Today I wanted to reflect on the year 2016 and ask myself and my readers “Was it really?” as in, was it really that bad?
I look back to the first day of 2016 and I woke up without a hangover and well rested as I spent New Years Eve in my room watching movies and talking on the phone. For a short time I regretted not going out and thought that I had wasted my time sitting on the phone all night, but in reality it was pretty good. I enjoyed the phone call and I learned a lot from that time.
January of 2016 was a rough one for dumb reasons. I had single handily ruined a relationship that could have turned into something serious, I started to miss my home state of Minnesota and all of my friends that had graduated college and moved back to the Twin Cities. Winter seasonal depression was setting in and I started to hate where I was at in life and wanted to change, but had never really had the motivation to change, but this time it was different. I longed to get back to my roots and back to friends and family. I was living a life that was behind me and needed to move forward to my new life.
I had just visited Denver, CO in December and finally got out of Grand Forks, ND. It really helped open my eyes to what is out there beyond the small walls of the town I had called home for the past seven years. I was ready. I needed out. I started applying everywhere, from Denver, to North Carolina. I even applied at some places in Louisiana (I think) I was literally applying everywhere just to get out of Grand Forks. It was my time to leave. I felt it. I was interviewing over the phone and via Face-time to so many places I started to lose track of who I interviewed with and who I was supposed to interview with next. It was a whirlwind. I felt desperate, I was unhappy and I needed a change and nothing was moving along at the pace I wanted.
January 29th. My birthday. I finally had a job interview in person down in St. Paul, MN at a place I would finally call my new employer. I went in and just talked. The interview was so laid back and chill and the guy was wearing jeans and talking to me like a person instead of a child or as though he was my superior. We talked music and school and sports in the interview. I knew this would be the one if they offered it to me. I had no clue what the business was all about, but I knew this was my door to put my foot in, my pool to dip my toes, my window to see my future through. I waited a few days, then a week and then a week and a half and nothing. I was upset. “were they going to hire me?” I constantly asked myself. I was doing terrible in sales at my current job, and just needed an answer. So I emailed them, I took the initiative and got a response. I was hired. I couldn’t wait to put in my two-weeks notice.
At about the time I put in my two weeks notice, my roommates at the time seemed to get distant. Which was bound to happen. I had been distant myself and started to realize that I needed to change who I surrounded myself with in order to achieve what I wanted in life. They weren’t making moves like my other friends, and they seemed content in Grand Forks, which is completely fine for them, but for me it wasn’t. I needed out. Then I met a girl. Two weeks before leaving, we started a short brief, drama filled long distance relationship which turned out to be a good experience, but a waste of time all together. I kept thinking that 2016 would be the worst year yet, even though I finally made a move in my life.
All summer long in 2016 was very exciting. Everything was new. I was in the Twin Cities, big events, lakes, things to do, places to see, new experiences. Everything was great. I was so happy in the Twin Cities. Then, I again found myself unhappy. Why? I finally made a move to a place that was supposed to make me happy. I was supposed to be this excited young adult in the cities, single, and ready to have a good time. My new roommates were supposed to be fun and exciting and do things with me, but after the first couple of months it slowed down. Everything. My fun, my money, my activities. I started to realize that I had went from one living situation straight into the same one. Lots of time sitting around and not doing anything. No movement. These two were just a slightly upgraded set of roommates from the past situation. Sure, they were a little more active, and weren’t stuck in Grand Forks, but I needed passionate people. People who didn’t settle for the nine to five life of an adult (I realize I am an adult, but I am not ready to settle) and I needed more. I realized that I had to make an initiative if I wanted to do what I had planned all along. I needed to start hanging out with passionate people. People who were constantly moving and making moves and supporting me. People who understood what it was like to actually MOVE.
So I started to blog, I started to read, I started to write. I started leaving my house even if my roommates didn’t want to come along. I did my own thing and didn’t rely on them to entertain me. I put on my earbuds while I was home and started to create an outside world inside my house. I focused on me and my passions. I stopped blaming others for my unhappiness and finally got a fire lit under my ass. I had always looked for approval from those around me when it came to my work and my hobbies, but 2016 made me realize that you need to be the change in YOUR world, even if those around you are not there supporting you.
I see all these statuses about 2016 being the worst year ever. Why? Because a few celebrities died? Sure, they were legends. They were great actors and musicians. David Bowie (though I never really liked his music), Prince (classic, but again didn’t listen to his music often), Alan Rickman (great actor, though I mostly liked him in Harry Potter). All of those guys died. Plus some more. The world mourned a gorillas death instead of cherishing that a child’s life had been saved in result of his death. Last but not least, Trump became president. Everyone is so sad and impacted by 2016 because of this, but he hasn’t even taken office yet. Nobody is giving him a chance and already charting 2016 (a year Obama was president) as the worst year ever. Because of what? Things that didn’t truly hurt you in 2016? Sure, Trump might impact your life IN THE FUTURE but not here in 2016, so before you hate on 2016 look back and reflect on how it was on YOUR OWN LIFE.
I look back and see it as a year of growth and for that I am happy. I learned that you need to cut people from your life, even if it is hard. I learned that the people who you surround yourself doesn’t really matter as long as you can light your own fire. Sure it helps to cut the toxic ones from your life, like using dry wood instead of wet wood, but the fire can still burn (I know because I have had bonfires with wet wood, which does suck by the way). So go out there, find some dry wood in your life and light your fire. Do not let people dampen your spirits or you years. Find you, do you and be happy.
Happy Hump Day,
p.s. I found happiness in 2016 by planting trees and reading about how they can change your yard. Planting trees not only helps out the ecosystem and the air quality, but it gives your house good curb appeal. Find out where the wind hits your house the most and plant some Evergreen Trees in that area. It will not only cut down your heating bill, but it will also make a nice little shelter for rabbits and other animals. Plus they look lovely. Happy Planting!