It’s amazing how a year can change you so completely.
I look back at who I was last year, and I don’t know the girl echoing back at me through the year. She has changed so much. Where once she used to make herself as small as possible, I stand tall and proud, and where once there was a girl who had to rely constantly on those around her – I have learned to rely on others and myself.
How many years did I go with no change at all? How many years did I continue to dance through the same exact cycles of my life, unable to change it; or without the desire to change? I was content in my misery, sure that there was no opportunity to grow or change the person I was destined to become. I was so wrapped up in this thought that what I was born, and what type of family I had, was the deciding factor for my entire life. Why bother to change anything, or even try to change it, when you were destined to fail by default?
Then something happened. All at once, I rediscovered writing. I was once again back to being fourteen years old, clumsily putting words down on paper in hopes that I could convey what was inside my head to those who might read what I was writing. These vast worlds began to take shape inside my mind, places so beautiful that even now I doubt I could capture that beauty and show it. And from these clumsy letters, my stories began to take root. They grew and changed, and I grew as well.
All at once, I wasn’t defined by who I was, but by what I could do with ink and paper. I gained friends who were interested in both the worlds I created, and the person behind the keyboard.
I found friends, or they found me, and they gave me courage on the days where my heart was filled with darkness. They were the lights I needed to guide me through, to see me out the other side of the forest, back to happier times. And not all stayed, but I think that is the way of life. People come and go, but they came for a reason and the memories they leave behind will last a lifetime.
I don’t forget anyone. Everyone who has ever made an impact in my life will always have a place inside my heart. The memories of those times will be what I draw on when I’m sad or feeling down. I’ll think back to silly, late night conversations about the things we used to love, and a stray thought will drift through my mind ‘I wonder what they’re doing now… I hope they’re happy.’
Happy – that’s all I ever wanted from my life. I wanted to be happy. I think for the first time in 23 years of life… I can finally say that I am happy. I’m still growing, I’m still taking root and expanding my horizons, but I am happy. I am happy that I can look back at my echoes and see the change. I am proud of the woman looking back at me. I’m happy that I can see the joy in her face, even though she and I both know there are still shadows in her eyes. But I’ve found happiness, and that shows.
I may never find the things I think I need, but what I have found this year has been good… yeah, it’s been good. I’ve improved as a writer, and even if I’m not the brightest star in the night sky when it comes to writing, I’m kind of proud of my 300+ stories. That’s a pretty damn good thing to have under your belt as December comes marching in.
In 23 days I will be leaving behind the number 23 and welcome in the number 24 - 24 years of life. I finally started to get my shit together. I’m proud of myself, and you know what, fuck it, I’m going to scream from the mountain tops that I am proud. There will always be those people who tell me I ought to keep this pride down, that I ought not to speak so loudly about finally being happy. It’s not fair to those who aren’t. There will be people who say I shouldn’t speak my mind, and that they liked me better when I didn’t speak up against the wrongs I see.
Life is too short to care about those people. I can only hope that they find the same happiness I found. I’m where I want to be, and I’m going to keep traveling on this long and winding road. Ups, downs and sideways motions – It’s taking me places I never thought I’d go, and one day I’ll reach the end, look back at my life and say to myself: I lived a fucking fantastic life.
:) Thank you, every single one of you who has stuck it out with me this year. There were many twists and turns, and I know I’m not the easiest person to get along with. I’m still shy, but getting over that one day at a time. But thank you so impossibly much for the love and support you guys have given me. If one day I ever do manage to get a book published… I think my first dedication would have to be to all my insane followers on tumblr – they loved me, fanfiction and all ^-^
Here’s to another year of adventures!