The Ups and Downs

Last week got me thinking on the ups and downs of life. So I decided to write out some of the ones that happened in 2018. Let’s start with the downs, so we can end on a positive note. However before we get started I want to note that there’s nothing wrong with the downs I am mentioning. They are things I’m reflecting on, lessons I’ve learned, or questions I am still struggling with. I just think it’s important to not forget about them. Similarly to Hannah Gale’s 7 life mistakes I’m Glad I’ve Made post, I wanted these to be seen, felt, and then grown from.

The Downs

Number 1 Around the first quarter of the year I said something to someone. I don’t believe what I said was wrong but it caused quite the reaction. The fallout is not something I have recovered from and our relationship is strained to say the least. I, personally, am having trouble moving forward due them continually ghosting me. It’s uncomfortable and frustrating and sometimes I just want to reach through my computer screen and shake their shoulders and ask WHY. And then I want to shake my own shoulders and ask if I am responding badly as well. Is the whole thing just a mess because long distance communication sucks sometimes? Or is it something else.

Number 2 Along the same lines is the people who reach out to me all the time and say they miss me and then when I finally get a chance to be in town. Radio silence. I am saddened by this. Does this mean these people aren’t friends? Or is it just that life is complicated and connecting over the holidays is hard, distance being an issue or not?

Number 3 Ironically my depression has nothing to do with the two things mentioned above. But a huge down this year has been my depression. Mainly because I am happy and yet the depression is always there, floating in the back of my head. The thing about depression is that it tells you, you are alone and I've come to realize I'm only as alone as I allow myself. While my yoga practice at the studio brought me out of my shell. The camaraderie of aerial has made me realize how much I miss people and enjoy being around strong like minded women. At the end of the day I am living with this cloud over my head and I would really like it to dissipate.

Number 4 The amount of baking and cooking failures I had this year. It is seriously so bad. A huge part of that was depression. But it seemed like once a month I’d try something and it would flop or taste terrible. For someone who has spent a huge amount of her time cooking/baking and sharing that experience with others it’s disheartening. I don’t expect to not fail but a lot of the failures were things I was once upon a time good at, apple crisp for example. Oddly enough the next time I made the crisp it was perfect, so I don’t know if it was something about the ingredients or the black cloud of depression that caused the failure but man, is it a hit to the self-esteem.

Number 5 Money… We cashed out my RSPs because of moving to the states. I was basically told if we were planning on living here for forever (which we are) and I had to access them within the first two years of moving and then I would never have access to them again, even when I became retirement age. So we did and it massively helped pay down our loans. This is a down for two reasons, one it’s my savings for retirement and while we have other retirement savings in the works it’s still 6 years of income readjusted and not for the better. Also I have feelings about this not being true, which is immensely frustrating. Two, it caused us to get lazy with sending more money to Canada. Now this allowed us to do things like buy furniture we needed and go to Vegas without for the most part dipping into more debt but it also caused us to not pay off the current debt any faster.

Number 6 I’m an adult who has no idea what she wants to be when she grows up. Let’s be honest I finally get to work and I have no idea what to do. However I feel like this is a normal thing for adults. We have this thought in our head as teenagers as to what thirty will look like, because omg they must have everything and are so put together but I don’t think that’s really true. I am in a great spot of being unemployed and not worrying about money (thanks Kevin!), however I would like to put myself into a position of knowing what I want to do and being able to make money doing something I love. Too many ideas and not enough bravery… it was way easier when I literally could not work, because I didn’t have to think about it.

The Ups

Number 1 My 1 Second a Day video for 2018. Honestly I was debating on whether or not it was worth continuing this project but then I edited the entire year together and there are so many wonderful things I had forgotten about. No one but me might watch this but it shows me things I had forgotten and I truly love it.

Number 2 Seeing my best friend twice this year. Not only that but getting inked twice with her too! Once was the same thing, a line from my favorite quote on our left calf. The full quote is as follows

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead.
Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Walk beside me and be my friend
— Albert Camus

The second is on my left thigh and reads “breathe in breathe out”. 2017 ended with two new tattoos and so did 2018. Also just seeing my bestie and being about to hug her is about the best damn thing in the world. Hug your friends for me.

Number 3 This chapter from Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. It’s is long and it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I am also so thankful for my bestie because she may have never read this (until I sent it to her) and yet exudes this everyday. My bestie is awesome and so is Roxane Gay.

 

