“I was sitting on the bus the other day, listening to music, writing down fragments of my latest poem on my phone; ‘What a life, my friend. Caught in the antics of routines, some late-night ramblings…’ and among the poetic melancholy of it all, the truth is that another year has gone by. Actually, another decade has gone by. Wasn’t it just 2010 and I graduated high school? But no, it’s been ten years and in these ten years I’ve moved countries three times, I started and dropped seven different undergraduate degrees, became a professional singer, performed at amazing venues, realized I didn’t want to be an opera singer, worked in a number of office jobs, was drugged in a club, wrote 3 novels, visited 9 countries, was raped, had my heart broken 5 times, buried friends and family members, got a puppy, had two major surgeries, got three life-changing diagnoses and decided to go back to University. And yet, it feels like nothing. I still feel like that 18-year-old girl, newly out of school, with all those dreams and plans of who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do and none of it even remotely came true.
I recently talked to someone I feel quite close to and we were discussing all sorts of deep things, but I told him that, sometimes I felt like I just wanted to jump off a building. And he said that sounded rather final. Funnily enough, that was the complete opposite of what I meant. I don’t want to die, I want to feel that I’m actually alive.
If you’ve read some of my posts or my story (which I shared in 2017) before, (and if you haven’t, a quick summary; it involves a drug-addict father who committed suicide, and later on in my life rape, abuse and health and mental health issues) you’ll know that, if I choose to open up about my past to someone, the standard response I get is something along the lines of, “You’ve been through so much.” And maybe I have. Yet I feel like I haven’t lived at all. I’ve gone through all of this, but I haven’t experienced anything – I feel like I am perpetually stuck, always making the right decisions, always doing what’s expected of me, never showing my true face, hiding behind my meticulously planned and well-thought out façade, always delivering, always on the safe side. I look good on paper, I suppose.
When I’m thinking back on when I truly felt alive within the past 10 years, very little occasions come to mind; performing Verdi in front of 2000 people was so intense and the night of drinking and partying with my fellow singers and musicians that followed was even more intense, but probably one of my most cherished memories. Another night, holding my friend’s hand at 3am as we run through the dark empty streets, laughing at our own jokes and suddenly kissing. Or the day I randomly decided to move to England. That first date on a beautiful winter-day by the beach, when we got so unexpectedly caught in a thunderstorm, even though the love story ended in tragedy. The first steps I took after my hip-surgery. This spring had a random collection of beautiful, intimate moments, and then, when I randomly flew to New York City this fall, in the midst of a nervous breakdown.
You can see it’s not much, especially compared to all the terrible things that happened to me in the past decade. And then at some point this year, I realized what life could be like, what I could feel like. And I want that. I want more of that. I want my life to be the best it can be, and I want it to be wild and fun and passionate and crazy and exhilarating and scary, but in a good way. I want to climb up bridges and jump off cliffs and go skinny-dipping, I want to go on a road trip and see the sunrise from the top of a mountain. I want to be in love, and I want to be loved back. I want deep, meaningful connections. I want to live, not just survive. I want to make memories and I want to feel alive doing so. The past ten years have passed me by, life just happened to me, but I’ve noticed a shift within the past months and yes, though it’s very painful, I’ve started taking control and I’m slowly becoming the person I was always meant to be.
Because this is my life. Say it with me now (no, I’m being serious, say it out loud!). This is my life. I live it the way I want to. I matter. I am important. I have the power to create the life I desire.
To start of your year (and decade) right, maybe take inventory of the past ten years.
- What were your top 5 achievements of 2019?
- What were your top 5 achievements of the past 10 years?
- What attitudes have caused you issues in the past?
- How can you overcome these attitudes?
- What are your goals for 2019?
- What are your goals for the next 10 years?
- Now, imagine yourself in the end-result. For example, if your goal is to move to another city, imagine yourself living in that city, or having a conversation with someone about how great it is to live there. Repeat this for all your goals 😊
Take a step back and reflect on the life you currently have and the life you want. How do they align? Have you created an environment for yourself where you can be yourself? Where you can experience life to the fullest? And if not – now is the time to do so. Say it again; This. Is. My. Life.
Happy new year – may 2020 bring you everything you’ve ever wished for.”