As I believe I've mentioned a couple of times, this year has been pretty hard. Since I'm coming towards the end of it, I thought I'd use the 20/20 vision of hindsight to look back at it and see what happened.
So there were two big things that have really made this year difficult. Amusingly, the crash isn't one of them. It was annoying, but I think it's actually been helpful, in many ways. And I'm not saying that these two haven't been - there's been a lot of good that's come from these - but they are really what have made this year hard.
The first was moving out, and the second was a challenge to go for an intentional season without pursuing anyone romantically. I talked about it in this blog post, if that isn't ringing any bells for you. Go on, give it a read. I'll wait.
Done? Good. Now.
Moving out has been awesome, don't get me wrong. I've enjoyed so much making my own food, and setting my own diet. It's meant that I've been able to go pretty much vegetarian, which I've wanted to do for ages. I've also met some great people, started some fantastic friendships, and had some memorable times. And it's definitely a step forward that I needed to take, and that I hope I'll be able to continue with.
But it's also been difficult, moving from a six-person house, that's rather noisy most of the time, to living in a five-person apartment where often I'm the only one at home, or people will just do their own thing for the most part in their rooms. (Which, admittedly, still happened back at my family's house.) It's made me feel more lonely, which is something that I always struggle with anyway. And that then served to aggravate the second one.
Taking an intentional season where I didn't pursue anyone romantically was something that I needed to do. (And am still doing.) But it certainly wasn't something I was particularly excited about. I knew why I needed to do it (see the other post linked above for all of that), but it was still pretty shit. Because I'm a Four. The Tragic Romantic. It was pretty much how I defined myself - and that's a problem.
Thing is, I'm an emotional person. That's a given. I can't just not be emotional, or not have emotions. They happen. If they're not directed in this way, where's that going to go?
This is where I think I went wrong, because I didn't make any plans for this. I just tried to bottle it all up the best I could - attempting to not have too intense conversations with people that I could be romantically interested in, trying to tone down the flirting (I act like I don't know anything; but really, I'm terrible, I'm doing it all over the place), and even taking music out of my iTunes and CD collection that were 'love songs', or likely to get me in that frame of mind. That's most music, folks! But in particular, it was a couple of artists that were my favourites, and that I really identified with - Owl City and Brendan James (no, not me, look him up). Pretty much all of their songs fit into this category. So I was denying myself all of this music, denying myself the ability to actually express this emotion and release it in a healthy and safer way.
Is it any wonder that I've been doing terribly with it? :P Ha.
I mean, I've been struggling more this year with porn and fantasy than I have since Valiant Man. I have abysmally failed in not pursuing anyone romantically, though thankfully I haven't done too much. But you could also easily put that down to my shyness around romance in general.
So yeah. I've still got a long way to go. I'm hoping that next year I can do this a little better next year - removing myself from everything, and actually allowing myself to vent some of this emotion in a healthier way, rather than just attempting to contain it all and being surprised when it overflows and spills out uncontrollably. Time will tell, I suppose.