How To Be Friends with Other Women, an essay by Roxane Gay

1. Abandon the cultural myth that all female friendships must by bitchy, toxic, or competitive. This myth is like heels and purses —pretty but designed to SLOW women down.
1A. This is not to say women aren’t bitches or toxic or competitive sometimes but rather to say that these are not defining characteristics of female friendship, especially as you get older.
1B. If you find that you are feeling bitchy, toxic, or competitive towards the women who are supposed to be your closest friends, look at why and figure out how to fix it and/or find someone who can help you fix it.
2. A lot of ink is given over to mythologizing female friendships as curious, fragile relationships that are always intensely fraught. Stop reading writing that encourages this mythology.
3. If you are the kind of women who says, “I’m mostly friends with guys,” and act like you’re proud of that, like that makes you closer to being a man or something and less of a women as if being a women is a bad thing, see Item 1B. It’s okay if most of your friends are guys, but if you champion this as a commentary on the nature of female friendships, well, soul-search a little.
3A. If you feel like it’s hard to be friends with women, consider that maybe women aren’t the problem. Maybe it’s just you.
3B. I used to be this kind of woman. I’m sorry to judge.
4. Sometimes, your friends will date people you cannot stand. You can either be honest about your feelings or you can lie. There are good reasons for both. Sometimes you will be the person dating someone your friends cannot stand. If your man or woman is a scrub, just own it so you and your friends can talk about more interesting things. My go-to explanation is “I am dating an asshole because I’m lazy.” You are welcome to borrow it.
5. Want nothing but the best for your friends because when your friends are happy and successful, it’s probably going to be easier for you to be happy.
5A. If you’re having a rough go of it and a friend is having the best year ever and you need to think some dark thoughts about that, do it alone, with your therapist, or in your diary so that when you actually see your friend, you can avoid the myth discussed in Item 1,.
5B. If you and your friend(s) are in the same field and you can collaborate or help each other, do this without shame. It’s not your fault your friends are awesome. Men invented nepotism and practically live by it. It’s okay for women to do it too.
5C. Don’t tear other women down, because even if they’re not your friends, they are women and this is just as important. This is not to say you cannot criticize other women, but understand the difference between criticizing constructively and tearing down cruelly.
5D. Everybody gossips, so if you are going to gossip about your friends, at least make it fun and interesting. As a corollary, never say “I never lie” or “I never gossip” because you are lying.
5E. Love your friends’ kids even if you don’t want or like children. Just do it.
6. Tell your friends the hard truths they need to hear. They might get pissed about it, but it’s probably for their own good. Once, my best friend told me to get my love life together and demanded an action plan, and it was irritating but also useful.
6A. Don’t be totally rude about truth telling, and consider how much truth is actually needed to get the job done. Finesse goes a long way.
6B. These conversations are more fun when preceded by an emphatic “GIRL.”
7. Surround yourself with women you can get sloppy drunk with who won’t draw stupid things on your face if you pass out, and who will help you puke if you overcelebrate, and who will also tell you if you get sloppy drunk too much or behave badly when you are sloppy drunk.
8. Don’t flirt, have sex, or engage in emotional affairs with your friends significant others. This shouldn’t need to be said, but it needs to be said. That significant other is an asshole, and you don’t want to be involved with an asshole, get a fresh asshole of your very own. They are abundant.
9. Don’t let your friends buy ugly outfits or accessories you don’t want to look at when you hang out. This is just common sense.
10. When something is wrong and you need to talk to you friends and they ask you how you are, don’t say “Fine.” They know you’re lying and it irritates them and a lot of time is wasted with the back-and-forth of “Are you sure"?”
11. If four people are dining, split the check evenly four ways. You are adults now. We don’t need to add up what each person had anymore. If you’re high rolling, just treat everyone and rotate who treats. If you’re still in the broke stage, do what you have to do.
12. If a friend sends a crazy email needing reassurance about love, life, family, or work, respond accordingly and in a timely manner even if it is just to say, “GIRL, I hear you.”If a friend sends you like thirty crazy emails needing reassurance about the same damn shit, be patient because one day that’s going to be you tearing up Gmail with your drama.
13. My mother’s favorite saying is “Qui se ressimble s’assemble.” Whenever she didn’t approve of who I was spending time with, she’d say this ominously. It means, essentially, you are whom you surround yourself with.

 

Number 4 There’s been this idea building in my head for a while now. It all started with YouTubers Becki and Chris started talking about Helicopters. In particular Chris began taking flight lessons and the whole idea of it fascinated me. It still does. Now all I want to do is take flight lessons. However I knew that before I could spend the money on something as expensive as flight lessons I would first need to be in a helicopter. So when we went to Vegas and I happened to see a fly around the strip on Expedia, I booked it without even talking to Kevin (he was cool with it). Now I am a nervous flyer. But I am also a nervous passenger when in the backseat of a car. I like being in control and I like being able to see, which is why I am a nervous flyer. But that helicopter ride was fantastic and definitely made me want more. This video of their’s and this series are pretty informative about helicopters. Something to note about that helicopter ride, is that I was so into the moment that I took five pictures, all of which turned out terrible because it was nighttime and in a fast moving vehicle. I’m okay with it because it was such an awesome experience. Maybe I’ll grow up to be a helicopter pilot one day.

Number 5 The circus. I kinda mentioned this above, but the people I’ve met at the circus space while taking classes are just beautiful people. They are strong, wonderful, mostly women, who run their own businesses and push the boundaries of the physical body in unique ways. Littleyogib and jessflyingyogi are my two current teachers and are so amazing. If you follow these links you’ll see my favorite videos they have posted. But there’s also hoppity_hop (amazing choreography) and luvjoyseamon (who is actually in town and is someone I hope to take classes from one day when I’m a little stronger). I also need to figure out a way to talk about what I am doing that isn’t random gushing! The circus is amazing and I can’t wait to do more.

I am sure there is things I am forgetting but these are what came up when I thought back. Do you have any significant ups or downs from 2018?