In the closing days of 2016, I made a naive assumption that 2017 would be the best year of my life. Have you ever done a similar thing?
Naturally, I was wrong. 2017 would be a mixed bag for most of the year until I reached November 2017. That is when the year took a turn and became a truly terrible year. In November, I made an idiotic decision that almost led to me losing my boyfriend. It is only down to his kind heart and forgiveness that he remains by my side.
Then December arrived and kicked me right in the bollocks. For years, I have wondered what it is like to lose your job at Christmas time. My curiosity was finally sated, and I discovered how it feels… have you ever experienced that?
I lost my job, and it threatened to wrench my life apart. I suffered a collapse into depression and anxiety the week before Christmas in parallel with a crisis of purpose about my life. With 2018 approaching, I have many questions that I need answering.
Thankfully, I have had plenty of time to reflect on my future and the choices I have made leading up to this moment. It has led to the bare bones of a plan for 2018.
Finding a career
It starts with finding a career. Losing your job regardless of the reason is hard, but it grants you a profound opportunity. A chance to reflect on the choices you have made and where you can go next. I have worked in content marketing for the past three years. It is a career that has given me a variety of skills and plenty of fun including the creation of this blog.
Whilst I wish to return to that career in 2018, I want to start down a parallel path. I have always had a strong urge to help others become their best selves. It is why I set up this blog, and it is why I have tried to advise my closest friends to follow a path that feels right for them. That urge has led me to want to become a counsellor.
The decision came through an understanding of the troubles I’ve been through and witnessing the lack of support available. People from all backgrounds need help, especially when dealing with the demons inside their minds. That is why I feel the need to become a counsellor.
The second focus is split between the trauma of my mind and how that affects my relationships. I recently wrote a blog post about my intellectual opinion on sex. That intellectual belief was born out of trauma in my past, which I have denied for so long. As a result, I will be writing a retraction to that post.
My boyfriend after forgiving me for my mistake in November asked me: “Who fucked you up?”
Whilst lying in bed the other night, I answered him. I told him of my first. Told him of the boy who brought me into the world of gay sex, whilst still in the closet. Told him of the boy who may have intentionally or unintentionally used me for sex on his whim. The boy who was my best friend and who I fell in love with over a four year period of both of us chasing that orgasm.
From that first came many issues, decisions and regrets that have dominated my life up to now. 2018 is the year to confront that trauma. Confront those demons that have lurked in the darkness of my mind and to change who I am. I do this for myself and the love and happiness of my boyfriend. When I finished my tale, I had tears flowing from my cheeks, and my partner said that now my behaviour made much more sense and thanked me for telling him.
The third part revolves around my choices of activities. For much of 2017, I have felt out of balance with my life. I have gone to work, come home, gone to fencing, come back, slept and repeated a variation on that throughout the week. There are various activities I have wanted to do, but due to cost, time or company, I have failed to do them.
For 2018, I aim to be different. I want to go to:
• Download Festival in June
• Harry Potter Tour in London in June
• Watch Hamilton at the theatre in June
• Celebrate my 26th birthday in June (See the pattern?)
• Take my boyfriend back to Sweden for Christmas
• Run the Great North Run for CALM
The New Year is as they always say a time for renewal. It is a time to find the new you. For me, I don’t want a new me. I want an improved and healed me. 2018 is the year for hard work and much reflection. It will be a time for friends, family, reading, writing and love. I hope you will join me.