This NYE, I had an existential crisis and threw up on my shoes in the pouring rain while wearing inflatable antlers with a few of my best friends, some of whom I’ve known forever and others I just met this year.

2018 has come to a close and I went out with a bang with new friends and my brother, who had become one of my best friends in the past few years. Looking back, it was strange to bring in the new year with people who I felt very close to, but who I didn’t know at all six months prior. It feels strange to lose so many old friends in the process of each year.

I don’t make New Year Resolutions.

The one time I made one was to stop posting about politics on social media. I’ve mostly kept that up and it’s been grand. Otherwise, I make resolutions all year long.
Bettering myself is one of my favorite hobbies, if you can even call it that. I strive to try new things and to look at each day as a lesson. I strive to recognize what is wrong, what could be better, and how I can change.
It’s interesting to me to watch others share their resolutions, like how they want to lose weight, find love, take a vacation, or get a promotion. At first glance, these things seem so trivial, but deeply, they’re valid.

We all struggle with different somethings.

Personally, I’m dealing with mental strength in overcoming my PTSD, depression, and continuous bad luck with my health and other misfortunes. Yeah, I’ve had a handful of near-death experiences, one of them involving losing my ability to feel and walk. Yeah, I grew up in an abusive family. Yeah, I have issues with keeping relationships, romantic or otherwise. I love to escape, to cut myself off from anyone who brings me pain…
…and just because those things are my personal struggles, are things that I deal with, does not mean that they are “more important” or “more difficult” than anyone else’s struggle.
So what if you can’t lose weight? Well, maybe remaining at an unhealthy weight despite your best efforts is keeping you from having successful dates, making people stare at you in the airport, struggling to fit yourself in those seats too tiny for even the average-sized child.

Just because I’ve never had that problem in my life doesn’t make it invalid. In fact, it’s just as serious as my own.

This New Year’s Eve, I entered a state of clarity in which I contemplated my place in this world, everyone’s place in this world, and how each of our own perspectives have the ability to isolate ourselves from one another. It’s not completely possible to communicate exactly what you are feeling, exactly what you experience, sometimes. We’re all so fucking obsessed with our own perspectives. In my previous state of mind, that idea was absolutely terrifying. However, contributing writer Olivia Deep sat with me and asked me to accept this reality, that nothing could change, that this was okay.
I’ve been working on accepting the harsh realities of this world in the past year. This resolution will continue into the new year because clearly, I have a long way to go. I’ve explained my continuous bad luck to others as though I have a rain cloud over my head. Despite the continuation of bad luck since my childhood, it hadn’t crossed my mind to simply accept it. Everything, no matter how horrible, has resolved itself in some way, even if that meant changing my perspective on the matter. It’s time for me to relax whenever something horrible happens and deal with it in due time.
For example, I got into a car accident right before the holidays on my way to an important meeting. Instead of freaking out and letting it ruin the rest of my day/week/month/whatever, I remained calm, tried to laugh it off, and figured out how to make those repairs cost less. I could replace my bumper myself. I could replace my windshield wiper tank myself. The entire repair that would have cost over $500 at a shop ended up costing me a total of $160 plus an added new respect for myself, a bonus skill to do simple repairs on my own vehicle.
Last year, I vowed to make more money, to figure out and get rid of my educational debt once and for all. This year, I am almost finished with this goal. I started a job that lets me make my own hours and be my own boss. It makes more than I’ve ever made previously and I like my job a lot. That’s awesome.
I’ve been meaning to put more effort into my appearance (for fun, for myself, not to decrease my confidence in my appearance), to finish my documentary (and get better at working with others), and to try out a romantic relationship with someone again (I’ve had low libido issues, the dislike of being touched, distrust in others for the past few months).
All of these new goals will contribute to the new year only because time continues to pass and these goals have not yet been accomplished. It’s rad to look forward to becoming a new and better person. I’m excited to see what’s to come and to understand what this life means.
At the end of this year, I sat in my own shit (not literally, but figuratively), coming to terms with who I am, where I came from, and what I’ve been through. I sat in the muck that is my life and experienced it tenfold.
That muck is something we all swim through, that muck is how we discover what’s important and how we truly know how to live. I’m grateful for the darkness for bringing me clarity and light. I hope you are, too.
Happy New Year.

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Photo by Greta Bieg, courtesy of Michelle Polacinski