Every night we sit down for dinner and play ‘peaks and pits’ which is where we share the worst and best part of our day. The only rules are that you have to start with your lowlights (to end on a high) and the pits cannot outweigh the peaks. Guess we love happiness. But I also guess not everything can be happy all the way through so here are 10 low points from this year:
- Health-wise, this year was still ridiculousNo matter how good I become at managing my health I think bad patches will always shock me. This year began with another relay of issues – shingles to infections to more breast lumps to wrist lumps (?) to perpetual colds. For a while it felt like for every issue healed another problem would instantly arise. Even today I had to spend an hour at White Cross because my sinuses have been fucked up – and while this may be the kind of thing that most people can ignore and ride out it is always cause for slight panic and an a&e trip with me.
I am so lucky to be healthy and to not have any official auto immune disease but I also work my butt off to try and cheat the system by keeping it that way. I take about 80 vitamins a day, drink yuck liquids, eat a gluten free dairy free diet. I don’t smoke or don’t do drugs or drink excessive amounts of alcohol or coffee. I prioritise sleeping, I walk when I can and I never leave the house without eating a substantial breakfast. I look after myself and I am grateful I get to do so but it is pretty shit to have to contemplate death so often because I have no faith in my immune system holding out for me. I know I joke about dying at 30 because my body is a baby but I don’t want that to be true. I am trying my best to make sure that isn’t true. So even though I remain very, very glad to still be as well as I am having to constantly confront the fact that health and wellbeing isn’t something I can take for granted is still difficult – and always a bit of a bummer.
- My job shut downSeeee ya factorie. This whole process was a bit of a meme and came at the best possible time, but as I have said this job gave me a sanctuary that I don’t have anywhere else and it was hard to let go. Also I have to find a new job for next year smh.
- The Grace Millane Murderand all the other acts of senseless violence against women that remind us that we are not as safe as we pretend we are. It’s all just helplessly sad.
- No holidays!Every ‘prescribed’ holiday was filled with something more ‘important’ than rest – applications or assignments or honours drafts. I spent hours in front my computer writing until I was exhausted instead of resting or taking in the day. Ultimately the go go go of this year was necessary but it really burns you out.
- A fragile reputationThere are a lot of people who are known to me but do not know me – and they have heard stories and half-truths and opinion presented as fact.
It is a really uncomfortable feeling to know that people have a perception of you that isn’t true or that doesn’t represent how you feel. It is worse when you try and explain yourself but you can’t find the words, or when you don’t want to give an explanation because you don’t want to be hypocritical or when honestly, you can’t find the words because you just can’t be bothered to anymore.
Having people you respect doubt your character is very confronting. It makes you question how you present yourself because the qualities you hold central to your identity – such as kindness and honestly and love – are easily forgotten. When people hear things about you and don’t think of these qualities first you start to wonder if you even actually have them. But also on the flip side when you can find people who still listen to you and really take the time to see you in midst of all of the bullshit that is very special too. And i guess at the end of the day, the only person who really needs to know my story is myself.
- A break up.I know I said I wouldn’t talk about it and then proceeded to write about it x1000 times. But you also said a lot of things this year that in the last three months you have proven to be a lie. I am still processing how I feel about the actual relationship itself – but regardless, the end of a relationship, no matter how rocky it had become is a really sad thing.
The simple truth is we didn’t fit. And if anything, the two very different ways we have chosen to react and approach the end of the year demonstrate that more than ever. But he was my best and closest friend for 3 years and that kind of love doesn’t go away in a day.
- A fall outAnother relationship break down that I really never saw coming. It was a lesson that you can love someone unconditionally but that is not always going to be consistent with how they’re feeling. Even when you don’t think it’s right they will have to let you go for their own wellbeing. And if you actually love them – you have to let them.
- Not much food to cookIt’s pretty limiting to be gluten free and dairy free. All the food I love contains gluten and dairy. Generally all the food that is good in the world is gluten and dairy. This year cooking dinner has been an absolute ‘mare. Shout out to my kind flatmates who still cook with me even with these shit requirements. Hope we all live to 100 for our healthy food habits.
- No big adventuresI think because this year was so busy there wasn’t time for any fun trips or adventures around the place. Or at least there were no big trips that make you warm right to your centre or wake you up or make you want to cry and laugh and talk and experience. Despite the bIG emotions, in a lot of ways this year was surprisingly uneventful.
- America Burnt DownSo did the world. Climate change is a big issue that we are seeing the fall out of and nobody is doing anything about it. Which kind of sucks but due to the way everything is structured and society operates it is very easy to ignore (which is arguably the worst part).
Wow we love to be #negative, but as I always say it is important to recognise sadness and it is important to be able to talk about it. These things were really difficult and a lot of them set off a chain reaction which really allowed a full spectrum of emotion. But for the most part I have been surrounded by people who allowed me to talk about it and that has really made all the difference.
I hope that whatever storms came for you this year blew over without too much devastation. But if not, may your clean up be calm and full of hope. And may the rebuild be as glorious as you deserve.
A happy follow up 2 come.