It’s that time of the year again, when everyone feels the need to reflect on their accomplishments of the year and draw conclusions about where to go from there. For me, it’s not just the end of the year 2019 but also the start of my thirty-second year on Earth and I never quite know how to feel about this. I always find that December is a difficult month for me, emotionally speaking. It’s somewhat confusing with Christmas coming up, which is supposed to be a joyful event, and then there’s the terrible pressure of having the perfect plan for New Year’s Eve. But it’s also the time of my birthday, which is supposed to be a cause for celebration, but I’ve never celebrated my birthday. Except for that one time in fifth grade and it was terrible! So much pressure and it didn’t turn out the way I had imagined it at all.
Anyways, I’m not particularly fond of my own birthdays. I don’t enjoy getting presents all that much, which is why I always encourage people not to get me any. I prefer gestures (small ones, please don’t express your appreciation of me with any kinds of big, public, and potentially embarrassing gestures) that come from the heart. I relish people spending quality time with me. I truly enjoy getting text messages from loved ones on my birthday (I do not, however, care for the generic “Happy B-Day” posts on my Facebook timeline that people felt obliged to leave there, which is why my birthday’s no longer public on my social media profiles) and the same goes for presents, if they really mean something, despite what I wrote earlier. I’m not a fan of gifting for the sole purpose of doing so. If you feel like you need to get me a present only to be polite and because it’s the proper thing to do, please don’t. It will be a waste of your money and I may not even enjoy it. My dad likes to call some presents “cadeaux empoisonnés”, which is French and can roughly be translated to “poisoned presents”. It means that the person who receives the gift not only doesn’t benefit from the gift, but also carries the burden of not knowing what to do with it / having to pretend to like it / having to display or eventually dispose of it / having to store it and so on. I’ve gifted my fair share of “cadeaux empoisonnés” over the years. I now try, if I feel like I need to bring a gift but have no idea what to buy, to get something the other person can use for sure, like a bottle of wine for instance − if they don’t like it, they can always re-purpose it as a gift to someone else, right?
Now that I got this (albeit somewhat unsolicited) piece of advice off my chest, I can go back to what I was going to write in the first place. A few days ago, I felt slightly panicky because I was under the impression that I had absolutely nothing to show for myself at the end of this very long but also incredibly short year. And then I realised that so much has happened, even if it’s not written down on paper and visible to a stranger’s eye.
Well actually, some of it is written down and visible to strangers: I’ve published twenty-six (this one included) blog posts on carrotdays.com in 2019, which I’m quite proud of. People may not always understand what I’m babbling on about, but I’ve carried on regardless. Kudos to me, I guess!
What I meant though is that there haven’t been any major changes in my life in 2019: I haven’t changed jobs, I’m still on the lookout for a partner and I still have no idea what I’m doing.
What has changed though, is the way I feel about all of this.
2019 has seen me stretch my comfort zone a little bit more, manage to be true to myself in unsettling situations a little more often and meet new wonderful people in the most unlikely of places. I’ve managed to open up and to feel understood (obviously not by everyone) but I’ve also been hurt and misunderstood and therefore had to deal with my fair share of feeling inadequate and unfit for this world. My resilience, however, has continued to grow throughout 2019. I’ve learned that I have the ability to recover from emotionally difficult situations. I’ve also learned that I don’t need to constantly try to turn myself into a better human. I’m allowed to be flawed and I’m allowed to struggle with things that come easily to others. I’m allowed to have a different opinion and go my own way.
I’m slowly learning that I am enough, which is immensely hard work for me given that I’ve been harbouring this core belief of not being (good) enough my entire life. This fear of not being enough, be it as a friend, a girlfriend, an employee, a daughter, a sister, a horse rider, a runner, a writer, […] has always been prevalent. In 2020, I’d like to work some more on ignoring the little bullying voice in the back of my head that keeps reminding me of the possibility that I may not suffice. To remind me that said voice is lying, I recently did something I never thought I’d do: I got a tattoo.
Every time I look at it now, it reminds me of the following things:
1. It’s so pretty, I can’t believe I did this!
2. Perspectives and opinions can change – heck, I never wanted to get tattooed and I also never even understood why people would want to get a tattoo.
3. I am enough.
And so are you.
A merry Christmas* and a happy new year to all of you kind people who regularly find their way onto my blog. I appreciate each and every one of you − thank you so much 💛!
* This can of course be substituted by the festivity of your choice and doesn’t only apply to those of you who celebrate Christmas 🙂.