Dear 2017,

I know I say this every year, but this was supposed to be MY year to be good at life and to “bounce-back” from last years mistakes. You went by like a breeze when I look at you from far away, but up-close and every day, you were the hardest thing I ever had to deal with.

To say that 2017 began on the note that I would have liked is a misconception, in fact, I began my year in a hospital, due to anxiety, overwhelming amounts of stress, so much so that I was put into a state of confusion, and just left lost. Of course, other events exasperated the issue – but, to say it was not tough, was, and is, an understatement. I also began this year with some cyberbully, something I do not condone by any means, and it left me feeling truly hurt. Yet again, someone had found their way onto my Facebook page anonymously leaving a poorly written, gramatically incorrect status on my page, as me. This has happened so many times now that I have stopped counting. Of course, this ruffled some feathers, as well. Needless to say, I was pretty beaten down.

This year was tougher than any other year, because I had finally truly grasped my own reality, trauma included. And, the list of trauma that I had endured the past four years, or my whole life, was quite extensive and triggers me even thinking about it. If there is one thing I am thanking 2017 for is assisting me to find outlets to relieve my stress and embarrassment that I faced from my traumas. I would also like to thank each, and every single individual that expressed love, exerted happiness towards me, and believed in me, each and every day. The support I received from SO many individuals makes me cry tears of happiness, as I truly felt lost, trapped in my own thoughts, and stuck. I began this year with a fairly weak support system, and now here I am, with a whole squad on my back.

I find every year an adventure full of surprises and unexpected events, and though my negativity clouded much of the good moments, I must say I did overcome a lot. This year has taught me that I need to learn to be with myself, as much as I preach it. I still feel uncomfortable with the silence and the simplistic aspects of my life, as stability is a new-found theme of my life. Instead of constant partying and seeking acceptance from others, I am looking to lead a life full of simplicity, happiness, smiles, coloring, hardwork, school, friendships, photography, hiking, cooking and crafting. Allowing the simplicity back into my life forced me to deal with my MANY inner demons, and it is truly uncomfortable from time-to-time.

As I am recovering from what seems like the most self-destructive four years, I have finally found parts of who I am, that I seemed to have misplaced, admist all the drama and nonesense within my life. While I am still a work in progress, I have found peace knowing that deep-down I am still the same old, happy soul I once was. The abuse, the trauma, the bullying, etc. did make me skip a step, or ten, but I found out that I was still the person I was missing. Aspects of my youthful soul were ripped out of my heart and taken away from me, and life felt pretty personal. I forgot how you are not supposed to take life so personal, but call me sensitive.

Today, even to this day, as this years begins coming to a close, I am still in shock, simply because I was so lost this year, I did not know where I was going to end up by December. Aspects of my life were spiraling out of control and I could not control them, so I just had to deal with my emotions and take it milli-second by milli-second. Now, I am sitting here realizing that the best thing 2017 brought me was courage and self-determination. While struggling with all these problems, I still managed to find the courage to take on the world and accomplish some of the goals I had made for myself. I still remember setting those goals and thinking, “this is NOT possible for me.”

This year, I had to change my thought process, if I truly wanted to grow and heal. To say that my thought process was healthy is a very falsified statement. With my ADHD, six types of ADD, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, numerous phobias, OCD, PTSD, my thought processing is a bit out-of-whack to say the least. The world is still a very scary place for me, as I wiggle my way back into what a “normal life” means. I still sweat my balls off every time I leave my apartment for fear that something may go horribly wrong, yet I am still sweating my balls off in my apartment, because I cannot stand my repetitive negative thoughts and get all up in my head. It is all still confusing, but every day, as much as I can, I STILL try and challenge myself. Some days are easier than others, OBVIOUSLY, but it is all hard, not just for me, but for evreyone.

