Welcome to 2018, kids.
And welcome back to Ty Land.
I realize it’s mid-February and I’m welcoming you into the new year. Six-ish weeks later. Better late than pregnant, though, right? Or something? K.
I believe the last time I was here was in October. I didn’t intend to take such a lengthy break, but what can I say — sometimes the stuff just happens. Last month, when I was looking into getting myself together and rejoining the internet society, I thought long and hard about abandoning my space and jumping ship all together; after all, who is even blogging anymore? I spent a good deal of time with myself, mulling whether I found any joy in writing and sharing anymore, or if it was time to hang it up. Is it more a burden than a passion? A hassle over a hobby? Couldn’t I solely journal for myself? Am I simply a huge narcissist who loves to talk? Can I continue to do it without swimming so deeply into the business end of blogging? If a blogger blogs and no one reads it, does it even happen?
Y’all get the picture.
In a year in which I’ve resolved to be simple, to let go of the bullshit, of the stuff, of the baggage, the things that no longer feed my soul and my heart and lend purpose to the direction in which I desire my life to go — is this too much to take on? Am I able to view it like I did ten years ago, through the lens of leisure over line of work? Maybe it becomes something that I fondly remember, but leave squarely in the past. Something with which I look upon with great nostalgia, but little more effort. Leave it be, let past activities be past activities, and move on.
But I can’t.
Not even a little.
There’s something inside of me that says it isn’t over yet, fat lady be damned.
And it has nothing to do with pageviews or with analytics or sponsored posts or Instagram algorithms. Maybe people read it and maybe they don’t. I don’t know that it even matters anymore. What I know is that I’ve found something special in blogging for almost fifteen years, regardless of its ongoing and inevitable evolution into a business model that I cannot (or perhaps refuse to) follow. I can’t put my finger on it, nor can I properly put into words the outlet that this small space has become, but for whatever reason, I can’t quit. I’m unwilling to hang it up.
I just can’t quit y’all. And I can’t quit this.
If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.
– R.A. Salvatore
By God, then I guess I’m a writer.
All that said?
2017 was wild.
But for all the weird and wild, there were equal parts quiet and calm. I have never felt more genuinely like myself, the myself that I’m supposed to be, than I do in this moment, and every bit of that has to do with the events of 2017. Losing your shit has its perks; you can put your shit back together exactly as you choose.
I learned that I am able to make and stick to a budget.WHAT. I have an app called YNAB that I love, and it generates a report at the end of the month, breaking your spending into categories. Do y’all have any idea how much money I spend on shitty coffee at work? It’s staggering. That was one of the first indulgences to go because I didn’t much care for it and it was a direct result of my laziness. I bought a milk frother for $10 and it paid for itself with two uses. I still love my fancy coffee, but it’s a choice now, instead of a necessity brought on by being unprepared. With that money, I spend more on myself – I’ve lost twenty pounds, and my clothes don’t all fit, so I’ve been buying pieces here and there. Getting to treat yourself with some things you want because you’ve eliminated spending money on stupid shit you don’t want? I’ll take it.
I learned that I know how to make friends as an adult. And by and large, it was through (1) friends I already had who introduced me to new people, or (2) acquaintances from my past that were revisited for one reason or another. Also, did you know there’s a Bumble BFF? I’ve stared at it, but haven’t tried it. Here’s to 2018 and being more adventurous.
I learned how to cook vegetarian meals that aren’t made up entirely of pasta and cheese. I’ve learned to love my new lifestyle and I wear it proudly. I’m a sucker for roasted vegetables, I L-O-V-E fresh fruit, and I notice when I eat crap I shouldn’t. I truly believe that eating well sets the stage for everything else in your body and life. I’m working on weaning out dairy this year, and I’m excited about it. What.
I learned the value in living quietly. Social media is the gee dee devil sometimes, and it pays to take vacations from your own green monster. Self-care sometimes includes removing yourself from overwhelming triggers, and social media can add to stress (for me, anyway). I learned to listen to my own needs.
I learned that liquor doesn’t drown your sorrows; it only teaches them to swim (and those little bitches have some great floaties).
I learned that I am much more capable of making sound decisions when my head is clear.
I learned that my self-esteem grows exponentially when I don’t wake up in the mornings with overwhelming anxiety from what I did (that I might not remember) from the night before.
I learned that I am still fun when I’m not drinking.
(you’ll notice that more than a few of these things relate to my drinking. that’s something that I plan to dive into much more this year)
I learned that I am way more capable than I ever thought — of basically everything. I’m fairly certain that, with my mindset now, the only thing I can’t do is fly a space shuttle. And I’m not even sure on that because no one has ever let me try, but I maybe could.
I learned that before I am anyone else’s, I am my own, and I had damn well better be happy with that. The longest relationship I’ve ever had is with myself, and I have to put more effort into nurturing that.
I learned that my intuition will never forsake me. I am so, so guilty of second-guessing every decision I make. I weigh options, narrow down, re-weigh, juggle them for three weeks, make a decision and immediately second-guess. I’m working on gaining more confidence in my decision-making, but it is definitely a work in progress.
I learned what makes me happy, and maybe more importantly, I learned what doesn’t make me happy. The list will move and breathe and change, but taking inventory of my own existence was shockingly refreshing.
2017 kicked me in my freaking face. It. Was. Hard. I learned some self-reliance and I learned the importance of communication. I figured out how to make a plan for myself and actually follow it. And I learned not to shame myself when my plans didn’t materialize. Success is a journey, and you aren’t failing if you’re still trying.
Lest you believe we’re turning an introspective leaf, I’ll soon tell the story of my wild night with Bill Maher. Fear not, babies, we’re not tumbling into Deep Thoughts with Ty — but I’m not limiting myself to Sasquatch dreams and getting my tongue stuck in a bottle, either.
My my. It’s good to be back.