This past year has been nothing but a rollercoaster. With moving back from Amsterdam late 2017 completely broken and broke— I had a lot of work to do to bounce back. I thought I would bounce back quickly. That getting out of the situation I was in would be enough to make me see that there’s more to life than relationships. Lawd was I wrong. I went back and forth. I tried new things. Forced relationships. Fed off of the high I got whenever someone loved me or gave me attention. Looking back now I realize I was desperate. Desperate for love and attention and interaction that was real. But grasping for it doesn’t make that happen. I grasped in the wrong places- and sometimes even doing it without realizing that I could probably be hurting the other people. And sometimes without realizing I was just hurting myself. I wanted the 10 minutes of good feelings and didn’t care what came after. This is all a part of being a love addict. I ride the high and crash afterwards.
I feel like there was 5 years of experiences that were jammed into this year and I also feel like it flew by in what seemed like only a week. I had some amazing wonderful beautiful experiences with people and I’ve also had some of the worst, most hurtful, cruel experiences. I’ve focused on friendships and building up those relationships with people who have stuck around through it all. I’ve kept a bubble around me, trying to not let anyone not to be trusted inside. For the most part that worked, lol, but I let my guard down a few times and it sure did burn my ass. You live and you learn right? lolololol
Now on the last day of the year in 2018 I feel like I’ve finally gotten back to some sort of normalcy in my life and brain. After months of trying new medications for my mental illness’, months of therapy, months of trial and error—- FINALLY I’m at the point where I am able to function properly for most of the week. I know this isn’t the end of my rollercoaster but at least now it’s not as terrifying now moving forward.
Living in a different country in 2017 had some huge repercussions on my life. I thought it would be amazing—that it would be like a fairy tale and after the election it was honestly an escape. Until I arrived and realized it wasn’t. I loved the idea of it. But with the relationship I was in paired with a foreign country I was paralized. It was a lot for me to get out of the house. It was a lot for me to face the world. You know when you have to go to an event—let's say something where you know nothing about what’s happening there except for a theme. Imagine that theme is something that you know NO information about. That you don’t know anyone there. And you get placed at a table by yourself and you get picked to introduce yourself. And also everyone there seemed to look different act different and spoke a different language. That’s the closest way I can explain how it felt.
I don’t regret it by any means, and I did love the moments there that I had with my best friend. I love Dutch people and the language. I loved not owning a car and being able to bike everywhere. But looking back I realize it probably took me this entire year to decompress from moving from Portland to Amsterdam and back to the tiny rural town I live in surrounded by Trump supporters. Culture shock times a million I tell ya.
Then add depression, ptsd, anxiety, being off meds, navigating living with my Mother, being heartbroken, not having a vehicle, no access to public transportation, no biking, etc—— and that equals my 2018. SO I am SOOOOO glad to be going into a new year with a new perspective on things. I’ve decided it’s okay to cut people off in my life that are unsafe. It’s okay to put myself first to get ahold of my mental illness. It’s okay to just take a break from life and heal. Of course this is a privilege of being a white middle class woman with a mother that I can live with while healing. I’m extremely grateful for this of course because if it weren’t my privilege then I can tell you 100% I wouldn’t have been able to go on. Things would have definitely ended for me and I would have never seen 2018. Not being dramatic, y’all. Thats the honest truth. This experience has also been humbling in a way also because I realize that I was born into a privilege that allows me to exist now. That there are so many other people that don’t have that and are expected to move forward in life without help from medication or family or whatever it may be. It makes me have more compassion towards others, it makes me want to help people and open my arms to people that don’t have the privilege.
This past weekend I received a Tarot deck from a friend. (which you can find here). Last night I opened the pack, held it in my hands, closed my eyes and shuffled the cards around in my hands. I waited until I felt ‘something’ that told me to stop and then I opened my eyes and pulled the card on top. The Ten of Swords.
“The Ten of Swords indicate a major disaster of some sort. It shows that a certain force of extreme magnitude has come to hit you in your life - one that you may have not foreseen. There is a sense of betrayal that is indicated here, for the character is stabbed in the back. This seems to be a reminder that despite how much we try, we cannot control everything - there are things that are beyond our ability to change. Here, this situation is unavoidable.
The tale of the suit of swords is a powerful metaphor, one that ends in tragedy. The swords are a symbol of the intellect, of intelligence and logic, and yet we find the final culmination of this suit a complete and total defeat of the spirit. We must realize that the swords are a weapon that can have immense potential for destruction or for good. The story as it unfolds from the ace to the ten is one where an untrained individual uses this weapon for faulty reasons - makes many mistakes, and then spends an entire lifetime attempting to run away from the power that he misused.”
I’m pretty sure I gasped when I read this. I couldn’t believe of all the cards the one I received was this one. Fucking spoopy shit y’all.
Things that did happen in 2018 that I’m grateful for:
Seeing my best friend that lives 4,500 miles away not once, twice, but three times.
Costuming, doing drag, and forming a really close relationship with Lindsay who I’ve known for like 10 years now.
Riding on the back of a bike in the Netherlands which is something I NEVER thought I would do. One because I’m scared and two because I’m fat. hahaha.
Giving a lap dance to a backup dancer for Sasha Velour on a stage at one of the most popular music venues in Amsterdam
Going with my mom to Ireland- her first time out of the country!
Painted a lot
Got really good at doing my nails
Adopted a dog, Eve, from a family member
Got my dream vehicle: 1973 VW Bus
Foster failed with a kitten, Poppy. Who’s life I saved and bottle fed and I love her so much.
So cheers to 2018 for being hard and lovely and stupid and kind and humbling and I’m very excited to see what happens in the year of 2019.