2019, you were a real one, but it’s time to part ways. It’s not me, it’s definitely you. You were a struggle from start to finish and had no business messing me around like that. I’ll learn from it, for sure. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still have the bruises, a week into 2020. Much like the emotional trauma, 2019, I hereby let you go. Be free.
We all have those moments of doubt and insecurity in relationships. That’s inevitable. Humans aren’t infallible, nor should they be. If everyone was just robotic and said exactly what we were meant to say, where would the fun and surprise of life be? That said, we also acclimatise to toxic environments which aren’t good for us.
This was basically me, all year. On repeat.
Entering into new relationships willy-nilly, without just cause or reason. Each partner was no better than the last, and it took me until well into November to actually realise my self worth a little more. 2019 took me to rock bottom when I had just ended another relationship and found myself scooping an ungodly amount of comfort food into my mouth on a Friday night. I was ignoring texts from my worried friends and family, and reading to throw my laptop across the floor when my internet buffered and interrupted Lorelai mid-quip. The nerve.
Finally, though, I answered my best friends’ call. They heard my tone and invited themselves round, and I guess despite myself I discovered the true value of our relationship. So thanks for that, I guess 2019.
We need to be better at recognising that we deserve better than what we sometimes get.
Yes, friends will pull through when we need them, that’s what they’re there for. But our partners often won’t. We need to accept that sometimes, and take space. Often, we might be investing more of ourselves and putting our time on the line for a relationship that isn’t being reciprocated in the same way. Also, we often feel guilt for thinking about stepping away from such relationships, as though we are withdrawing a service that we ‘owe’ another person. We don’t owe people anything in this world, not inherently. Not if they’re not giving us the same in return, it’s just not emotionally sustainable. You end up expending and exhausting yourself and having nothing left for yourself.
But I’m not making huge resolutions this year.
I don’t need to be fixed, and other people’s awkwardness in relationships is not something that I’m responsible for. I also don’t need to try to fix other people. So I won’t say that I need to swear off all relationships in 2020, or try to artificially isolate myself. But, I have learned enough from 2019 to know when something is real or not. I won’t bare my heart for something that isn’t in it for the long haul. I mean it.
I can see if someone else is going to put the effort in or not.
If you are your partner’s favourite person, then obviously their conduct with your should reflect that. If not, then you should feel no guilt in exiting a rapidly progressing situation. As soon as it’s toxic, you’re in trouble, because it becomes harder and harder to extract yourself and your emotions.
Have faith, you will power through
Lads, this is the mantra that got me through 2019. Whether or not I actually believed it, it helped to anchor myself to something. I also worked it in with ‘this too shall pass’ from popular culture. Also, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, ‘you can endure anything for 10 seconds’. I just did that. A lot. All year.
So for next year I want to communicate more honestly and efficiently. To say when I’m hurt or disappointed or when my
That said, it’s still possible. It’s worth trying.
You will find it awkward at first, to put your needs first, and state what you want or expect out of the relationship, and that’s natural. It’s weird to put yourself first publically, but we must all practice it more as a form of self-care. We can so easily pretend that everything is okay and manageable and brush off our suffering as something that isn’t as valid or important as other forms of suffering. We’re always the exception to ‘self-care’, and we have so much to relearn as a consequence.
You have to be willing to fall flat on your face and get your heart broken in a relationship, otherwise you will realise that you maybe aren’t using your heart all that much. By this, I don’t mean that you need to throw yourself off emotional cliffs just for the sake of it. I also don’t believe that suffering always has a ‘reason’ or ‘lesson’ to learn from: sometimes life sucks and isn’t fair. However, you have to respect that your heart is foolish and doesn’t always know what it wants, but it does have needs and you will always know if they are being met or not.
So yes. These are the lessons I learned from 2019.
2020, I will come at you stronger, and 2019, I officially let you go.