A lot of things have changed.
Even through the few sparse years I’ve been on WordPress (nevermind the 7+ years I belonged to Xanga), I can see, plain as day, how much I have changed. There are positives and negatives, but regardless, the ability to change for someone as stubborn as me is generally a good thing.
- I am not as creative, or energetic. Time, money, age; they are all obstacles to creativity and stimulation if you let them be… and I inevitably have.
- Through the innumerable heartbreaks and disappointments, I am not as romantic. At all. I am realistically jaded.
- I am extremely cautious, to the point of paranoia, regarding whose care I leave my heart under, if at all. My current boyfriend has had to dig quite deep.
- I am desperately struggling with the fact that I am aging. Every passing year gnaws at my confidence.
- I don’t see/have/make friends as much. A lot of mine have moved away, settled down to have families, etc. I miss that.
- I am not as spontaneous as before. Long gone are the days of random midnight road trips and sleeping over at friends’ for days on end. I miss that too.
- I am so, so poor. My finances are just a fucking disaster, and I’m living less than paycheck to paycheck. Striving to do what you want is incredibly difficult.
- I am still occasionally a deeply depressed person. I have about zero faith in the future of this planet, though I never stop trying to counter it.
Still, all of this said, a lot of other things have gotten worlds better. I have achieved things I never thought I could have in the past few years, and I think it’s important to sometimes keep them in mind, especially in the dead of grey, drizzly winter.
- I quit that fucking anchor of a job at the hospital over year and a half ago, and I haven’t looked back since, despite tremendous budgetary problems. Its strain on my mental health was huge (which is ironic because it was a mental health hospital), and no amount of poverty could even deter me from regretting that decision. It was the biggest risk I’ve taken. After a year of unsatisfactory work, I am finally working in my field, doing things I never dreamed I would.
- For the first time, I have had the confidence to call myself a designer, despite how lost and discouraged I was when I first started my program. I conquered Illustrator and InDesign and am no longer scared to self-teach; I have recognized my creative and educational abilities and will use them to get somewhere, professionally.
- I graduate in three months, after 10 years of part-time and uncertain university education. It might not seem like much; but I actually never thought the day would come. It’s like coming within throwing distance of the finish-line, after the most grueling marathon of your life.
- I have printed a first issue of my comic book. Another issue is forthcoming.
- More recently, I have designed actual products that people will have in their home. It’s a difficult feeling to describe… but elation is close to it. I regret that I am designing more “stuff” that will pollute the world, but I am nevertheless happy that I was able to make something relatively positive and beautiful. I can’t even talk about it yet because they haven’t yet been released. But I’m ecstatic. It represents years (literally a decade) of self-doubt and fear conquered.
- I have been seeing my therapist for two years now; and have worked out a lot of issues I never thought I would. I have brought some things to light that were incredibly difficult, but which have helped me in terms of foresight and behaviour. It’s been horrible at times, but I am facing my demons. The battle is hard, but I think I’m winning.
- I have goals.
- I have more confidence in my abilities, if not my body, than ever before. I know I will continue to improve. It might seem simple, but I didn’t think enough of myself before to even feel that certainty.
It’s crazy how far we all go in a life, if we persevere is all I’m saying. I’m trying to keep that in mind for the greyer days, like today.