If you thought about this blog the word ‘consistency’ probably wouldn’t be the first thought that sprung to mind. However, something I have been really consistent with on this blog over the years is to write a birthday post looking back on the year and what I want to achieve in the next year. This will be my fourth birthday post even though my blog has actually been going for a lot longer than that. While I don’t post often, or I go through phases of not posting and then posting a lot, I’m still proud that I’ve kept this blog going in some way or another since I was 18, which is a whole five years ago now. It’s been one of the only consistencies in my life through those 5 years and I’m grateful that at that age when I was in such a good place in my life, I let myself create this space where I can vent and reminisce and just get something out onto virtual paper. Writing has always been and always will be my therapy, even if I don’t do it as often as I should.
Getting back to the birthday part. Last year when my 22nd birthday was approaching, I wrote a blog post very originally entitled I’m feeling 22 where I looked back on all the goals I basically hadn’t achieved over the year. The only thing I had actually put that I wanted to have achieved by this year, bless my poor little frazzled heart, was this:
I want to look back in a years time, when I’m 23, and know that things have only gotten better.
This is really interesting actually because it’s made me question what ‘better’ actually means in terms of life as a whole. This time last year I absolutely loved my job, I was earning enough money to make ends meet as I wasn’t paying rent so I was living really comfortably, I was living in a family home with a baby which was really nice and I felt really supported in day to day life as a lot of adult responsibilities were taken off me somewhat by the fact that I was living with Real Adults. My mental and physical health had really never been better. I was attending the gym regularly and was eating home cooked meals every night. I was happy in myself and my skin was glowing.
On the other hand, I hadn’t been in a real relationship in over 2 years, I’d only had sex once in the last year and I felt like I had no hope of ever meeting someone and actually being happy in a relationship. I felt like I had taken a step back in life because I was living with my Dad and I had to fit all my stuff into one small, damp back bedroom that I constantly struggled to keep mould out of and try and make it a nice place for me to live. I had to commute an hour and a half to work and back on a bus every day and I had no real friends where I lived. I didn’t like the area I lived in as I hadn’t chosen to live there but more lived there by default.
This year I have moved to a city I have always wanted to live in. I live in a beautiful townhouse in the city centre, which is a five-minute walk to work for me. I live with my boyfriend who I love with all of my heart despite having only known him for 6 months. I love the fact that I finally have a whole place to call my own, no longer live with my parents and that my relationship has a real future.
However, because of moving house, paying rent and saving up to pay for debts I barely have enough money to live from day to day. I’m nowhere near as happy in my job as I was last year and I have no idea what I want to do with my life in that respect. I have barely slept this year so far and both my mental health and physical health have taken a serious dive in the months where I lived with a flatmate I never spoke to, didn’t eat a hot meal for weeks at a time, was too anxious to leave my house, let alone go to the gym, and just wanted to shut the world away. TOUCH FUCKING WOOD I am feeling a bit better now, but it knocked me for six. Not even six, more like fifteen at least.
So the grass is always greener. How am I supposed to say whether things are ‘better’ now than they were last year? How do we measure what is better? Is it based on how happy we are, how far we have progressed in our career? Is it based on how much money we have, how fit we are or how many loved ones we have around us? Is it better to feel powerless but free, or to have the weight of the world on your shoulders and secretly enjoy every minute of it? Does life ever really get ‘better’, or are we all just getting by on the day to day, trying to be happy and sane and just exist?
Maybe this next year will be better, maybe it won’t. But after 23 years on this planet, I reckon I can survive another one, whatever life throws at me in the next 365 days.