EN: Dear 2016

4/1/2017 – Chiny, Belgium
Listening now: Angus & Julia Stone – Yellow Brick Road

Dear 2016,

I wasn’t ready for you. I know I shouldn’t compare, but 2015 was so soft and smooth and nobody told me about you before you arrived. You were by far the most challenging year and so there should be no surprise if I told you that I am still quite shaken by everything you made me go through. You made me fall pretty hard, and I still keep the mark of those bruises. Sometimes it is hard to look back on the time we spent together and not feel bitter about it, because it feels like we were in some kind of toxic relationship. Probably for that reason, your departure is strangely releasing, as if during this past year, life was choking me and suddenly, as you left, put some oxygen back in my lungs. But don’t get me wrong, there have been some stolen moments of joy and happiness that I will cherish for a long time, and I cannot feel thankful enough for those. In fact, even the worst times, you taught me a lot, transfiguring me into a phoenix, and I am genuinely grateful for that. Many times, you forced me to pick myself up from nothing, building my life back from ashes. You showed me how precious and fragile our time on Earth could be, taught me to ask for help when needed, whispered me to embrace opportunities, forced me to feel more gratitude and many, many times, you surprised me, giving me a glimpse of light in the darkest times. So thanks for that. Overall, even though you did hurt me, you made me realise that bruises are meant to go away and that we should take them as a reminder to take better care of ourselves. So guess what? That’s exactly what I aspire to do in 2017!

I want to get better at loving myself. As lame and cliché as it can sound, I think that at the end of the day, it all comes down to it. For that, I need to take better care of my mind, slowly learning to accept myself just the way I am and being much more self-indulgent. I have really high criteria towards myself (and others, for that matter) and I need to be able to detach myself from those expectations. I need to learn to feel enough and stop trying to prove myself, seeking validation through achievements. I need to learn to accept my past as a part of who I am, but which is not determining the person I am or seek to be. And I need to stop comparing myself to others. So in taking better care of my mental, I will start writing in my diary again, because not only this enables me to keep track on how I feel, but it also allows me to reflect back on it with some distance.

I also want to take better care of my body, which I many times maltreated. I never actually put words on it with anyone before, mainly because I feel deeply ashamed of it and also because it is the way I am – I deal with my problems on my own (no matter how unsuccessful this has been proven to be) – but I have been torn by eating disorders for a long time, and I feel like 2017 is the time to deal with those issues. Now is the right moment for me to take the control back on my body. Even though I genuinely hate it the way it is now, I realise that my ridiculous obsession with weight is unhealthy and that I need to put an end to it, for the sake of my own health and well-being. And so, I want to start adopting healthy eating habits and do more exercise (I want to feel some tone back in my body, which is so exhausted all the time), as well as practising yoga daily so that I can feel more centred and at peace with myself.

I opened up a lot during this past year about the many issues I was dealing with. Often, people have been questioning this need of mine to publish such personal, if not even intimate details of my life with total strangers. The truth is, being honest with you, giving you an insight on what I was going through has been a powerful healing process. It made me realise the power of vulnerability, how strong of an impact it can have on my life as well as others, and many times, strengthen my bonds with people who surround me. Also, not only am I proud of sharing those bits of my life with you, but I also want to get more diligent in the way I do so. I want to get better at sharing what is going on in my mind with you and do it more often. Writing is fucking therapeutic, and I need to figure out a way to get over my organisational issues so that I can do it on a more regular basis.

Speaking of which, I want to be more organised as well. I think my main issue is time management, and so I need to start prioritising things which are really important to me in order to stop wasting time procrastinating and live a life which feels more fulfilling. Also, I am planning on buying myself a beautiful Moleskine and starting a bullet journal. I feel like this could be a way to stop this terrible habit of mine to do the things at the very last minute, as well as to make room for things that truly matter to me: playing the piano and drawing again, listening to music, watching films and reading more –interlude: I realise that these were already a goal of mine last year, which by the way, I miserably failed to accomplish (or wait.. did I?). But here we are, I think that in 2017, I need to be more grounded as well, and set myself some achievable goals (i.e: not writing a review a day..)-. Another objective is to learn dutch (for real this time!). I realise that my time in Rotterdam is coming to an end, and I would feel really bad if I didn’t make the most of it by improving my language skills over the past three years, as it clearly feels like I’m missing on some opportunities. I also want to interest myself more deeply into photography, learning more about the techniques, taking better pictures and updating my Instagram more often (to make things clear, I don’t aspire to be a “photographer” though, but I want to be able to capture the small instants of my daily life with more poetry and elegance). I also want to print all my photos and make albums, as well as digitalize the old ones.

So here we are, 2016. Time for goodbyes. Don’t worry, I won’t forget you. I will bury deeply inside me the painful (and less painful) memories which we built together, memories which will turn bitter-sweet and come to shake me from time to time, reminding me of the necessity not to leave in the past and to go ahead. I will carry the many dreams which grew out of us, and make sure to let them expand, watered by hope and love. And I will also look after my family and friends, those who took care of me in the times you revealed the darkest in me (oh god.. how dramatic do I sound now? But well.. I think that at that point, we can all acknowledge the fact that I am a drama queen..). Thanks for everything.

Take care, much love ♡

C.

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6 thoughts on “EN: Dear 2016

  1. Kaleigh says:

    What an amazing look back at your year! I think each year will always bring its own set of challenges and shortcomings, but it’s up to us to take them all with a grain of salt and pick ourselves back up!

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