It’s very hard for me to see that it is 2019. Three years feels like it is one. It doesn’t feel fair that it is 2019. I have had a lot of pain in the last three years. I always lacked confidence in certain areas but in the last three years I’ve had times when I’ve lacked confidence in things that used to give me confidence. I used to think I was driven and hardworking and someone who read a lot and someone who travelled a lot and brave and smart and fundamentally someone that is interesting. I don’t feel interesting enough anymore.
Come on, that’s ridiculous. Sure, I’m not studying in the USA or teaching in India anymore, but I’m still interesting. I bake, I listen to cool podcasts, I watch good shows and films, I see theatre, I listen to music, I work with kids, I volunteer teaching English, I try to write, I try to read, I keep going with a hell of a lot of baggage.
I just look at too many people on social media. And I long to travel. And sometimes I spend more time wanting to do my hobbies than doing my hobbies. And sometimes things give me anxiety that didn’t use to, like trains or supermarkets, but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I wonder how to fill my time and sometimes I think of how I’ll do everything.
I know what you are all thinking. I am 25, I am a baby, I have time. I don’t have to write a novel yet, or find companionship yet, or a stable job (ha, career or dream job isn’t even what I’m going for yet). But I think this is where grief arrives.
Grief makes everything shorter. Grief puts guilt where there shouldn’t be guilt. Grief makes me impatient.
Everything good that happens now I will always wish had happened earlier. I wish that my mental health had started improving again earlier. I wish that I could have found career success earlier. I wish that I’d written a book so she could read it. I wish that she could see me be a parent someday and she could be a grandparent. I don’t need to have had career success, and a novel and a child by 24 but that’s what losing my mum feels like.
I’m trying to learn that achievements can matter without mum here. That I am so much of her moulding that she is within those achievements.
And she did see my achievements. She saw me graduate. She greeted me home from my travels. She saw my resilience. She saw my talents.
Grief is strange because it makes you see how much someone means to you, but to move forward you must find meaning in life without that person there.
I always wanted to write a book for my parents to read.
But I write so many things that nobody reads.
And maybe that’s nerves. Or lack of confidence. But maybe I get something out of writing that isn’t from people reading. Maybe it’s for me.
I get clarity from writing. I get peace and pure absorption from writing. I get pride from writing.
Mum told me that loving writing meant that I would have to write.
Sometimes I don’t have to write. Sometimes I do. I never have to share. Sometimes I want to.
2019 is three years later than I want it to be. My new years’ resolutions remain the same, but my reality is totally different, so I’ll let them evaporate into the air.
I am me. I will improve if I can. I will try to gain confidence in the things that gave me confidence. I will try to see myself as interesting. I will try to read more, until I hate saying it so much that I actually do it (that’s the only way I do job applications). I will write. For me.
2019 you’re probably going to suck but you exist and I have to accept that.