MY BIRTHDAY IS SATURDAY
Updated: Jan 27, 2022
A year ago I was not looking forward to turning 24. I had no plans for the future and was feeling hopeless, then the thought of growing older was depressing.
I did a lot of soul-searching and found enough self-respect to change things around when I was 24, therefore making my 25 year old self feel better, I'm hoping! I'm now looking forward to the future because I feel better about myself and the world around me :)
There was probably a lot of effect on my mood due to the state of the world last year. But I was also going through a lot of my own personal problems with jobs, dreams, art, relationships, friendships, and money.
The year started fine for just a few months, and I actually got to go work at a convention called Comic Fest where I sold my own stuff, met a lot of people, made friends, played D&D for the first time and helped work the convention! I talked to some of the people working the Artist Alley and they inspired me to want to just work conventions from now on. Why not?
I was working at a little cafe for a little over a year. The main reason why I stayed working for so long was BECAUSE of the pandemic and I felt bad leaving when we already had so many other employees leaving. How backwards is it that people were making more sitting at home compared to people like me, who were on their feet for 8 hours a day?
I had so many friends telling me to quit and go on unemployment, sure. But I don't know, I felt really weird doing that. I had a feeling it was going to bite me during tax season later on, for some reason. I guess we will see! Working at the cafe allowed me to go out of my house and be social, I guess. But there just came a point where I was mad at myself for "allowing" myself to be in this situation and not work towards what I really want to do! Then with 90% of the world being on pause, I felt like I was stuck doing what I was doing until things "got better". I tried making the best out of it by painting a mural on the outside of the Cafe because.. why not?
The people I met at the cafe were nice, but not the type of people I would consider making friends with. We were all just very opposite of each other, but now that I think about it, maybe I just never gave them a try? I'm straight-edge and the few times we did all go out involved drinking or smoking. Which is fine! But not all the time.
Eventually I became friends with some guy (we will call him Mike, since he had a typical name like that). He seemed pretty cool at first, and was really the only person I was having regular conversations with through text (besides my long-distance boyfriend). Eventually he would stop by the cafe and we would chat for a bit, resulting in hangingout at the beach or going to a diner for breakfast, and then eventually watching cartoons at his house.
It was so nice to have someone to hangout with, and I think I just allowed myself to be put in bad situations because "otherwise I will be lonely"! That's not fair to him, and not fair to me.
I could go into more detail with this friend "Mike", but I will summarize it with this: Mike must have also been lonely and having a girl hangingout all the time confused him, I'm sure. I don't blame him and I do feel bad. At the same time, Mike was also not a very good friend. He wouldn't initiate conversation, made fun of me, and then got jealous when I was hangingout with someone else.
Again, I put myself in this situation and I knew I was stupid for continuously hangingout with him after he would do and say a lot of hurtful things.
Finally during the fall, I went to visit my boyfriend as a surprise visit. Around this time Mike was still trying to talk to me but I couldn't do it anymore. I stopped texting him back until he got the hint.
The visit to see my boyfriend was.... -sigh-
To me, it really felt like the world was giving me a test to see how much self respect I had, and how far I was willing to put myself in these constant cycles with friends and boyfriends and the like.
Let's just say the trip did not go as planned. The person I went to see was not happy that I surprise visited them because they "had work to do" and I was "interfering" and that I was "selfish" for it. My heart was so broken, especially since our relationship had been strained during the quarantine. I really thought something good would come out of it. But instead I wasn't getting the same effort as I was putting out! Towards the end of the month-long trip, things were better, but the wound was still visible.
I was only able to vent to a handful of friends at the time because I always feel like a bother. One friend Alex from Sacramento was kind and wonderful enough to surprise visit ME for the New Year. At first it felt like karma since I did the same exact thing to my boyfriend, but then I put reason first and told myself
to make time for my friend. BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOU DO.
We explored abandoned areas, beaches, went to shops I've never been before, took lots of pictures and watched movies. It was everything I needed. Best part of the visit was going to Slab City!
