Photo by Kevin Laminto via Unsplash.com
This post is less personal financy and minimalismy, and more of just a personal reflection. So stick around if you’re interested in that.
So yes, to break the ice, I did spend the first hour or so of 2018 crying in a stranger’s bathroom. Sitting in his dirty shower, to be more specific.
How did I get there? Let’s rewind.
2017 was not a bad year. I had began student teaching and it was going well. I found minimalism and it changed a lot about my life. I maintained all A’s. I had some of my fittest months ever. I was single the entire year (and the one before that) and was enjoying casual dating and time alone.
But I had some really low moments. My roommates were also dealing with personal and mental health issues, and I think we all fed off of each other a lot. We were all a bit hurt, quite unmotivated, and a lot lost. It showed up in our actions– consistent heavy drinking, reckless behavior, and laying around quite a lot.
Despite maintaining, for most of the year, a high standard of physical health, financial health, academic achievement, and quality friendships, I had neglected my mental health in many ways and it was starting to boil to the surface. I knew I wasn’t being mindful, but I didn’t fully realize what was going on until, next thing I knew, I dropped to the dirty tile in that disgusting, college student shower.
Let’s set the scene: I was pregaming with my roommate starting early in the evening. We made drinks by mixing lemon flavored New Amsterdam and watermelon flavored Four Loco. In hindsight… a literal recipe for disaster. Not to mention, disgusting.
We each took a Blender Bottle full to the next pregame, where we also had champagne.
When we got to the party, I was so embarrassingly drunk that I actually stole something from the house. It was a strange-looking sew-on patch amid the garbage that was all over the dark basement, and my roommate was in the process of collecting patches, so I just… took it. It honestly makes no sense. I didn’t even remember until the next morning when I found the patch in my back pocket.
Anyway, the scene: We’re in the dark basement and the clock strikes midnight. Everyone is celebrating, kissing, and I’m smiling and laughing when I make eye contact with a girl who has a blank stare on her face. I realize at that moment that my intoxicated smile is completely fake. I also realize that I desperately need to pee.
I head to the bathroom and this guy pops a bottle of champagne over everyone on the dance floor– and some of it hits me right in the eyes. When I get to the bathroom, I start to cry a little from my champagne in my eyes. Then I can’t stop. It changes from a small cry to an intense sobbing, and I end up sitting on the floor. Somewhere along the line I move to sit in the shower, which is gross, but I guess it felt better at the time? Flawless logic.
My roommate and other friend eventually find me and talk to me, and I say things that don’t really make sense. I eventually get in an Uber and the driver comforts me, saying “It’s okay. We’re gonna get you home tonight.” I think that, since then, my inner voice has sounded oddly like that Uber driver.
That night, I got home and threw up from drinking for the first time. Continued crying, basically until I fell asleep.
So, 2018 was different. It’s been a very difficult year in terms of things I can’t totally control; my transition into adulthood was probably the most difficult period of time I’ve ever had. I’ve doubted my capability as a teacher and as a person more than ever. My relationships have been tumultuous to say the least. I’m still searching.
But I have been truly mindful this year. And dealing with this incredibly difficult transition has revealed an inner strength I’ve rarely had to tap into.
So I’ve determined a theme for 2019. Not goals or a resolution, because I make those throughout the year. A theme to run, as a thread, through everything I do:
Gracious & tenacious.
I want to be gracious in all of my relationships. My friends, family, coworkers, students (!), roommates, boyfriend, strangers. This, to me, means showing thoughtfulness, patience, understanding, intentionality, and mindfulness in each and every relationship.
I want to be tenacious in my goals, my money, my time, my worth, my writing, my truth, and the reclamation of my body as a woman.
I’m not good at ending blog posts. I’m also not good at saying goodbye. Here I am doing both: