And in one little moment, it all implodes
Sometimes, we are the architects of our own misfortune. A new year has begun and instead of just looking back at the great times, I wanted to be frank about the not so great times and how I got past them. Nothing is without its ups and downs and it can be difficult to be honest when life is not so perfect because we're scared that our vulnerability will be exploited or used against us. But someone, somewhere, might benefit from seeing that side of you. 2012 was not a terrible year by any account. I found myself on national television and laughing the day away with fantastic friends. I fell asleep in the hot summer after kissing the most beautiful boy I've ever laid eyes on with American Horror Story in the background. I crossed so many things off my bucket list, I've traveled, I've run, I've danced and been covered in confetti. I've met new people and saw my life jump fantastically from one direction to another. I've seen so many beautiful clothes on so many runways, I had the best Christmas with my family and I discovered a newfound appreciation for my health.
But let me take you back to June 2012...
I had just had the trip of a lifetime; an amazing holiday to Europe that really opened my eyes. Holidays are always enrapturing, you get to leave real life behind and find new ways to truly be alive instead of merely exist. So anyway, on the way back home, on the plane, I was listening to terrible top 40s hits that were played every night in the club on my cruise ship because I was reminiscing about the new friends I'd made and the memories I'd never forget. Soon after, I switched to some default broadcast that they have, the same radio show that the airline rotates for about a month. The sun was setting in Cape Town and we were coming in to land. I looked outside at the beautiful place I call home, with the sunlight richocheting off of the windows and piercing my eyes. A random song was playing and the lyrics just started to feel very poignant. I know how desperately cliche' this is and everything but it was one of those moments where it felt like a message for me so I looked out at Cape Town and I began to cry.
I cried for more than homecoming, homesickness or being overwhelmed by the beauty of Africa. As the words came through the headphones, I knew that I also cried for the lies I told myself. Those same lies we all tell ourselves. I cried for delaying the inevitable and pretending I didn't deserve more when I just knew, somewhere in my bones, that I did. I cried for the people I allowed and taught to disappoint me, I cried for the expectations that I had set up. I cried for the mishapen way I'd tried to put my life back together after my aunt passed away. I knew that I had to change things when I got off of that plane. I had to be single, I had to spend time with my family and I had to cut out any bullshit.
When we invest so much time in various relationships, we begin to believe that, not only is it unthinkable to sacrifice due to the length of construction, but we start to think that they owe us something. We expect to be treated in the same way that we treat others and this is a recipe for disaster. The trick to life is to delete your expectations and see everyone as complete and unpredictable entities. That's what we can be responsible for but even knowing this, insidious toxic friendships or relationships will bring out the worst in you. You might be constantly coming up with excuses or trying to change in order for things to work. Listen to me, it's just a waste of precious time that could be better spent on people who love you for who you are. Hell, it's better time spent with yourself, your pets or even your plants. Don't chase after people who you think had the potential to be a different version of themselves. You will always be waiting for them to magically appear at the party when meanwhile they're just the asshole who RSVPs and never shows up.
I finally feel like I have my head on straight, at least as straight as it can be at 24. I don't blame or have animosity towards anyone and I don't feel that I was a victim who was taken advantage of. I am wholly responsible for my own feelings and situations I invited into my life. But saying this, life is not perfect and there's always going to be people who you begin to realise you shouldn't bother entertaining anymore. Things always change and compatible people grow apart. I think you only really see how wrong people were for you when you meet or spend time with the people who aren't. There's this crazy ease in my life now that seemed previously impossible. I've seen it with my own loved ones, how easy things are when they're around supportive types. I hope 2013 brings you amazing things and if you haven't yet - release the past, let go and get back on the ground again. x