At the moment, I am travelling Europe and yesterday my Contiki tour came to an end, and from the start I had no idea what to expect. I had previously toured Italy when I was 16 with my school, and imagined it would be somewhat like that… I was wrong (but pleasantly surprised)
“Yo, 2014, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but 2013 was one of the best years of all time!”
2013: Probably my favourite year of my life. Why? I was 16, abundantly confident in myself and my abilities, I went overseas, I was incredibly happy, and I had my whole life plan sorted, everything, from where I would go to university, and what I would do there, to having any resource I needed at my fingertips. I had the confidence to forget about my problems and I had the motivation to succeed, and nothing could stop me. I had made incredible friends and had strengthened the relationships with the friends I already had. I also found my passion: blogging.
2014 arrives and i’m still blogging. I turned 17 on the 6th of January, and celebrated with the people who meant the world to me. A very modest gathering, but nonetheless extremely reassuring and fulfilling. I started my final school year with goals and motivation, and tackled every task at hand with ease. Then, for an unknown reason, “tackling school with ease” became difficult. My stress levels were going through the roof and I noticed that it was having an extreme toll on my body and my mind. The only thing that could clear my mind was blogging. In March, my mum had an operation that wasn’t very serious, but obviously crucial to her health. This was fine and everything went well, but thats when I experienced my first panic attack. It was ruthless and made me feel like I had no control. I then realised that I had a crazy, annoying, and irrational fear of hospitals that needed attention. This episode scared me, because thats when I realised that I could very easily lose control of my emotions; something that had never happened before. In April one of my closest friends (who I had made in 2013) came to Australia and it was so lovely to feel that 2013 feeling again, and it brought me back down to Earth, which was something I really needed.
Then, just as I thought I was getting the hang of the whole “controlling your emotions so that they don’t control you” thing, I received news that really, really affected me. My Dad was diagnosed with cancer. It was a very low-grade cancer and we really should have been thankful that it wasn’t as bad as other cases, but still, the C-word is a very confronting concept to deal with. Meanwhile at school, the work was getting tougher and the competition was well and truly on. Academically, I wasn’t doing too bad, I was doing very well in tough subjects (hi History Revolutions) and I had acted in, designed and sourced costumes for, as well as contribute to putting together a production of “The Venetian Twins” with my theatre class. It was a really rewarding and exciting thing to be apart of, and it distracted me for quite some time. Still though, at the back of my mind, I was always worried about what might come next; could things dramatically change? Was I prepared for that to happen? The answers to those questions are yes and no. Yes, circumstances can change in an instant, and no, in the event that they did, I was definitely not prepared, not emotionally and not mentally.
Ask any year 12 student and they can tell you how difficult they found the year to be. Not only are classes full on and demand every second of your attention, but recess and lunch breaks were also becoming hard work. I don’t think I have spoken to anyone who finished year 12 last year who didn’t encounter trouble within their friendship groups, and I was definitely absorbed into a ridiculous mess. Decisions that I wasn’t prepared for needed to be made, and fires were ignited with a small drop of fuel. A serious domino effect happened and one problem followed another, no matter how hard I had tried to contain it. For a while I endured the tiring task of “staying in the middle” and “keeping the peace” which was an absolute waste of time. After a while I learned that you cannot make everyone happy, no matter how hard you try. You can try to stay out of a problem but expectations are placed upon you and making decisions becomes inevitable. Although it may seem like it, I do not regret one decision that I made, and for every person that I lost, I regained a sense of myself.
One thing that I realised was that I would rather have three incredible people around me, people who inspire and motivate me, people who encourage me to be a better person; rather than one hundred people who I have to pretend with. Saying goodbye to someone who you once had a history with is difficult, but ceasing communication with them without closure is a lot harder. It’s not because I wanted to go out with a bang, or have my two cents, but I feel like there were things that needed to be said, which that person will never know. Not once have I stopped respecting them, however, i’ve noticed that this lack of closure has made them stop respecting me. One of the most annoying situations you can be put in is trying to have a group conversation, when one person just ignores you completely. Another annoying situation is hearing that the same person is willing to talk about you to your best friend. Even worse than that is hearing from multiple people that this one person has made you seem like the wicked witch of the west. Sometimes, trying to avoid trouble can backfire, and even though you try your hardest to build an environment for yourself where you can prosper, it’s not enough.
