A Letter to Myself in 201504 January 2016
I'd like to say to myself that 2016 started off with a bang, but I can't. My first day of the new year was spent crying, questioning the decisions that have led me to where I am today, and calling just about everyone in my phonebook for strength.
Facebook time hop reminded me that two years ago today I was also crying, but for very different reasons. January 2, 2013 I was boarding a flight to London, something I spent months working for and even more months anticipating. The time I spent living in the United Kingdom sparked in me a love for traveling, which eventually led to me relocating to Washington DC after college graduation, falling in love and slowly realizing my dream wasn't as perfect as I imagined.
Last year on New Year's day I spent my time wandering the streets of Northwest DC, taking photos on a disposable camera and still believing that if I worked hard enough everything would fall into place. New Year's 2015 I had a boyfriend who loved me, roommates to talk to when I got home, and barely enough money to pay my monthly bills. A year later I find myself in a much better job, enjoying every moment of my graduate program, but completely alone.
If I could go back and talk to myself at the start of last new year, I would warn that version of me that giving all your time to a group of people who have zero interest in getting to know you will only lead to one day feeling as if you are completely alone in a room full of people. Committing yourself a relationship where you are always the first to call, apologize and move forward will only lead to you waking up one day exhausted, unloved and unaware of where to go next.
This new year I finally began to listen to what my friends back home had been saying for months, and I finally listened to my gut instinct and realized nothing was ever going to change as long as I was the only one willing to admit change needed to occur.
Unfortunately I spent 2015 supporting a man who gradually lost all respect for me, making small talk with people who were openly rude to me, and laying in bed at night wondering why no matter how hard I tried to make the people around me like me, they never did.
Washington DC has been my dream since my 8th grade visit, and like an idiot I believed that my dream was possible while also spending time with people whose idea of fun was my nightmare. I cant count the number of hours I have spent sitting in a bar, making smalltalk with small minded people, inhaling secondhand smoke, and just wishing that just one of them would give me an ounce of chance to show them I wasn't all the bad things everyone assumed I was.
If I could show this letter to me in 2015, I would write in all capitals that it's better to spend my nights alone than to spend them crying on my bathroom floor while someone sat in the next room without a care.
I cant say for sure if things will get any better in 2016, but I am in control of the people I allow to into my life. So for now I am alone in a city full of people, but at the very least I can come home and not worry about what argument I'm going to fall into, what someone is going to say about me as I step away to the restroom, or what innocent gesture will be considered rude.
If I could talk to the version of me on January 1, 2015, I'd tell her that nothing is going to get better as long as I continue on the same path. So starting today I've removed myself from the people who openly dislike me, I've quit trying to convince a man that I am worth respecting and I will do everything in my power to take back the dream I had at 13 years old, the one where I'm a strong, independent woman, with her own apartment in the city, a cat to cuddle with at night, and friends to call on when she's grown bored of sitting at home.
If you've ever experienced being alone in a city I'd love to hear how you got through it. And if you have any advice on how to make friends as an adult I could really any advice.