Here I Blog: It’s the Blog of the Year as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) 2016

Prologue

I’ve been wanting to be more creative as of late and was hoping to use this week to do some more of the things I like to do (writing, reading, playing music, etc). Unfortunately, I’ve been working a lot so I haven’t had time. Long story short, I wanted to at least post an end-of-year blog. This may or may not be similar to my end-of-year blog from last year. We’ll see. I usually write on the fly, so the blog may change course as I’m writing it. Anyway, this is my farewell blog to the year 2016.


So I guess, first and foremost, what I want to do is give a quick update on things that have happened in my life over the last 365 days. Last year, my whole blog was dedicated to breaking down my life in 2015. I’m not going to do that this year; I’m just going to quickly mention things that have happened. For starters, for the first time since 2012, I’m going into the new year single. It sucks, and tonight is going to suck something fierce, but it is what it is. Secondly, as of September, I began student teaching at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School, which meant I had to leave my job of two years at the William O’ Connor Midwood School and started working at Outside the Box Shipping. Something that I was worried about turned out to be the perfect situation for me as I absolutely love student-teaching at FDR and the schedule, work, and environment at Outside the Box has been perfect for what I need. Academically, I’m only a year away from my Master’s Degree from CUNY Brooklyn College.

Okay now that we got all of that out of the way, let’s talk. Whoever you are, reading this, let’s talk, just you and me. Good? Okay. Let’s start.

For me 2015 was a year of serious growth for me. I learned a lot about myself – who I was, who I am, and who I want to be moving forward. 2016, especially the latter half of the year, was about taking those lessons I learned about myself and implanting them to the best of my abilities. The main goal, which has become my main goal in my life as of the last year or two, is to make sure that I’m happy and mentally/emotionally healthy (I really have to start working on the physical part again too).

I have a lot going on in my life right now, probably more so than ever before in my life. In the last four months, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to really do any of the things I really enjoy doing. I haven’t written any music, haven’t done any creative writing, haven’t spent time with family, haven’t read (novels, plays, or comics) unless it was assigned in one of my grad school courses, haven’t spent time with friends, and haven’t played any sports. Anyone knows me, knows that not having a creative outlet can really fuck with me emotionally and mentally. I’m a very creatively motivated person and not being able to flex my creative muscles renders me feeling tense and teetering on depression. Luckily for me, my cooperating teacher has completely handed over one of his classes to me, having me create and teach every lesson every day. Being able to create those lessons and come up with creative lessons (like when I made a 4-minute music video compilation to teach simile to my students) has been enough to quench my creative thirst, at least enough so that I can continue to function. Okay, I went off on a bit of a tangent. Sorry.

This past year, I have made decisions, sometimes hard decisions, to make sure that at the end of the day, I’m happy. I have a slight history with depression and anyone who knows about depression knows that once you’ve suffered from depression, you’re open season for it to return whenever the opportunity strikes. Because of that, I try to make sure that my true happiness is never in danger. Sometimes, this leads to short-term pain and hurting somebody else.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I’m single right now. I was in a relationship where I was very happy at the beginning, but after six months, it began to take a turn to a place where I was unhappy. I was constantly stressed, felt restricted, confined, and just tense. This was exactly how I felt by the end of my previously relationship, albeit for different reasons. That’s not who I am. I’m outgoing, and weird, and silly, and goofy, and just weird. Out of respect for the person I was dating, I won’t go into detail about the events of our relationship, but I had to end the relationship, which sucked, especially because of how I much the breakup hurt her. However, I did what I felt I needed to do for myself, for my mental health. I’m still not where I need to be in terms of my happiness but it’s a work in progress. I’m lucky to have a someone in my life, who despite being 1,000 miles away, I know I can lean on when I really need it (for the most part).

Speaking of friends, this year has been kind of a weird one for me in that department (don’t worry, I’ll tie it in). I haven’t really had much of a change in the people I call my friends in years. Maybe some of have been added, some people make brief cameo appearances, some have completely left. In fact, now when I come to think of it, whenever I take a stand for myself in terms of how I am treated in those friendships, those people exit my life. Case in point, two people who at one point or another were considered my best friend are no longer in my life because I said I didn’t like the way I was being treated. Those relationships eventually were dissolved. Like with everything else in my life lately, I’ve really been trying to focus on making sure that I am happy. That means taking a look at how I feel when I’m in certain environments and with certain people. That look has often lead to me being and feeling very alone.

