It came to me at around 8:00 on a Wednesday night. I was curled up on the guest bed at my grandparent's house next to my mom, crying because I was sad and angry and didn't know why -either that or, I did know why, I just didn't know what to do about it. I realized that while 2016 was the year everyone and their goldfish thought was a disaster, I actually had a great time. (This is, of course, excluding politics and terrible gun control.)
But 2017 did not turn out the same way. For me, it still had its good moments, but most of it was covered by a dark cloud. I failed two attempts at the DMV knowledge test. I got a hard job that requires more energy than I tend to have on a typical Thursday. My friend's lives seemingly fell apart, and while trying to put everything back together, I ended up forgetting myself a little bit. I very nearly failed Chemistry, got a far below average SAT score, and I didn't succeed at any audition I went to.
I've never been one to think of the new year as a new slate. For me, yeah, it's time to change calendars and write a bigger number at the end of the dates on my essays, but other than that it's just a new day. But this year feels different. 2018 feels different. It needs to. For a long time, every one of my years as a teenager seemed better than the last. 14 was far better than 13, 15 far better than 14, and so on. But 17 wasn't better than 16. I'm still unsure of how 18 will turn out.
I'm worried about this year. There's a lot that I'm unsure of, and I'm honestly tired of feeling like I have to be the old soul I am. I'm tired of thinking that since I've always been mature for my age I have to somehow be okay with everything that happens, or that I have to go through it only thinking about the positives. No, I should be able to feel whatever I'm feeling and move past it when it makes sense to. Not a minute too early.
I don't like New Year's resolutions because they always feel like I'm setting myself up for failure, which is something I could really do without in the new year. So this year I'm making a deal with myself: I'm not going to let myself take care of everyone else while ignoring myself.
I can't tell myself not to take care of others because that goes against my nature. But I definitely need to revise the idea that I have to be completely unselfish all of the time. 2017 was my 2016, but that doesn't mean 2018 has to be.