Yes I'm aware it's more than a week into 2012, but this is the first time I've felt like sitting down and actually hashing this thing out.
So I think we can all agree on the fact that 2011 was a pretty shit year all round, honestly, i can count the number of people I know who actually seemed to have a good year on one hand. Everyone had a rubbish time and whilst it's a completely arbitrary point to take as a guide for when we hope everything will start anew and we get clean states, we all like to believe it, so here's to a much improved 2012.
What did I get up to in 2011? Well I started it in a crushing depressive episode that had me suicidal over Christmas 2010 to the point where I, of all people, actually went to the docs and asked for help. So yeah that was not a great way to see in the new year. I think I actually slept through new years itself. Getting help didn't go great. I got my psych assessment so I'm actually officially insane these days, but getting actual treatment was a problem, 3 month waiting lists and they can only see if you live in the area. I'm a Londoner. I rent. I can move every 6 months if that's the way contracts work out. So yeah, I moved, and I didn't fancy starting that whole process all over again. It took a lot to get me to do it in the first place. You lot know me and psychiatrists simply do not get on. And as part of my assessment, both myself and the docs agreed that in my case, drugs are not the answer because actually they'll just make me worse. So I can't even get drugs for short term relief, a long term blessing, but at the worst points of my low periods, I really regret that fact.
I spent the first 5 months working ridiculous hours. I worked 70-90 hours a week for the first 6 weeks of the year. In May I got my first bit of decent holiday, I took 10 days off work. And my god did I need it. It made me realise just how much I need to socialize and see people, despite how insular I can be and my need for a fair amount of alone time to ponder my thoughts. 90 hours a week was not conducive to socializing, so upon my return to work I made a very concerted effort to make sure I did something social at least once a week, no matter what the cost, what time it meant getting in that night, how early I had to get up the next day; I suddenly realised I had full on cabin fever from only ever being at work or at home, and I needed to break out of that or I was actually going to break down and go full on crazy.
I started playing geeky tabletop roleplaying games with a group of friends, and I clung onto that as the anchor for my life each week, because sometimes it was the only freedom I got. During the summer I was working 6 nights a week so the chance on my free night to see 5 or 6 of my friends and know I'd end up laughing to the point of tears each week kept me going. The summer was not a great period in general to be honest. Mid May I broke up with Chris, the guy I'd been with for 6.5 years and engaged to for 3 of them. It wasn't any big thing, and sure we had problems just like any couple, but eventually the million and one little things got to me, I think we grew in different directions, we're both people who know our own minds pretty well, but at the end of the day we met when we were 17, by 24 you've naturally changed quite a lot. And whilst I felt we could try and struggle I knew I'd resent it over time. And I don't want to resent the guy I'm in love with, the guy I want to marry. I want to look at him and get a lump in my throat and not know what to say to beautiful person standing in front of me. So I broke up with him whilst I still felt all that, and still do. And whilst I've missed Chris, and I've missed having a boyfriend, someone to hug you when you feel down and climb into bed next to each night, I find it telling that I've never once thought to myself "that was a mistake, I shouldn't have done that."
Of course, Chris and I still had 6 weeks on our lease and shared a bedroom, which kinda screwed things up a bit. I went to stay with my awesome friends Joel, Seany, Chris and Paul. I stole their couch so much over the last year at all the times I needed it. I could turn up at midnight and they would never turn me away, and one of them would walk in the morning and go "oh hello, so how long are you here for this time?" That's what I want out of my friends, it's exactly what I would give any of them. And I am so grateful to have found people who seem just as loyal to me as I am to them. Any of them will always have bed or sofa space from me no matter what the reason, and where I am in the world. Chris and I managed a relatively civil break up all things considered. Sure there was crying and anger and frustration that the other person didn't seem as bad as you felt at any one time - it was a break up. Of a long term relationship. Of an engagement. But no-one got punched and no police got involved so that's probably a win. Chris went back to Cambridge and I carried on stumbling through a life in London.
Eventually I managed to finally quit my job at the Medieval Banquet. It was a good job, and I enjoyed it, but there wasn't really anywhere to go in the job for me after a year and a half. I want to go off and learn new things and further my skills. And I couldn't get that there. Normal people search for a new job and then quit the old one. I've never been normal. Deciding I had got all I could out of my current job I gave in a rather extended and flexible notice period which finally ended at the start of November, and since then I've been unemployed, broke, and attempting to dodge every single creditor I can. I have never been one for the simple life. I have to live my life careering from crisis to the next with all the highs and lows that entails, just like the inside of my mind. It's hell, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm so scared of being insignificant I'd rather be feared and vilified and burn out in a fiery inferno than simply fade into obscurity. Sure we're all scared of this on some level. I just decide to do something about it, for better or worse.
