I turned 26 last Thursday. I’m actually quite exited to get closer and closer to the magical thirties which is said to cause several crisis. I don’t believe in the crisis. Maybe because I haven’t hit that mark yet but also maybe because the last years have been more or less a crisis to me. I’m looking forward to get rid of my confusing years.
This Saturday I’m having a real birthday party with friends and cake and I just can’t wait. Really, I’m exited like a little kid and remembering all the times I had birthday parties as a child and how we planned things with my mother. I remember the times I was picking the cake decorations and looked forward to meet my best friends and have a feast. The food was a big part but we also used to have balloons and fancy decoration.
Depression and eating disorder have made my birthdays very different from that. Depression has been affecting my energy levels so bad that I haven’t had the power to put together a party or invite friends. The eating disorder making me set only weight loss goals for my birthday and if I haven’t met those goals I have just wanted to restrict my intake for the whole day. Not to even think about cake or anything. Those became the enemy. Thank god things are easier nowadays and I’m actually munching marshmallows while I type this.
Every year this time I have a habit to look back to the past year and pin point what has changed, what I’ve achieved and what has stayed the same. Last year was busy! Many milestones were met and I also started new things. Lets take a look.
1. I got married.
This was a huge event last year and we spent
most of the year the whole year planning and crafting and sewing and buying candles. It was lovely, but I would never do it again so I really hope that this was it. Well, actually we are going to have a second go when the equal marriage law comes (2017) but that’s not going to be a DIY wedding. Definitely no.
Yes, wedding was a lot of work and I probably sound silly as I only talk about that. But it was extremely important thing anyway. It was amazing to see all the dear ones gathered in one place and the whole day felt really special. As a queer couple it’s great to have so many supporting and loving people around us. We especially loved the later evening moments when we had friends playing instruments and we got to dance. The dancing was really amazing.
2. I graduated. Fashion designer, hey, that’s me!
I struggled with my degree for six years. That means two years extra. My mental illnesses messed really bad with my plans but hey, I made it after all. And not only me but Iida graduated also.
I still haven’t found my place and I really have no damn idea what I should do in my life but hey, at least I’m out of the school and that’s a huge relieve.
I’ve found women’s right issues very important for really long time but it was only the last year that shit got real. And not only women but all the other oppressed groups also. Especially the rights of people of LGBTIQ minority.It has actually inspired a complete life style change and I’m doing my best to notice every single thing that is going wrong. A bit stressful sometimes but I find it really important. Feminism affects every aspect of my life and yeah, it might have ruined some movies for me but it has also made me to notice how horribly I’ve been paid at work, more about that later. I’ve also done my best to educate kids and teens about equality. And it has been great!
4. Changes in personal style and finding myself.
It has been just the last year and actually the last months that I’ve started to admit to myself that I’m not just a girl. I find it really hard to talk about my gender issues as I’m quite unsure myself but I’ve let myself free from too many restrictions. I’ve loved feminine vintage clothes, dresses and skirts and heels for years and I still do. Lately I’ve got some men’s clothes for myself and it has felt so good. I’ve actually bought something form the men’s section time to time but with a great secrecy. Now I’ve done the same thing but I’ve made myself understand that it is completely okay. I don’t have to hide that from anyone. I’m still on a path to know myself and understand myself and I know that it is going to take some time. This whole thing makes me want to cry every time I think about it. But that’s okay.
5. Trying out a new job
I’ve only worked in theaters and just occasionally done something different and still most of my jobs have involved something theater related. This year I’ve tried working in a school to figure out if I would actually like to be a teacher. But I guess not. It has been really hard for me and my mental health so at least for now I’m not able to do teaching. Taking care of the group of students has been really exhausting for me. But I still want to start my studies in the autumn and get a degree in Finnish and literature. I’ll figure out another career path. I really want to do it.
I’ve been a vegetarian for, what? At least 12 years. Last couple of years I’ve played with the idea of trying seafood and this year I actually did it. It’s a great punch in the face for all the eating disorder voices which still do their best to hold me back from trying new things and especially from trying new foods. And I’ve really enjoyed this. It gives me a lot more freedom and most importantly it gives me the power to decide myself if I want to go for the vegetarian option or try a fish dish.
6. How has my therapy paid of?
Therapy has felt like a pain in the ass and I’m really not sure have I worked anything out. But considering all the great achievements I’ve had this year it must have been working somehow. And during the last couple of months I’ve got more and more convinced that I want to get better and really get rid of my medication. Sometimes I feel that it would be easier to just snap back and let it go. But no. I can’t do that.
So, a lot has happened and I probably still have to do some digging. Processing the past year is a well working habit for me as it helps me to notice that things change and life is an ongoing process. Everything is possible.
Do you have a habit to reflect your last year whether it is right after the new year or on your birthday? Do you have some other annual habits? Let us know in the comments below!