Thank You 2017


2017 - you almost destroyed me but you’ve pushed me to become even stronger, loving, optimistic and happier than I’ve ever been before. It’s a year that has invoked my empathy, added to my compassion and truly changed me for the better.

If you’d have asked me three months ago how I felt; it would be a narrative of “worst year of my life” with a dash of “I can’t wait for it to end”. 

A year that I found myself dropping people I considered life-long friends, boyfriends I thought could be for the long-hall, jobs I thought would flourish in.

A year that saw my mental health reach news lows, my physical health deteriorate as well as my inability to be truly honest with those around me about what was really going on. 

A year that up until recently I found myself resenting, citing it as my worst year yet, and whilst I’m ready to let 2017 go and move onto pastures new in 2018, it’s taught me more than I could ever imagine.

You see this year pushed me emotionally to new lengths - but the one thing I learnt was to truly know myself. And, trust me, when I first heard expressions like this I laughed too.

For a long-time, I’m talking years, I’ve had this overriding feeling of being unhappy. I’ve hidden it, I’ve tried to fix it by using people as a form of medication, I’ve ignored what I needed and instead replaced it with what I thought I wanted.

I have spent time in relationships that, now, I wouldn’t ever have entered, I stayed with people because I felt like I needed someone, I dated someone recently largely on the basis I couldn't bear the thought of being alone.

I’ve spent a long period of my life with this overriding fear of being alone; friends, boyfriends, family. In turn, it’s manifested in me being unhappy, and relying on others to fill a void. 

In 2017 this really came to light; I came out of an 18-month on/off ‘relationship’ to go into another a week later, whilst telling the person I’d been single all year. I was embarrassed by my own actions I had to lie - yet this wasn’t warning sign enough for me. 

When that person cheated, it really did break me. But, after taking a massive step back it was one of the most positive things to come out of this year. Whilst it broke me, it also forced me to assess my relationship with myself and instead of jumping to the next person, jump fully into a relationship with myself.

Much like my relationships, my friendships have carried toxicity for longer than I’d hoped.

In London, you will find that many friendships are built on fickle fundamentals. You will become friends with people that you think will be there for you for anything, but actually they won’t.

I lost my best friend this year and truthfully losing him hurt me more than anything else this year; this was someone I adored like a brother, shared everything with and genuinely would have done anything for. He was my best friend.

The problem with losing friends is that it’s worse than a break-up, it’s so much deeper because it was something built on the best parts of a relationship without the complicating physical and mental side. It’s the most incredible partnership you can have.

But it can also be the most toxic.

Being friends with this person meant it had a negative impact on me and truthfully when I needed this person to be there for me, they couldn’t have been less interested and demonstrated just how fickle they can be.

It’s not just relationships in any capacity that hurt; jobs.

I quit my job in April to begin in a new industry, which I was super excited for, and truthfully it went awfully.

The company were anything but what they’d advertised, deep rooted issues with little prospects, no respect and a deeply unrealistic expectation of everyone there but themselves. 

But - whilst I could dwell on the past - this year has taught me that I want to do anything but.

Because whilst there have been a million failures, a million mistakes, a million tears there have also been a million blessings, a million laughs and a million memories that I will never forget.

This has been the year that I feel I have really found myself; in the last few months I’ve become comfortable just being me, to the point I actually love it and I couldn’t be less interested in finding someone. I’ve found a solace I didn’t know I had in myself, I have found a sense of content I didn’t realise I had and - dare I say it - I have developed a love for myself.

And whilst I’ve lost people, I’ve gained people.

I’ve gained a circle of friends that I can truly depend on, the friends who are there for you to go for a random drink through to picking up the phone at your lowest 2am moment, the friends that you can go out for dinner and drinks with or just slob in front of the sofa with. The friends that you couldn’t ask for, the ones that you just find and truly realise what the word ‘friendship’ means.

Whilst I can’t sit here and tell you that it’s been my finest year, it actually has been my most insightful. It’s been the year I’ve learnt so much about myself; I have learnt that I have the ability to forgive even when I don’t want to, I have a new compassion, a new sense of what I want from live.

And you know what, for the first time in what feels like years I can say I am truly happy.

So thank you 2017, you've been better than I ever could have imagined.


Thank you for taking the time to comment on OurLDNLife. If you are looking for an instant answer tweet me @KassieBarkerJ!