I learned that I cannot always take home the “W” in 2017 – talk about a piece of humble pie. No, I know I am overtly competitive, but this year was full of more “L’s” than there were “W’s” sometimes. That is okay, though. It certainly sucks not to get your way, but with my diagnoses, I do enjoy a little drama and frustrations, as it helps light a fire under my ass. Taking losses is definitely not as easy as it looks, as we all yearn for success and to be the best, most successful forms of ourselves. I had to work hard, constantly feeling like I was battling a fight that I was never going to win. But, once again, this just required changing my thought processing and behavioral techniques. Instead of falling to the wayside and giving up, I often found myself pushing past my boundaries, and finding strength and a will to want to live deep within me that kept me going all-year.

While this year most certainly had its ups and its downs, this was the very first year I was completely indepedent; independent of roommates, independent financially, indepedent academically, emotionally independent. Independent is where I began, and I built on this cobblestone, and will keep building on it until I die. Learning to be independent is uncomfortable, frustrating, annoying, boring, emotional, awesome, and everything in between, but it is most certainly not easy. In order to be indepedent, you must possess the skills to not only be willing to do things by yourself, but be self-motivated enough to actually execute them. Nope, thinking long and hard about an assignment will not get it done. And, yup, you do actually have to do it. This took a while for it to sink in for me, as I am still struggling to juggle all these responsibilities, all while taking care of myself. When you are independent, your parents or guardians are no longer nagging you, or forcing you, to do things. You need to find this will within yourself. Being independent, just like 2017, has its ups and downs, but is something I am truly proud of accomplishing. I truly had to rely on myself, making my own shoulder, the primary shoulder to cry on.

I deemed this year “the year of upgrades.” Considering where I began, I know I have upgraded. I realize upgrades do not happen overnight, though, and that patience is most certainly a virtue. Upgrades did happen and are happening even before my eyes, currently. I predict upgrades in the future, but for now, I must learn to be happy with where I am in my life. Yes, this year was not spectacular sometimes, and I did have to settle, but I learned so much that I do not think it matters. Sometimes, I want to expedite the whole process, but in order to truly change, it takes time.

When I look back and realize how many people I simply interacted with and built relationships this year with, I cry, realizing how blessed I am. Realizing how much human beings need other human beings’ energies was a vital aspect of life that I learned this year. No matter how happy you may be with yourself, human beings crave and need other human beings to achieve happiness. The amount of happiness that certain individuals bring to me and care for me is phenomenal, and it took almost having most of my loved ones ripped away from me to realize how much their support meant to me. I found support in the slyest of places, not even expecting or even believing that I deserved this amount of support and love. This is when I realized that instead of being mad at the world by myself, I could do it in the company of others – JUST KIDDING. I learned to embrace the love – something I normally avoid, and honestly, makes me uncomfortable. Oh, to be loved…I generally do not know how to handle it, but it is truly humbling. To all that do not even realize how much your endless amount of unspoken or spoken support has helped and encouraged me to continuing growing, I thank you. For those who believe me and shower me with love, even when I do not feel I deserve it, I also thank you. And, to myself, who I shower with self-doubt, I still thank you for deep-down loving myself and realizing my potential.

Most importantly, I would like to thank 2017 for my health, my happiness, my mental health, awareness, my support system (family, extended family, friends, and loved ones), my endless supply of clothing, the number of opportunities life has presented me, my education, my financial stability, the roof over my head, and all the blessings and hardships life has handed me. I learn every year that life is not that easy, but I am constantly learning new things every day, making life a little bit easier to deal with. MOST, MOST IMPORTANTLY, I want to thank 2017 for making me so uncomfortable I finally started the blog I always wanted to. I thank every reader, follower, viewer, whoever, who gives my voice and opinion the time of day. Creating a blog has been a dream of mine for centuries, and I was full of self-doubt and was not sure how much of a hit it would be. I am approaching almost a full-year of starting up this blog that I named and it turned out to do some powerful, therapeautic things for me, as well as others. This, in itself, was one of the biggest highlights of 2017 for me. I love what I do, and I hope you do too!

I can only say that I am sure 2018 will be just as rocky, full of upsides and downsides, as this year was. But, every year is different, because of the new memories, new experiences, new relationships, and new opportunities we encounter. So, with that said, I can already taste 2018 in my mouth, and while it may not be drastically different than this year, I sense some upgrades coming in the future, and more goals that are going to be met.



Aichan Tewahade

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