Giving up for 2018

freedom

 

I’ve been silent for a while. A long while actually. It was totally on purpose. My mother always used to say; if you’ve got nothing nice to say, best not say anything at all. Well, since last fall my general consensus for life has been: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

Whether it was work, my health, my finances, my love life (and ineherent lack thereof), my child, my social life or even something as simple as clearing out the sink and keeping the kitchen clean, everything seems to have resulted in a string of explitives and huge sighs and me throwing my hands up in the air in complete and utter defeat. The end of 2017 just bulldozed me right the fuck over and left me gasping for air at the end of the year.

We live in an age of digital historianism. Everything we do and everywher we go can be easily traced and documented. I’m a prime offender of documenting any and all things that happen in life. Where I travel, what I drive, what adventure Owen and I are getting up to, and how my brain is working (or not) at any given moment thanks to a well-placed quote or saying here and there. My workouts are tracked, my flights around the world documented, and my coffee intake monitored. It’s all there.

As I looked back on 2017 in its digital form, I couldn’t help but smile (at least a little). Every picture, each post, holds more for me than just the sum of the snapped pic and the witty caption and hashtags that go along with it. Looking at any given post, I remember entire days; where I was (before and after the snap), who I was with, what was said, what was done, what was experienced (good and bad). I know when I had lulls in posts for days at a time that my head space wasn’t right, knew I was dealing with something or someone.

It’s more than hundreds of photos over several long months; it’s a journey. And one I struggled with, every step of the way.

Some photos bring back amazing moments. Moments I’ll hold on to forever. Moments only I will ever know about, despite the public post made just moments before or after. Moments meant for me. Moments shared, but perhaps only reflected on by me. Exciting moments. Terrifying moments. Life-altering moments. Some remind me of important life lessons, mistakes, missteps and harsh realities I could have probably prevented and stopped but rushed headlong into (as I usually do).

Truthfully, I did some pretty incredible things in 2017: I ran another half marathon (bareyly survived, but that’s another story), I played in red sand dunes in Land Rovers, I dipped my toes in the Pacfic Ocean, I drove a real race car, I brought my only child to his first day of school, I helped a foster cat grow past her fear of humans and get adopted to a loving family, I met amazing new people by absolute fluke and had some incredible too-late nights I’ll never forget, I ate oysters at home for the first time (shucked ’em and everything), I took a 14-hour road trip in a convertible, I changed my hair colour multiple times (and loved it every single time), I lived. Lived large – as they say – despite the life fuckery behind all the incredibleness.

Spotify also created a “Top Songs of 2017” playlist for me, and I listened to it often throughout the month of December. It was composed of the top 100 songs I listened to throughout the year.

It’s amazing what music can do the mind, just like smell. It can immediately transport you, whether you want to go “back” there or not, it does it until you frantically hit the “next” button or lower the volume to stop the tears from welling or the lump from catching in your throat.

Music is my solace, music is my escape, music is my happy place (second only to reading). Music got me through 2017. Music kept me level and music kept me sane. It made me smile, it made me cry, and it made me open up. I discovered an entirely knew genre I didn’t think I’d ever really like … And in discovering new music, discovered something new about myself, too.

Singing is big in our household. Owen and I do it all the time in the car and at home. We regularly have dance parties in the living room, and he’s a pro at learning the words to any and all songs. He’s also a pro at picking out new songs we’ll both love and listen to often. My little music guru.

And so, after all this reflection and looking back on everything; what’s it all really done for me besides drag up old emotions, thoughts and feelings?

It’s made me want to give up.

I feel like all I really did in 2017 was chase. I chased my finances. I chased a weight-loss my brain wasn’t ready to let my body achieve. I chased being a perfect parent to a newly-started-school little boy. I chased friendships. I chased being the ideal daughter. I chased being calm, cool and collected (insted of high-strung and anxious). I chased wine with gin. I chased finding a partner despite stating how “happy” I was alone. I chased men I thought could give me what I needed, but who were no good for me. I chased affection. I chased happiness. I chased piles and piles of laundry and endless dishes. I chased keeping my child occupied and happy at all times when we were together. I chased being the perfect single mother.

So I’m done.

No more chasing. No more running after bullshit. No more trying to reach unattainable goals. Fuck it. I’m out. I give up.

But I’m not giving in. There’s the difference.

One of my all-time favourite books is “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. The most poignant line (for me) in that book is simply, “How wild it was to let it be.”

I wrote it in chalk on a board in my kitchen a few years back, and it’s since been covered by countless bits of paper and pictures and is half rubbed off. The other night, I shoved all the bits covering it aside and read it, out loud, over and over again. It made me breathe heavy, hyperventilate a bit, and definitely made me cry.

How wild it was to let it be.

So, 2018 is about giving up. Giving it all up. The self-loathing, the poor decisions, the lack of confidence, the need for perfection, and the struggle to get it all done and get it all done NOW. Letting it be. Not admitting defeat. Not giving in. Just letting things run their course… and run to me. No more gasping for air, trying to keep my head above choppy water with frantic strokes and poorly timed kicks. Time to take a breather, tread water gently and just let things settle and drift naturally.

This year, I choose happiness. I’m not entirely sure what that means right now. I’ll discover it as I go along.

Someone once told me that it wasn’t my brokenness that was the attraction, but more the way I handled it, didn’t use it as a crutch, and didn’t let it fuck with me. For some reason, that’s stuck with me. There are days I feel more broken than ever before, and days I feel no amount of time or reflection will fix it. And I’m OK with it. I have accepted all of my broken, and will likely continue to break more.

Here’s to 2018, to giving up and letting it all just be.

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~ by drivingmsmiranda on January 10, 2018.

One Response to “Giving up for 2018”

  1. This resonates with me in 2018 too… I need to stop striving, but it’s so very difficult to let go of what we feel we should be.

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