For those who don't know, Slab City is the only area in the US that "does not" have a government. It's a small area in the middle of the desert filled with houses made from old cars, pieces of trash, blankets... basically homeless living but with ~*style*~. It sounds terrifying, and we thought that too, but it ended up being a life-changing experience.
We originally wanted to see the places Kesha filmed for her "Praying" video, but due to covid a lot of those places were closed. But we found a library, a skating rink, a giant statue, and then right before we left, we found Peter.
The coolest guy in all of Slab City, his area had a rainbow-painted bus, a stripper pole, couches, his own handmade clay oven, a bed with a canopy, items and art for sale, and a whole lot of personality. He really did make the whole trip worthwhile. I definitely want to go back!
By March, I went on another month-long visit to see my grandmother who lives near a Resort in the middle of Texas. So very much the middle, we had no cell service or wifi. This was scary at first, but overtime it helped me so much. Instead of looking at my phone for hours, I spent the time walking around, helping out at the resort, staring up at the trees and sky and just *living*. I was no longer thinking about my life and what I wanted and how I felt, but instead just living in the moment. It was wonderful.
When I got home, I deleted all social media apps from my phone and allowed myself to only go on them through my desktop computer.
Right after this trip I started a new job as a caricature artist at the park in my city. It was so much fun, I met a lot of people, drew a lot of people, made people happy, was able to make friends and a lot of money! Once I felt great and got my confidence back, I started thinking about what I wanted in life.
Finally, FINALLY, I had enough money and a familiarity with my city to potentially move out with my boyfriend. So I texted him when he was ready to come over and.... I didn't get the response I wanted. I took a few days to think for myself. By the end of the week, my family and I flew to Connecticut for my sister's graduation and I was able to meet up with my boyfriend where we finally agreed to end things.
For about 2 years I was dreading this outcome. But once it was happening it felt reliving! How strange is that? Something I also learned.
When I got back I was a new me. Single (for the first time in 5 years), confident (for the first time in 3 years), and okay with where I was (for the first time in... AWHILE)! Now that it was summer, shops and museums and beaches were opening up again and I hungout with some older friends again, even creating a Discord group chat where we get together every Tuesday to talk and play games and hangout and it really is the highlight of the week.
Around this time I got a call from my doctor saying they looked at the results from the Emergency Visit I took and it looks like Hypothyroidism. Something my grandmother has (also more common than you'd think). So I now have to create a new morning routine for myself so I can take this little pill every morning every day FOREVER. Which at first I didn't want to do , but if it will make me healthy, then why skip it?
Now that I was feeling good, it made me think about my friends who haven't been feeling good. I caught up with old friends online, hungout with friends in person again, and made new friends! I even had to be strong and stop talking to people who just weren't making me feel comfortable. I always battle between my heart and mind.
Since I was talking to people, I ended up getting feelings for someone! I had this whole plan to be single for a few months, maybe even a few years, but then out of nowhere someone came along and talks to me and treats me exactly how I've been wanting it. I never expected to find someone to talk to, especially so soon, because my recent ex has set the bar. I believe he was the best relationship I had: safe, fun, I was able to truly be myself and not worry...
All this means is that I can now look for what I want and step away from what I don't. Because my ex was so good, I want to only find something like that. (I just didn't expect it to happen to soon, whoops.)
I was nervous and felt bad for talking to someone already, but instead of worrying about that, why not just let it be what it is? I was constantly worrying myself the past year, it didn't feel good at all. But once I allowed myself to go after what makes me feel happy, I never wanna go back. Talking to someone feels good right now. So does working at a park, drawing cartoons, talking to friends through Discord, and drawing for strangers.
I'm in control of what happens in my life. Sure, there will be some unexpected misery, perhaps, but I can still control how I react to it and what I can do with it. It started out a little fuzzy but I fixed it, so now I'm rooting for my 25-year-old self!
ANYWAY that's the end of my very very summarized year, haha. (Just kidding, there is a lot more but that can wait for another time!)