There are four days left until the end of 2017 and I am hiding out in my apartment. I cannot handle any more surprises, any more shocking news, any new beginnings or endings. I went out today to get shawarma with my cousin and I am back at my counter, eating garlic potatoes and drinking wine. In my sweatpants. They smell like winter, because I wore them skating through the woods with a boy who came to visit me for Christmas. Which, again, was a shock to me. Don’t worry. I think I got super drunk on Saturday, cried into my pillow and told him all this while probably repeating “babe” a hundred times.
What can I say? I am a great host.
I have a bunch of blogs posts about my trips in the last two months of 2017, but things kept happening that changed the tone of the articles. So I held off. Waited until things settled. Tried to edit photos. But the mood wasn’t right and my blue eyes held different fears.
So, instead of writing my year in review, since I haven’t really posted what happened, I decided to just take stock of the past 12 months and figured out if there was anything I learned. From 2017 comes 10 lessons.
10 things. Here they are:
- Always wear mascara when going out. You never know what will happen. That cute boy in the hostel you thought was dating someone? He might be single. He might come visit you at Christmas. You might go visit him. Have an open mind. Tell your stories. Listen to his.
- See more mountains. Spend more time outside. Go hiking. Drive around a peninsula. Send your brother to the dungeon. The outdoors is where you belong. You need that breath of fresh air.
- If a boy tells you that he doesn’t see anything romantic with you on your first date, DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT KISS HIM. Do not kiss him in a brewery, even though you’ve had an incredible day having breakfast. Even though you’ve played footsies with him and talked about sex for the past six hours. Even if you have had a bunch of shots and beer and you’ve been chatting with Steve, the bartender, and he’s telling you about sleeping with all the waitresses. DO NOT KISS HIM. Run. Because I promise you, it doesn’t end well. He will make you feel like less of a person after you’ve introduced him to your friends and family. You will regret it. Run. He doesn’t want something romantic with you without getting to know you? Run. You deserve better.
- In the same breath, actions speak louder than words. You don’t like cheesy. Nor sappy words. You are a “practical romantic.” And that is totally fine! If someone makes you feel bad about that, fuck them. It doesn’t minimize your feelings about them or how you treat them. Furthermore, they can say all the sappy words in the world and it won’t mean they are interested if they were just looking to hook up. *as an aside to this, if someone tells you they weren’t just around for sex, but they don’t see a relationship with you and they’ve known this for a few weeks and kept sleeping with you: guess what, it was just sex.
- If a job doesn’t feel right on the first day, it probably won’t get better. Do not feel guilty about looking for something else. Fit is important. It’s necessary. And a good manager won’t make you feel shitty about it. I felt horrible this fall when I had to quit a job I had just started but it wasn’t for me and I felt it in every fibre of my being. So I looked for something else. And I found it. I am much happier now. My colleagues are awesome. I feel challenged. And there are some interesting opportunities ahead that I am looking forward too. Plus, it’s a closer commute for me. So bonus!
- No matter how experienced of a traveller you are, double-check the airport you are flying out of. And don’t freak out. There are worse places in the world to be stuck in. Paris is a great city. Especially around Christmas time.
- Apparently, if you block a phone number, their messages end up in a secret folder in your settings. DO NOT CHECK THIS FOLDER. Even though the notifications on your phone keep making it vibrate. DO NOT CHECK THIS FOLDER ESPECIALLY AT CHRISTMAS.
- After a break-up, get new sheets. Preferably flannel.
- Always be specific about the gifts you want.
- Be open. Say yes. Take chances. Sometimes it will suck. You might end up crying a lot this year. And you might panic. You might call your friends in moments of weaknesses and question all your life choices. But 2017 has been a crazy, chaotic year and hopefully, it means something even better and bigger will happen.
As a bonus, take lots of photos. Please.
The year of 2018 might be full of surprises. I hope they are softer on my heart. I have a trip already booked but I’m not sure I’ll be able to go. And I’m ok with it. I might get to travel with work so I’m excited about that. Hopefully, the flight prices to Nunavut decrease so I can visit the Doctor. A cottage weekend with my friends in January, camping in the summer, and a trip to Halifax with the family. This will also be my first year that I work with every Friday off and I am pumped! My best friend is probably moving to Edmonton so a trip out there will be planned. And it is my champagne year! Taking suggestions for where to go this year!
And as customary, I have made a list of birthday goals. Helicopter ride, marathon, finish the book I have been writing for years, blog posting every week and finally getting allergy testing. I really want to learn Spanish and do 10 pull-ups by the end of the year. I’ve done a lot of planning already to make sure I can actually accomplish all of these things. So here’s hoping. For a better, more fruitful, wonderful, less chaotic year. A lot of heart-healing. For a lot of adventures. And more kissing photos in the woods.