It’s that time of year again…the impending approach of a new year. After Halloween, New Year is actually my second least favorite holiday. There’s way too much pressure to do something and we’re supposed to feel less than if we don’t have plans or don’t have someone to kiss at midnight. Perhaps it’s my own bitterness for not having anything to do this year and never kissing anyone at midnight on the holiday.
Anyway, tangent there…I’ve been thinking a lot about 2015. I wrote a draft of a post yesterday that was pretty damn depressing. It really hasn’t been a great year overall in terms of my own personal development. I feel like I went backwards in a lot of ways. I’ve been too angry and too judgmental. I lost my center. I became too overwhelmed by life’s constant stream of bumps in the road.
My age started to really hit me also. I’m happy in a lot of ways with my life but being 31 and still single, I’m beginning to give up completely on the idea of being in a relationship. But at the same time, I take full responsibility for not trying and not wanting to try too. I’m fully aware if I talked to guys more when I’m out or made more of an attempt that I would increase my odds of finding someone since I don’t like online dating. Maybe it’s insecurity or maybe it’s just laziness. I think a lot of it is me just not wanting to repeat my last relationship and not wanting to be dependent on anyone else. But I look around me and I see nearly everyone coupled up or married. Most of the time I don’t actually envy that but there’s still the odd occasion where I think “is that ever going to be me?” It’s a topic I think I will always struggle with. As I get older, I may not be able to do as many things on my own like I can now. I hate the idea of having to be dependent on anyone but at some point, I may not have a choice.
I felt like my social life took a bit of a dive too. Again, probably mostly my fault but a lot of friends also moved away and circumstantial things like that. I was just thinking back on previous years when I was doing stuff all the time with friends. I don’t really have much interest in going out to bars until 2am anymore anyway, but that loops back in with the above topic. The less I go out, the less people I’m going to meet. So I struggled a lot with what to do about that.
The last thing, travel, has always been such a deep love for me. I work in the industry, I encourage people to do it, I blog about it. And though I had an amazing time on my trip with my mom this year (she’s seriously the best travel buddy ever), it unfortunately caused a deep-seated shift in how I view travel. I never used to look at places or read a travel article and think “I’ll never be able to go there” (unless we’re talking Machu Picchu or something along those lines). But after my trip to Eastern Europe, I realized that the pool of places I can travel to is actually much much smaller than I ever imagined. So now I look at itineraries or travel articles and I get sad because I know I’ll never be able to go there. I would love to go to India or South America but if Eastern Europe isn’t accessible, how can I expect places with struggling economies and infrastructures and less resources to be any better? I don’t want to have to do a half-ass version of visiting a place because too many places aren’t accessible. I let fear rule me way too much on that trip too. I was afraid of being taken advantage of. I was afraid to mess up speaking the language. I was afraid, afraid, afraid. I don’t know what happened. When I went to France as a high school student, I hated having to speak the language but I don’t remember being so paralyzed with fear. Maybe it’s just a part of the aging process. I do know that whatever trip I embark on next internationally, I’m not going to let fear rule again. Valuable lesson learned.
So at this point you’re probably thinking, “Well Jackie. This sounds like a pretty depressing blog too”. I want to be honest about the year I’ve had as I look back and reflect but that being said, having a bit of a rough one only makes me look forward to a new one even more. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions but I can do personal promises to myself to just keep working at it. Keep trying to be better than I was the day before. Keep loving myself. Keep trying to not lose hope. I definitely plan on continuing water aerobics and trying to be healthy, no resolution needed there. I don’t know what 2016 will have in store for me but I know that even if there are bad things, there will be plenty of good too.
Happy New Year everyone!