Another Year, Another Birthday

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Birthdays are still weird to me. Perhaps it’s because I rarely drink alcohol even on social occasions and for many years of my childhood, I associated adulting with alcoholic drinking if only on social occasions, that keeps insisting that drinking alcohol equals being 21 years old or older. Every time a member of my family offers me alcohol, I’m suddenly reminded that I’m over 21. It’s like: “Oh yeah, I’m old enough to drink!” It’s like an epiphany goes off every time until the next time it happens at another social gathering.

So onto my self-reflection of the past year as I become one year older today.

A lot went on last year. A good friend of mine died. He was someone that I would talk to every now and then. He definitely knew some secrets of mine. I miss him. He truly did feel like an older brother to me. I felt like I could talk to him about anything. I remember that even though I hadn’t talked to him in a while, but I didn’t know who to talk to, and he was the one I turned to in the end. I’ll never forget the love and comfort he sent my way in hopes that I would get through the hard times. If anything, I always had a good laugh or gone through some sort of mortified omgstopplsaiyaiyai moments whenever I talked to him. He ribbed me in a way that I imagined an older brother would do to his younger sister but still retained that “hey, I care about you, so take care. If you need me, I’m here” type that I realize now brought a lot of reassurance to me. I trusted him to come through and I never felt that trust was misplaced. He was a good man, and the world is a little less bright without him in it. He brought a lot of light to people’s worlds. Miss and love you, bro.

I had a major fight with some people and parted ways with people I should’ve known better than to think they cared. I ignored a lot of red flags when I shouldn’t have. They used that as an opportunity and as justification to continue their abusive ways, which is pathetic, but I suppose if they’re already willing to do that, no matter if I bent over backwards for them, they’d still continue their abuse. I’m glad I finally left that toxic situation. It’s honestly one of the best decisions that I made in my life. Good riddance. They may say the same thing about me, and that’s fine. But I will never have to deal with these people ever again, and that’s the best thing that can and has happened. I hope they’re doing well, and I hope that I will never see them again. There are more people out there that I’m finding harder and harder to get along with simply because we don’t share the same worldview, and it does get difficult at times. I often need breaks now since I stopped wanting to be a doormat to be accepted. I think this fight changed me in that I was being taken advantage of and now I won’t tolerate it, from anyone. I once tolerated it from people I thought were loved ones, but they sure showed me that I can’t do that.

I’ve also grown steadily physically sicker since I graduated college last year. The burnout plus the stress hurt me more than I care to admit to myself at times. I’m not up to most things during the day that require more than staying in bed for half the day. The current political climate doesn’t help when I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to keep my health care half the time or not with how erratic this current administration is, and the anxiety doesn’t do any favors when I have generalized anxiety disorder. My body feels like it’s trash half the days of the week. God bless that my SO is kind and patient with me.

Even with all these setbacks from last year, I’m now with my SO, and I’ve never been happier. Being with my SO makes me happy that it helps cancel out my sad physical state. I’m of the opinion that pain does screw with you mentally, especially when it’s chronic. But despite it all, being together with my SO is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Love. Trust. Safety. He helps me to grow as a person both as an individual and as a partner. I’ve learned a lot since we started our relationship, and I know I’ll learn more as we continue our lives together. I’m truly blessed. I’m glad he’s my partner in life.

I’ve also began dedicating my life into scholarly pursuits, which includes at least a couple of hours of reading a day with extensive reading and note-taking. However, one thing that I need to work on more is adding what I think such as what is my position on some of the things I’m reading. Right now I’m reading about things that are unfamiliar to me so I’m trying to absorb it first, see how it synthesizes with what I already know, and see if I need to assimilate or accommodate the information. I think once I get more familiar with the material, I can engage with it more than looking at the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions. I’ve mostly been reading self-help books on becoming more organized or more productive this past few months. Cal Newport’s Deep Work and David Allen’s Getting Things Done have helped me slowly attain better reading habits. Some days are harder to get motivated for, but I try to discipline my way through – it works out most of the time especially since I can read in bed. Life works mysteriously. I hope my 23rd year of life will be a lot better than last year.

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