed from the pressure a little bit. I don't think that's productive for anyone at all, which is why in 2016 I need to teach myself how to be my own number one priority again.

But if you know me in real life and you're reading this, please don't think this is my cut-throat way of saying I don't care. That couldn't be farther from the truth. What I really want to drive home for you is this: I love you more than you might ever know. Truly. I love you so much that it frustrates me sometimes. And I still want to know everything, or at least as much as you feel comfortable sharing. I want to be there for you and I want to listen to what you have to say, because what you have to say is important. I want to be your support system, but I can't be your entire support structure. That means I can't seek out your distress signals and I can't stop everything I'm doing to clean up every mess. And I know you wouldn't expect me to, and I know me feeling overwhelmed and tired is all my own fault, but just don't take it the wrong way if I use 2016 as an excuse to fall in love with myself. So much that it frustrates me sometimes.

2015 was the year I let people yell at me just because they were having a bad day. 2015 was the year I liked a boy who was nothing but mean to me, yet continued to make excuses as to why that was okay. 2015 was the year I felt daily guilt because I wasn't taking calls from certain people, even though I knew them not being in my life made me a lot happier. But 2015 was also a great year full of professional and personal growth. I learned a lot about who I am and what I want from others, which is a huge reason why I'm embarking on this blog post in the first place.

When you board an airplane, the flight attendant always says "secure your own mask first before assisting others," in the unlikely event the plane should crash or the cabin otherwise loses oxygen. And for the longest time I didn't listen, zoning out as the same old speech rolled over my ear drums. But I'm realizing now that not only is that crucial emergency preparedness advice, it's also crucial life advice. Secure own mask first before assisting others, because in order to help anyone else, you have to save yourself. I've spent twenty years fiddling with others' breathing masks without realizing that I have been absolutely gasping for air. And when you can't breathe, you're not much use to anyone, anyway. That's why when I ring in the New Year tomorrow night, I am making sure my mask is secure.

The other night I couldn't sleep, so I took to scrawling in an old journal. Utter nonsense; 3 AM thoughts even less logical than these. But in my delirious state, I kept coming back to the same phrase, writing it over and over again in varying degrees of terrible handwriting. I kept jotting down three words: I am electric. I am electric. I am electric. And I'm not quite sure what I meant by that, but I believe it to be true. I am bright and fierce and warm and informing and important. And one the reasons why I am all of those things is because I've learned so much from the people I've loved so dearly. And I know everyone who loves me back (and hopefully that includes some of you reading) would want me to take this upcoming year to really explore what it means to find myself. Because I'm not so sure. I just know I deserve my best chance, and I'm taking it. Thank you all for reading.

1 comment :

  1. image this: i am electric on your nontattooed ribs in the 1989 font

    ReplyDelete