Then, after going through all that because you genuinely feel that you can no longer fake a friendship, people who you really care about begin to question your genuineness. The most ridiculous thing I experienced in 2014 was that I desperately tried to peacefully resolve things, but no one else did. I lost people that I didn’t want to lose. I have never been so disappointed in how things turned out. Regardless, I let everything slide because I just didn’t have the energy to fight for things anymore. My priorities had changed, and I preferred to focus my energy on my family, and didn’t bother justifying anything to anyone else. If there’s one thing about me that hasn’t ever changed in my entire life, it’s that my family is and always will be my number one priority, and anyone that can’t understand that doesn’t have a place in my life.
I told one person outside of my family that my Dad has cancer because I believed that no one has a right to place a justification on my motives. More than that, though, was that I didn’t want any sympathy from anyone, and the last thing I wanted was people to feel obligated to continue a friendship with me because they felt bad. I don’t regret not telling anyone, and I also don’t regret my actions, because now I see who is really there for me regardless. I didn’t know how easy it was for people to just forget about other people, but i’m glad that I know. I am, and will continue to be a very sentimental person; if I consider you to be one of my friends, my expectation is that we will be friends for life. I’m willing to go the distance, and i’m glad that I can see who else is too.
I’ve learned so much from 2014, and as difficult as it was, and as much as I hated it, I needed the kick in the ass. I needed to be shocked out of the dream that was 2013. I needed to learn that if you want to be happy, you need to make your own happiness, and drive your life. You can’t depend on anyone to make you content, it’s all up to you. You need to take initiative to surround yourself with the people who are going to help you bloom, and with people who you can in-turn support as well. I will not say that any of this was worth it, because I really hated going through all of it, but I do appreciate what i’ve learned.
I’ve devised my own list of commandments, and I want to share them with you. You, my lovely readers, have been with me through it all, supporting The Fashion Journals in every way that you can. My following has increased by an overwhelming amount in 2014, and I’m so grateful for each and every person who is subscribed, so thank you!
1. Thou shall prioritise their own wellbeing, and make decisions that will make you a better person.
2. Make sure that thou won’t regret any decisions that thou makes. Ensure that it’s a life goal, that you will have the ability to reflect on your life and be proud of the decisions you made.
3. Find closure. Whether its with relationships, a bad test score, or a mistake you think you will never let down. Remember that you will never feel at peace with it until you talk it through, or at least establish an understanding between yourself and who ever else involved.
4. Appreciate everything and everyone you have around you. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and a large majority of that time it’s so that you can learn. Make the most of those fun summer nights, make the most of times with your friends, and cherish the quality time with your family, and be grateful that you’ve had a chance at life. Things can change in an instant, and the last thing you want is to look back and shudder at the thought of a missed opportunity.
5. The most cliché of them all: Learn from your past, and ensure that you are well equipped to handle things that may arise in your future. I know, it’s a lot easier said than done, but why would you go down the same way twice if you realised the first time it was the wrong road to take?
So my list of commandments is half the size of original one, but I think this covers some things that stray from basic human rights and laws.
So, now it’s 2015, welcome to the new year, everyone! I hope that you can begin the new year prepared for, and welcoming changes. I hope that you can learn from me and understand that life can be difficult, but once you hit what you think is rock bottom, there is no where to go but up! That’s my plan for the new year: to make 2015 better in every way than 2014 was! To find a strength in a weakness, and to persevere a negative to make it a positive!
Now, I have just turned 18 years old, I have finished school, and feel a lot wiser than I did in 2014 (and age has nothing to do with it!) I don’t have my whole life planned out, and I don’t know where I’m going to go to university, or what i’m going to study. At times I feel really overwhelmed and I can’t pin point why, but one thing is for sure, and that is that the same confidence I had in 2013 is still with me, and I know that one way or another, 2015 will be good to me. How? you may ask. I’m going to make it good, no matter what.
Happy 2015! Sorry to overwhelm you with a massive 1800+ worded article!!! Congratulations on getting through it!