This year, I decided to do a 365 photo challenge, which means that I will share on my Instagram one new picture every day until 2018! It might be a new picture from my day or an old picture of a memory from the past. Along with the picture, I will try to write a short or long post about the picture. It is a big challenge, but I won’t stress about it. Honestly, if I just post pictures and blog post half of this year, it will already be a great start. God knows, I have been struggling with starting a blog. I kept comparing myself to others and I would always feel like it wasn’t good enough or that I didn’t have any original ideas. That’s why I went with this challenge, because I have to simply start somewhere. I might not be a professional photographer nor am I used to writing in English, but I am sure this blogging experience will help me grow. This project is for my personal pleasure, and myself but I still hope you will enjoy it!
This first picture is the firework I was looking at last night around 00:01AM in the old port of Montreal. I think a lot of people will agree with me when I say that 2016 was a difficult year. It was clearly a pretty bad year on the international and political scene in my opinion, but I feel like most of my entourage also had a personal bad year. I am no exception.
In my case, I remember crying in the arms of my boyfriend when 2016 was starting. I was feeling so sad and confused. I didn’t know where I was going, I hated my job and most of my entourage, I couldn’t stand my roommates and my anxiety issues were out of control.
The rest of the year was similar to my first night in 2016. From January to September, I would cry almost every night after hiding my feelings all day at work. It was getting harder and harder to hide my pain in the world and unfortunate events kept happening to me. I felt like I would never get out of this bad phase.
The first week of September was the worst for me. I had about 15 panic attacks in a few days and I didn’t know if I would be able to live my life normally anymore. I was at my lowest. For the first time in my life, I had realized that I had no clue what the hell I was doing. You see, I’m a control freak and I would always have a “plan”. However, my plan kept changing weekly and I would deny that something was wrong. It felt like everybody was moving on and doing incredible things except me. I didn’t want to be patient and take a real break. I kept being hard on myself, saying I had accomplished nothing even though I was already “old”. So, I would rush plans for school or work and end up disappointed and changing my mind.
Of course, all of those wrong choices were hard on me and I constantly feet like a failure. Now I know that they were not failures. They were lessons. By trying to push myself to make a decision when I was not ready, I was bound to go the wrong way. I needed to accept that I was clueless and start from scratch.
This was a great realization in theory, but it hurt me more than anything. “I don’t know” was never part of my vocabulary and as I couldn’t answer I felt pathetic whenever someone would ask me about my plans for my future. Even if I had learnt this important lesson I still thought I was a failure and would isolate myself from the world.
For a mysterious reason, one night, I decided that this depressing phase of my life needed to end. I couldn’t live this way anymore. I didn’t want to have this pain in me constantly. So, I made research and I tried everything I could find on anxiety and I am still shocked to admit it, but it worked!
Also, I am immensely grateful for my boyfriend who was there to help me through my panic attacks all year long, even if it was at 3AM on a work day. It would listen to me cry on the phone for hours and he would do his best to comfort me.
Of course, I’ve still had a few bad days and I am still an anxious person. However, I went from one panic attack every day to less than one per month. I can honestly say that I am now a more positive, stronger and confident young woman. Being able to make great progress for my anxiety made me realize that I could do things that I previously thought I couldn’t. Feeling mentally liberated, I was also able to set realistic goals for my future that haven’t changed since September.
And you know the best thing? Last night, while 2016 was ending, I was truly happy. So, there I was, watching low budget fireworks with a big smile. For the first time in two years, I was excited for the future and I was happy with my relationships and my decisions.
Initially, I had plan on having a quiet New Year with my boyfriend for 2017. We would go see the fireworks and then see where it brings us (which I kind of though would be home). However, we ended up randomly seeing one of my friends on the street and spending a great night with them. It was spontaneous, simple and fun and I hope that this night will represent the year to come.
Isn’t what they say? That the way you spend New Year set the tone for the rest of the year? It was true for me last year in a negative way, but this year, I hope it will be true in a positive way!
Today, I have share a lot of things people don’t know about me, but I am no longer ashamed of my anxiety. Even if 2016 was emotionally challenging, I have learned more than ever and now that I look at it from a distance, I don’t regret anything.
I sincerely wish you also had a great New Year and that 2017 will be amazing. I will be back tomorrow with my resolutions!