To be honest, there would not be enough money in the world to pay me to redo 2013.
When I think about mistakes I’ve made, I find it hard to dwell on them, but not for the reasons you’d think. Most people would assume that the reason I wouldn’t want to think about it is that it makes me feel vulnerable, or perhaps, It makes me feel sadness, pain, or anger. But really, I find that it’s something different. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, there is a line that says, “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”
That is something I relate to a little too strongly.
I suppose for context for this essay, you must understand that 2013 was the first year I lived outside of my parents’ house. And I could only afford to do that if I lived with people. It was an unpleasant, judgmental, restrictive environment and I was miserable.
Do you know how most people can’t wait to go home after a day of work? I dreaded going home. I would sob in my car when I got off work or wander around nearby stores or eat in my car to avoid being there.
I felt trapped. I couldn’t afford to live anywhere else, and the other parts of my life had me so stressed out that I was making myself ill.
In 2013, my grandpa was sick with cancer and died in the summer.
In 2013, the long-standing friendship I’d cultivated with a few people crumbled, but not because of me, because of some differences between my sister and them. But it trickled down to me.
That year, my best friend was pregnant with her daughter and gave birth, also in the summer.
All those balls I’d been juggling were knocked out of my hands.
Somehow, 2013 is a turning point in my life. Before that year, I was trying too hard to be what everyone wanted me to be, but completely failing. I also hadn’t learned how much I depended on my family until I no longer lived with them. I realized that regardless of what anyone says, I am going to want to write, and if that’s my goal then I should do it.
Make no mistake, I’m still kind of lazy about all those, “adult” things, and I only care because I have to. I am not the most proactive about things I don’t want to do. And I still have a lot of learning and growing to do, but here are some things I learned in 2013, or because of it.
Things I Learned in 2013
(this is very rough)