What I Learned in 2014 and Hope for in the New Year
And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the obligatory new year post.
(Seriously do the drumroll noise in your head.)
(Or out loud, if you want to.)
Ok, now that that's out of the way, let's get started.
2014 was a big year for me. I look back on every year and see how I'm different, but this past year I really started to figure out who I am and what I want from life.
This past February I went on antidepressants for the first time. That, more than anything, helped me grow more this year than I ever could have imagined I had the capacity to grow. It not like antidepressants are these magical pills that suddenly make you realize who your are, but rather they cleared my head so that I could see myself clearly for the first time in about ten years.
For about half my life I thought sadness and loneliness and helplessness were just a part of who I was. When I was younger I was made to believe my problems weren't big enough or scary enough to be classified as "real" depression. When I started seeing a therapist and taking meds, though, I realized I wasn't actually this lost and confused person. That was my depression. And when I started dealing with that, it felt like I now had all these opportunities in front of me.
I had to rebuild myself at first, and that was scary, but scary in a good way. I wasn't anxious about all the things I didn't know about myself or my life anymore. I realized that it was ok to make things up as I went.
With that realization, I moved to Israel to work for the Jerusalem Post. I'm going back home to Florida in a month, but my time here has been incredible. I realized I don't want to move away from home, which was something I thought I wanted my whole life. I figured out that I don't need a job right away. I have time. And I decided to go back to school and get a masters degree in creative writing.
All these things are good scary. I turned my life around this year, and in some ways I feel like I'm a completely different person that I thought I was for the past ten years. It's exciting, though. I finally feel ready to live my life in the present instead of constantly wanting to move onto the next stage of life, and that's how I plan to approach 2015.
2015 for me is not just a new year, but a chance to explore myself further than I've been able to in the past. I want to get healthier, both physically and mentally. I plan to start running and doing yoga more regularly as well as eating better. I also want to develop more of a routine so I don't feel like I'm just floundering around waiting for something to happen to me. I want to write more, and I want to publish some short stories and essays. I want to focus more on my fiction instead of just my journalistic work.
I can honestly say this is the first new year I've gone into with hope and happiness and excitement instead of trepidation and exhaustion. I am ready for 2015, whatever and wherever it may bring me. This is the year I take control of my life and live it the way I want to, not the way my depression dictates.
What did you learn in 2014? What are you hoping for in 2015? Let me know how your year went.