hi 2020

I’m not sure how to begin or rather, where I should begin. I keep listening to my 2019 Spotify playlist that replays the soundtrack to my highs and lows of the entire year. I can look through my Instagram and see a catalog of my best moments. I can read through my public and private journals and feel the sadness of my worst moments as if the wound were fresh.

I consider where I was, and re-read last year’s reflection piece and wonder if I’ve made any progress. January seems like another lifetime ago, even the summer feels like an eternity from where I sit right now.

2019 became a year of intensity, at least in my version of reality. A year ago I was a cook, living with my dad and doing anything to feel some level of control over my life. It’s a challenge to move back in with your parents, particularly when they aren’t sure of who you became. The roles change and I think for parents it’s hard to accept that kids don’t always need you. I moved out.

Everything comes with a price, including the freedom to be your own person. In my case, it means I never have any money for anything at all. I moved in with strangers in an area I have been wanting to live in for a long time. It seems weird probably to live with people you met off the internet, but I’ve only been screwed over by 1 out of like 10 which is pretty good odds. This hasn’t been that 1 time.

I almost fell in love and maybe to a point I did, with smooth guitar riffs and empty words. I also learned how hard the concrete feels when you smack into it at full speed and don’t die. It was a lesson in manipulation, egos, and personal boundaries. I spent a long time being very sad about the level of disrespect I had received and wondered at length, what was wrong with me to have been so unlucky in love? The truth of the matter is that it wasn’t my fault and I’ve effectively been relieved of what would have likely been an excessively toxic relationship. I’m angry still at the amount of time I wasted on it all but not all lessons are easy to learn. This relationship taught me the importance of listening to my gut and not to compromise my personal boundaries at the expense of myself and, for the comfort of someone else. If something doesn’t feel right or a person’s words don’t add up, you’re probably right.

New York City stole my heart as I spent an entire week with old friends, wondering around that dirty, smelly city. I was fortunate enough to get pinkeye while I was on vacation in the City. It should be advised to not touch your face in NYC unless you’re in your own home and you’ve literally just washed your hands. Never touch your face after riding the subway. You can also walk down the street in a brightly colored, plastic poncho in the middle of a rainstorm and no one will pay attention to you. However, if you buy wine, the employees will be amused and ask to take a picture. I’m obsessed with the City and I replay the memories we created over and over, in my head and I scroll through hundreds of pictures that tell the story of the trip in frozen moments.

I turned 30 this year and John fucking Mayer played a concert in Detroit on my literal day of birth. It was too serendipitous to not go. No one wanted to go with me though which is the story of my life for birthday shenanigans but my best friend finally came around and agreed to go. Even though John didn’t propose to me, I still thought it was nice of him to play a concert for my birthday. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to and I honestly didn’t even listen to John Mayer that much before the concert. I spent $45 on a Hanes t-shirt though, just because I deeply enjoyed the show and wanted John’s face on my body when I slept.

Anyway, it’s getting weird now. I changed jobs a few times this past year and I’ll probably do it again next year. Life is a weird journey and I think about how much can happen in a year and how sometimes it doesn’t seem like time moves it all. 2019 challenged me for the better. I don’t know how 12 months can be an eternity ago, but I feel more sure of myself now than I have in a long time.

When I began writing about the past year, I was under the impression it had been stressful, full of heartache and depression but as I began to think back to it, the years been pretty kick-ass overall. I’m stoked for 2020, it’s probably going to be some Mercury retrograde bullshit but: bring it on bitch.

 – Neptune

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