Surviving 2016.


All images are by Reza Farazmand aka @poorlydrawnlines on Instagram. Be sure to check out his account for snarky comics and Trash Bird.

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Any rescue scene in any action movie you can think of can metaphorically be applied to my 2016.

The main character, or characters, start the mission off thinking everything will go according to plan only by the time they make it to the elevator after having blown up the hotel lobby trying to rescue Morpheus from Agent Smith more Smiths show up and everything’s gone to shit and then before you know it one of them is having to jump off the top of the building into a helicopter being flown by Trinity because she downloaded instructions to her brain and the building is going to explode and they might not survive and The One will die and then there goes the whole plot but somehow they both live and make it out with a few scratches.

And yes. That’s a Matrix reference.

I know that people have been saying that 2016 was really a terrible year for everyone/the world in general. To those who can confidently say that 2016 was actually a great year for them I just want to say, you sir, are a lucky bastard. Assholes. (Not really. I’m just jealous because I can’t confidently say that 2016 was a great year for me without my eye twitching from the immense lie.)

I have absolutely no idea how I managed to make it to 2017 with only a few bouts of month-long depression and nothing else—it’s a gosh darn miracle. And I know that the world saw horrible acts of mass violence from Paris to Orlando to Belgium and Turkey, but all I can say is that I was lucky enough to not be impacted directly by those events and so I can only complain about my own life and feel empathy and sadness towards the people who were directly impacted.

If I had to pick one word to describe 2016 it would be change. Last year was a lot of change for me and not tiny little changes, but big life-altering changes. I started off 2016 saying what everyone says, “This will be MY year dammit. I will finally have abs! I will be positive! I will start saving my money instead of spending it on organic food that I don’t really need like $5 boxes of mac and cheese!

Let’s all have a really good laugh. HA! Yeah right. Some changes were good, but some very big changes were bad. In 2016 I….

  • Bought a new car because my old one blew the radiator.
  • Lost my grandma to Stage IV cancer the day before Valentine’s day.
  • Shaved the back of my head.
  • Adopted Charlie, my dog.
  • Decided to become a “vegan”.
  • Started this blog.
  • Got my first speeding ticket.
  • Started liking cucumbers which is huge because I’ve always hated cucumbers.
  • Found two great roommates and moved in to a very swanky apartment.
  • Attended a bomb-ass wedding for one of my very good friends and may or may not have taken advantage of the open bar.
  • Got two new tattoos.
  • Broke up with my boyfriend of three years.
  • Tried Tinder and Bumble for the first and probably last time ever.
  • Turned the big 24.
  • Started completing graduate school applications after a few years of thinking maybe I should.
  • And finally, watched the ball drop surrounded by my friends from home.

I will admit that overall the list is positive. Buying a new car is a positive even though my old one basically blew up. Adopting my dog is a positive because I love her and she brought a lot of joy into my life. Starting this blog, transitioning to veganism, finding two great roommates and a nice apartment, starting graduate applications, weddings, etc are all positives. But there are three very big life changes in that list—my grandma dying, moving into a new apartment without my boyfriend, and then my breakup. Those were big changes. Not to mention D. Trump Cheeto Fingers as the new POTUS but we won’t get into that naughty business.

Instead of looking back on 2016 as the horrible mother f’ing mess that I feel it was, I’d rather try to view the year in as positive a light as is possible.

My 2016 was a year of necessary changes that I probably needed. What I mean is,  I think up until 2016 I was living a good life, but a life that mine is not meant to be. I was just sort of living whatever sort of existence happened to come my way after I graduated from college. I’d like to think that the big and small changes I went through last year were necessary so that I can finally be on the life-path I’m meant to be on. Let’s all take a collective sip of our organic Kombucha to finish up that hippie statement.

The only change that I see as unnecessary is losing my Grandma but it taught me how I handle my emotions and how I handle loss as an adult.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from last year, it’s that you can’t try to plan your year to be anything specific. Things will come along and disrupt your life more than you thought possible and you will have to adapt. I hope though, that this new year will finally be the year that I live for myself instead of for someone else.

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So what are my New Year’s resolutions for 2017? Some are general and some are more concrete and specific. My specific resolutions for 2017 are to:

  • Pack my lunches the night before so I don’t have to do it in the morning before work and end up running late. We’ll see how long I can keep it up because I am a gutter person and perpetually running behind schedule.
  • Finish and submit the four graduate school applications I have on my list.
  • Stick to my budget that I made last year so that I can save my money instead of blowing it all on organic vegan food.
  • Post a little more often on Jack & Peaches. This one is kind of vague but oh well.

And my more general resolutions which are more for personal development are to:

  • Embrace being single and independent. Spend more quality time by myself by going out for coffee alone or seeing a movie alone more often and especially, taking myself out to dinner and breakfast alone. As much as I miss having someone to cuddle at night, I know that being partnered up with someone right now would hold me back from the new changes that 2016 set me up for. I need to embrace my inner Miranda Hobbes/Samantha Jones and put my inner Charlotte York on the back burner. At least until 2018.
  • Stop holding myself back. I could talk myself out of anything and when it comes to something intimidating, I usually do. If I see someone cute and I’ve been wanting to say hi, I’ll say hi (something I tested out in December and it wasn’t so scary). If I want to take a road trip, I’ll take a road trip. If I want to go to grad school in Scotland, then the least I can do is apply first. Simply put…I need to just do it. Whatever it is at the time because you never know if you don’t at least try.
  • Travel to at least one new place. This one is open to interpretation. A new place could be Chicago or even a cafe two towns over. Ideally though, I’d like it to be Thailand or Portland but visiting those will take a lot of dedication and planning (hence the resolution to follow my budgets 😉

Finally, my last, and probably most important resolution, is to accept all changes with a positive and excited outlook. I survived the utter Purgatory that was 2016 and I truly believe that all those changepoorlydrawnlinesvampires that happened were needed so that I can finally start living my life how I’m meant to. I don’t like change at all. It makes me physically ill. Embracing all change with a positive and excited outlook will really be a challenge, but instead of seeing whatever happens in 2017 has bad or upsetting, I want to see it all as necessary and positive and I’d like to challenge you to do the same.

It might just make the year a little
easier and more exciting.

 

With lot’s of genuine happiness,

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One thought on “Surviving 2016.

  1. Another year gone by and she has become wiser and stronger. She has become even more knowledgeable, informed, focused, motivated, determined. She is awesome. She is Sarah. Love you, Sarah!

    Like

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