On New Year’s Eve last year, I was holding myself together and crying bitterly in my father’s helpless arms. I felt like I had failed and wasted the previous two years of my life in a job that I didn’t really enjoy but felt like I was obliged to stay in.
Dad sang me to sleep, saying that next year will be different. I woke up in 2016 with my eyes swollen and my head heavy, but my heart lighter. I resolved to get out of my shitty job as quickly as I could.
A week in, I was back on my couch, inconsolably weeping before I could leave for work, my father on the phone line and my mother frantically pacing the living room because she didn’t know what to do with a crying mess. After five hours of crying, I got an email for my dream job.
The rest of the year has been a blur of working hard, doubting myself and unlearning everything I had ever learnt about hard work. But, that meant every little achievement felt like a battle won. My life centered around my work in the best way I could have imagined and I also spent my last day of the year volunteering to work at a job I genuinely love.
This year taught me to trust my father in that regard, I guess. He was right. I would be okay.
Another lesson he taught me was that food and sleep were the best things in the world, barring none. I should have believed him when he told me that three years ago. 2016 taught me that the pursuit of good food that nourishes my heart and body and a good night’s sleep were all I really needed to feel okay. No amount of romance, sex, alcohol or motivational speeches ever matched up to what good food and sleep did for me.
My father also taught me that love was not the best thing in the world because it was an other worldly feeling. I spent the year chasing that all-elusive feeling and realising all over again there was more love in a moment spent over the phone in comfortable silence than in my romcoms. There was more love in holding my best friend’s hand as we crossed the road and talking over a beer. There was more love in sitting on the beach on my birthday and telling my best friend how I just want to hold my dog. There was more love in sitting on the floor and mourning my cat’s death. There was more love in sipping on wine while sitting alone in my living room. There was definitely more love in writing, reading, singing and dancing.
This year was the best. This year was also the worst.
But, this year showed me a different kind of love everyday. It showed me love always wins — even if in small doses, but it always does.