But you’re better on your own for awhile

It would be unnatural to make it an entire calendar year without doing some sort of writing on UM, so here I am, less than an hour left in 2017 attempting to frantically elicit something of meaning.

I’m not really sure where I went this past year, and I mean that in more ways than one. Primarily, I mean “why the fuck haven’t I written anything about my life in damn near a year,” but I also mean “what kind of crazy journey have I been on in the last 365 days? Well, I’m glad you (I?) asked.

Sometime in the middle of January 2017, I got food poisoning at a Mexican restaurant which led me to losing 7 pounds. Because said 7 pounds was such a hard-fought victory, I decided it would be a shame to regain them after my illness passed so I ended up “cleaning up my diet a little bit” to “avoid gaining those 7 pounds back.” I’m proud to say that nearly a year later, I’ve kept those 7 pounds off, lost an additional 103lbs, lowered my resting heart rate by 20bpm, lowered my blood pressure, developed a love for HIIT cardio, and started exploring an interest in lifting heavy weights. It’s weird how the smallest things can lead to the biggest life changes, but here we are. I’ve got another 40-50lbs to lose to reach what I’m thinking of as a potential goal weight range, but more than anything, im just excited to have found a new hobby in fitness and to be cultivating an interest which benefits me physically. It’s certainly not something I planned to do this past year, but I’m glad I did. The best thing that came out of this was probably gaining faith in my ability to radically transform some aspect of my life and transcend my own expectations; this has been just as impactful to me as the physical changes which I have undergone.

As much as things have changed for me physically, they’ve held steady mentally and emotionally. I’m still fighting a lot of the same wars within my own head which I was in years prior, but I certainly feel like I may have won a few battles this year. Ultimately, I am still possessed from head-to-toe with this urge to run away from my life and start over somewhere new, as someone new, primarily out of fear, I think. I’m not entertaining it with any degree of seriousness, but having that escape fantasy is a comfort.  Things inside my head are certainly better than they were in years past, but I’m not as unflappable in the face of storms, internal and external, as I wish I were. Maybe this will change, or maybe I’ll learn to live my life around it.

Cetainly 2017 was a year in which I worked hard and saw some of the benefits of that hard work, but I think there’s more hard work ahead in the coming years. I am not going to set any sort New Years Resolutions, though. A content creator whose work I greatly enjoy introduced me to the idea of a “word of the year” — a point of focus for the coming twelve months and I think I like that better than boxing myself into a set of goals which may or may not become obsolete with time. As of this moment, I don’t know what I want that word to be, what I want this upcoming year in my life to represent. After a few minutes of rummination, I feel like “Enough” might be my strongest contender: I am enough, I will stop when I have had enough, and I have had enough of carrying around a caravan of ghosts inside my head and enough of drowning under the weight of the same water.

I do not know what 2018 will bring and it feels foolish to herald in a year which carries with it who-knows-what, so instead I will bid farewell to 2017: you were a year during which I did many things which scared me and many things which I thought I’d never do. I am glad to have had this year to begin to build a better self.