What 2019 Has Done to Me - A Story of Growth

2019 was a mixed bag of a year for everyone. We’ve seen celebrities die, the environment becomes more and more unstable, and political tensions rise. But we’ve also witnessed Greta Thunberg fight for environmental awareness, baby animals on the Internet, and some beautiful acts of humanity. While all of this has gone on in the world around me, I’ve also gone through some personal struggles and triumphs this year.  

In January, I was dumped, the unanticipated end of a year plus long relationship. I won’t give too many more of the gory details for the sake of being polite, but it wasn’t a good situation. It was something I wasn’t expecting, so I was completely blindsided. I was in the darkest place I’ve ever been to in my life. I could barely get out of bed in the morning and I lived on autopilot. Then I made one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made. I decided I needed to go to therapy. 

Before going, I was terrified. I was about to tell a stranger my entire life story and bare my innermost feelings to them, leaving me vulnerable, which was the last thing I wanted to be at this point. But I realized that my mental health was more important than anything else, and I needed to address it before it got worse. Going to therapy ended up being extremely valuable, and I really don’t know where I would be mental if I didn’t end up going.  

As good as therapy was for me, I still wasn’t over what happened to me. I tried to pretend that I was in a better place than I really was, which ended up being harmful. In March I entered a relationship, all the while knowing that I wasn’t fully over my ex. But I really liked this new person, so I tried to pretend that I could be in a new relationship while I still was recovering from my old one. 

Ultimately, I realized that I wasn’t okay, and I needed to stop pretending that I was. So I made the hard decision of ending the relationship that I was in. I couldn’t handle my emotions, and there was no way I could fully contribute to someone else at this point in my life. I entered the last month of my senior year single for the first time in a long time. 

This last month of high school was something I needed to go through alone, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I spent this time focusing on nothing but having a good time with my friends and soaking up my last moments of this chapter of my life. Slowly I started to heal. I realized that I need to focus on myself first and foremost and then other people after that. Without even realizing it, I eventually got over my ex and found myself again. While all of this was going on mentally, I had a lot of changes going on in my life, most importantly graduation.  

High school was a great time in my life, and I was sad that it was ending. But the next chapter of my life needed to start, and I was finally in the correct mental state for this. I graduated and did my best to enjoy my summer. But I wanted something more. 

Remember that relationship I was in that I ended? I wanted that back. So I reached out and asked for a second chance, which I thankfully got. I’m happy to say that we’ve been together since June, and we’re better now than we were before. Since then, I enjoyed my last summer at home and I’m almost done with my first semester of college. It’s not going terribly, but I’m definitely ready for the semester to be over and to start a new year.  

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs this year.  2019 showed me that I can take a lot more than I thought I ever could and that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. I learned that I cannot change other people. I learned that negativity has no place in my life. I made the decision that I’m going care a lot less what other people say, and that I’m going to try to love myself first. I’m going to make 2020 my year, with a focus on positivity and self-care, and I hope you can do the same.