My parents went to New Zealand for a few months in November. This left me with a free house and a car in London. It was awesome. Aside from having gastroenteritis for 3 weeks which totally sucked. With no parents and no boyfriend I could spend a nice simple Christmas with friends in London, no driving around to 3 different places. Boxing Day I went to my big family Christmas thing and faced all the questions about why they hadn't really seen me for a year and a half - most of it was due to work - my industry involves working weekends and practically every holiday. So no, I'm not going to make it to their bank holiday lunches, or their Easter get togethers. I'm not avoiding them. I work. Of course then you get the earful about why you shouldn't work a job like that, but then apparently i shouldn't work the high paid job my dad works either so I just put it down to family and them inevitably complaining whatever choices you make in life. The New Year 2011/2012 I saw in with a big party at my parent's empty country house with lots of awesome gay kinky friends where inevitably all sorts of things happened. I ended up crashing emotionally about half way through, but I hid it well and I had a much better time than the previous year.
The last week I've spent flat broke, and yet having an amazing time thanks to all kinds of people that I've largely met in the last 12 months. Twitter has been amazing, I have got talking to more people, learnt more about the world, got the first breaking news reports, made more friends, and picked up more shags through twitter than any other medium in the last year, probably more than all of the other mediums combined. Seriously people get on twitter. I've met so many great people through there and there are still loads I'm trying to meet where our schedules just haven't meshed up yet.
My love life continues to be as crazy and fucked up and complicated as ever. I'm still in love with Chris. I'm still in love with 2 other boys. There is a growing number of boys I love, but am not in love with (it's a random semantic difference but if you know me you tend to understand what I mean). I love Vampy even though he's far away and in Australia and I never get to see him. I love Joel even though he's going through his own personal hell at the moment and closing himself off from everything to the point where I haven't seen him in 4 months. I love Axdn, the paranoid schizophrenic who takes up so much of my time and is worth it in every way. I love Salvador who has fast become one of my best friends, we are an old married couple, or probably were in a past life, much to the confusion of all but it works. My best friend in the whole world Jme I haven't seen in 2 years and he's still my best friend as far as I'm concerned. I met a boy who I liked but he had a boyfriend and now has another one, so there went that hope. I met another boy who I could have fallen so hard and so fast for and had to stop myself because I wouldn't be good for him. And yet every time I see him I want to start falling again. One day in December I woke up and within 45 minutes 3 people had told me they loved me.
I have this crazy messy life, and some days I really hate it, and some days I don't want to be here and I wonder what on earth the point in struggling through all this is when either it amounts to nothing, or it gets washed away in some kind of afterlife at the end of the day anyway. But through all that, I know I'm blessed. It's taken me a long time to find the friends I now have. I've changed friendship groups so many times in my life, and I've reinvented myself again and again to present different things to different people, and finally, in the last year, I've realized that I've managed to find people that genuinely do love me for who I am, I can be whoever I want to be around them, and they never judge, they never question, they never berate or lecture. They stick by my actions however misguided or idiotic and they give me a hug when I end up hurting myself just like they knew I would. And they do this because they are my friends. I've looked for friends like that for so long, and I didn't find these people at school, and uni, at work, I found them in all sorts of bizarre hidden corners of my life, and naturally being me, I found a lot of them through some kind of sexual context. But they are amazing, and they've saved my life so many times in the last year that I don't know how I can begin to repay even one of them let alone the whole bunch. And maybe one day I find a boyfriend that can do all this and more for me.
Resolutions? There's no point in putting any big huge schemes here, we know we fail at them. And why use new year for them? It's a date based on the calculation of when our calendar happens to run out. We all end up restarting our resolutions come Chinese New Year anyway. So lets stick with things that are achievable:
1. Go to RoomServiceClub - I've been following this club since before it opened, it looks like an amazing place and I've just never managed to get there yet, I plan to change this shortly.
2. Pay off one credit card. - I officially have too much debt. It's not much, but if I can come up with £100 extra each month to pay off on the credit card, that'll be one credit card paid off and only one more to go. This will be a struggle given the way my finances inevitably work out, but I think it is actually doable within a year.
3. Find some more self confidence - possibly the biggest most unrealistic idea here, but that's why I'm leaving it open ended. It might be more self confidence in my job, I've done a lot of things, more than most people my age, but I still feel so inferior compared to a lot of other 20 somethings in my industry. It might be with boys. I can sleep with guys easy enough, but talking to a boy I actually like? Approaching a guy I find hot when I'm out? I can't do it. I freeze up. My mind goes blank. Maybe if I can just ask a few more guys for their phone numbers this year... I don't really mind what part of my self confidence improves, but being consciously aware that I want to get better at it will hopefully spur me on to do something, even if it's just in one situation. In an egotistical way I think if I could show the confidence I have when I'm just hanging out with my friends in other aspects of my life, I could be amazing and unstoppable, but outside of those people, I'm terrified. Let's try and get that to just a horrible fear within the next year shall we?
That's it, short simple sweet, longer lists just ask for things to be ignored, or for really simple things to be put on it just to say you did some of your resolutions.