I know, I know… I said no posts for a while, yet here I am, typing rather frantically because I feel a personal rant/reflection type post brewing.
I want to sleep, really I do. But it’s the first night I’ve been without Will in about a week and knowing it will be likely another month before he’ll be next to me again is making things hard. I also feel a bit sick and somehow hungry at the same time. I just want to curl up. But I also want to talk about things. So many things that happened last year and what I’m carrying into 2018.
So, 2017. Some year huh? Some crazy, life-changing year.
I don’t know how to look at 2017. I know for sure, that the girl I was a year ago is a completely different person to who I am now. And the short story is that I’m happier. The long story is as follows…
Inevitably some parts of it were awful. Sometimes 2017 seemed unbearably tough. I guess every year is a mix of ups and downs, although the ratio is just different every year.
All in all, I am immensely proud of my personal, academic and relationship achievements this year. I had so much fun with the people that mean the most to me – Kelly, Will, Mum, Dad, Morgan, Amy, my grandparents, my boyfriend’s family and all of my friends in turn. I laughed, a lot.
University was fun at times and truly disheartening at others. I found drive and passion when I thought I wouldn’t. I smashed out essays that I’d unintentionally left too late because I was struggling with personal problems. I didn’t force myself to go out clubbing because I finally accepted that I just don’t like it. I don’t hate it but it’s just not for me and that’s okay – I would rather be called boring for staying at home in pjs watching tv. That’s the best way to spend any night in my opinion.
But it was still tough. Things were hard to understand, I was never sure if my work was crap or perfection and my health consumed my life. I was less organised, even a little scatty at times and it threw me off. I had to learn to be okay with not having it together 25/8. So I did.
I travelled and explored, near and far. Winchester. Canterbury. London. Majorca. Paris. Got lost in the Louvre, spent so much money on the Champs-Élysées, had proper french macaroons.
I explored cathedrals, shops, museums, streets. I ate in new places – Piecarumba, Josie’s, The Walled Garden Nursery, Naked Dough, Dinerama, Jimmy Spices, The Potting Shed, Five Guys.
I enjoyed eating without guilt. I cooked more, I worked out more. But I was easy on myself.
I achieved small things. A lot of them fall under travel, something that makes me immensely nervous. My first cross-country train journey with a change in London. More complicated train routes after that. Conquering the tube by myself. Booking a trip to Paris. Getting us to Paris. Finding things in Paris. Navigating the metro in Paris. Driving on the motorway alone. Feeling confident filling up my car (lol).
I watched amazing things on tv, amazing movies. I read incredible blog posts and saw breathtaking pictures. Things that inspired me to create equally amazing things. I really stepped up my blogging game.
Of course there were rough patches – my health being all over the place, my hair, my hormones, my mental health sliding away for a few months in places, being away from Will. But my skin got better. My pigmentation calmed down more. My anxiety attacks got worse but less frequent. I went back to reiki therapy when I needed it.
One of the highlights of 2017 was of course Will. Prepare the sick buckets. I fell so in love with a boy called Will that I met in December the year before. And he is wonderful, let me just tell you. I had a valentine. I had someone to look after. Someone to buy things for. To show off and be weird with.
As with every relationship there were serious highs and lows. Ultimately, the highs always outweighed the rough patches even though at the time everything was all consuming and unbearable. The insecurity. The uncertainty. The mind numbing thoughts of we’re both in different beds doing absolutely nothing but can’t do that together in the same bed because trains are expensive and we have essays to write and jobs to go to and other people to see…
But we’re strong. We still get stronger every day. We still learn new things. We still make each other laugh. He knows me better than I know myself. He’s rational but not afraid to show emotion. Hilarious but can be incredibly serious and honest. He is my rock. 2017 wouldn’t have been the same without him. And his family who let me stay when he’s not around, make me laugh, treat me like one of their own – I was so grateful for them last year.
Unfortunately this year, I also lost a lot of people I thought would stand by me, respect me and want to be my friends forever. And letting go of that was painful. It still is sometimes. Looking back I’m proud of the way I handled myself, the bridges I built with those who wanted to. I learnt so much from my friendship breakups, as awful as they were.
I changed my job. And it was a huge, groundbreaking and high anxiety time. Another supermarket, a place I thought would be a new haven for me. It’s shakier than expected.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happier where I am now. The people are so lovely to me and a step back from responsibility has been so good for me. It’s nice to leave and not worry about work until the next time I have a shift. It’s also nice that even though I broke down in front of my manager last week, she completely understands and above all wants to understand.
But like I said, shaky. I’m conscious that it still may be temporary despite my contract extension. I know I worked as hard as I could to be kept on though and that gives me a sense of pride considering I was one of few.
I’m also really really overwhelmed about the hours I’m working. Not having weekends off terrifies me, well and truly. It terrifies Will too. And not because we’re not strong – just because we thought we’d have that time to be together and now it’s gone. I feel like my time to work on us and not only that, my time to finish things for uni and keep myself in check has been taken away.
I know it’s just a figment of my overworking imagination but it feels like I’m having to make a choice between money, work and security and love, happiness and the best person who has ever happened to me. Despite everything and no matter how hard it gets, I know he will stand by me well into next year and hopefully beyond that. But it’s there, one of the few anxieties I carried into the new year, eating away at me every hour I spend inside my new workplace.
And there was Kelly. We’d always been friends but truly finding each other in 2017 and knowing that yes, this person was going to be my everything, felt so right. If I could, I’d elope with her right now. And thought it all… she offers me protection, a lot of love and affection, wether I’m right or wrong… Couldn’t resist. Sorry. Through it all, Kelly was there. Even recently when things have been tough and I’ve been busy and she can’t drive – she makes me happier than anyone. She looks after me, steers me in the right direction. She is always honest but she never judges and respects my decisions, even when they’re wrong further down the line. We went to bloody Paris for ridiculously cheap. We had the time of our lives.
My best friend and my boyfriend (and a cheeky shout out to my mum) were the driving force behind 2017 Elana. Positive, energised, happy Elana. Elana who I’d never known before. I went through so much crap and still came out shining every time thanks to them.
So like I said – some crazy, life-changing year. A challenge. A thrill. A journey.
And to end it, on New Year’s Eve, I had the best night of my life to date. An I don’t want this night to ever end kind of night. An if I had a pensive like in Harry Potter I would 100% save this memory to play it back whenever I felt broken kind of night. An I don’t think I’ve ever felt this alive kind of night.
I made an effort. I curled my hair. I wore lashes. I felt beautiful. I was confident not wearing a bra in a booby dress. I let my stomach out because who wants to wear spanx when eating a 5 course meal? My family were there. My brother looked so grown up and handsome and I was so proud. My Dad was hilarious. My Mum was beautiful. Nobody argued. I ate. I drank. I got drunk with my best friend/boyfriend. We were at the same alcohol level for once. We counted down. We all hugged. I had my first midnight kiss. I took my shoes off to dance. I didn’t check what I looked like once. They played Young Hearts Run Free, Come On Eileen, Mr. Brightside, I Gotta Feeling and 500 Miles. We slow danced to Ed Sheeran. We did the hand jive. We went home. I got into my pyjamas and took my makeup off with Amy and then we all ate and went to bed. Will made sure my jewellery was off, my makeup was properly off. We fell asleep and didn’t wake until almost 10am. I was so happy I cried.
So my resoloution? My goal for the next one?
I want to feel that way every single day. I want to treat every day as a new beginning. A new opportunity to take my shoes off to dance. To dance with my boyfriend. To drink with my family. To wear lashes and make an effort. To completely, irretrievably feel happy.
But if the bad times come – and they will – I’ll embrace them too, for the lessons they will teach me. Above all, I want good health, better blog pictures and to end 2018 with the same people I’ve started with. I want to keep loving with everything I have. I want to beat the odds. I want to better myself. I want to want happiness. It’s that simple.
I’ll be back with regular posts at some point but now to finish all the left overs, focus on myself and try not to fall apart locked in my room trying to write some 1st worthy essays all due at the same time. See you then…