But you know what, I’d rather be alone right now and not feel like I have to compromise who I am, what I stand for, and what makes me happy. I guess that’s my point here. I feel like we, as human beings, care so much about having friends and being in relationships and being liked, that we compromise who we are. We sit in silence when a friend says something offensive that you don’t like. We change our personality to accommodate our significant other’s baggage. We say nothing when a family member makes a comment that you strongly disagree with. All of this, just to avoid the potential of losing that person. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but it’s definitely been the case for me. Most of that comes from me hating confrontation, but when it comes to your own happiness, fear of confrontation cannot be a good enough to reason to not speak up or stand up or even walk away.

Now that I’ve sufficiently rambled on, let me just end this blog and 2016 with this: Don’t compromise who you are, what you stand for, what you need, and/or what makes you happy for anything or anyone. Your happiness needs to come first. Understand and respect that. Surround yourself with people who understand and respect that. Love yourself. Surround yourself with people who truly love you (not who they think you are or who they want you to be). Don’t be afraid to walk away if you need to. Be more afraid not to.

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Here I Blog: It’s the Blog of the Year as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Prologue

I was hoping to do this earlier but I just haven’t had the time. The last time I posted something, it was July. A lot has changed in my life in those last 6 months. In fact, all of 2015 has been entirely life-changing. That’s what this post is basically going to be about.  A recap of 2015 in William A.P.’s life.


 

2015. Holy hell. So much has happened in the last 365 days. Where do I even begin? It might easier to break this down into life categories.

Career

Since May of 2014, I’ve been working at the NYL William O’Connor Midwood School, which is a special needs preschool. When 2015 rolled in, I was working as a 1:1 paraprofessional in a bilingual classroom. I wasn’t always happy in that classroom as I always felt like I was working beyond my job description and. In June, I was given the opportunity to move up and become a teaching assistant in a different bilingual classroom. I took the opportunity. The promotion meant having a salary for the first time in my life. It meant stability for myself and my mother. Of course, the money isn’t great but at least I no longer have to worry about where money is coming from when the school is closed like on holidays and the spring/summer breaks.

Education

Okay, so this was one of the bigger ones. In 2015, I started graduate school. Back in July, I was accepted to both Hunter College and Brooklyn College. I decided to go with Brooklyn and thus am now studying Secondary Education in English (aka grades 7-12 English teacher). It has been absolutely insane. I’m not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to take 4 classes while working full-time but that’s what I did in my first semester in grad school and boy did it kick my ass. I’m still waiting for my grades to find out if I kicked back hard enough but I’ve  at least taken the first steps in becoming an English teacher, which will be completely life altering.

Love

If anyone knows me, they know that I am a huge romantic and a sap. I’m all about romantic love. It’s probably what I prioritize most in life as I honestly believe love to be one of the most important things in life and one of the most amazing/beautiful things in life. As such, my initial thought was to put this section first but I thought better of it. Quite a bit has happened in the last 365 days in my love life. At the beginning of 2015, I was in the middle of a 2.5+ year long relationship. Truth be told, I thought that I was going to marry her. We had even talked about getting engaged and looked and engagement rings. I was wrong. After 2 years and 8 months of constant fighting and compromising and crying and trying to force something to work that just wasn’t going to work, her and I decided to call it quits. Technically she broke up with me but we had talked about it before. We both knew it wasn’t working and we still tried to make it work even after we broke up, but it just wasn’t right. So after all of the time and energy we both spent on the relationship, it was over. We split up amicably and I have no ill feelings towards her. She’s a great person and I wish her absolutely nothing but the best. We just weren’t right for each other.

After that relationship ended, I was starting to feel hopeless. I tried to get back out in the dating world and found little to no success and way out of place with how most people my age engage in dating. With my lack of success prior to my ex and my lack of success in the current dating pool, I was convinced that my new ex was my last chance of finding love and happiness and marriage and a family and all that other shit that I’ve been chasing since I was a little kid bribing girls to kiss me for a gummy bear. I was beginning to feel hopeless. I thought I had missed me shot. I was wrong.

In late October, I met and began talking to a co-worker. At first I didn’t think anything of it but it was definitely something. For the first time, it all just makes sense. I’ve never felt so sure of anything. Everything that I’ve  learned and experienced from my past relationships and/or any other time I’ve been involved with a woman has lead me to this, to her. I’m in a new relationship and I couldn’t be happier. Just when I thought all hope was lost, she restored my hope.

Friends

When I was in my last relationship, I was not always the best friend. I dedicated so much time and effort into the relationship that I alienated my friends and just didn’t make enough time for them. Fortunately, my friends are awesome anyway. When my ex and I broke up, and I was a mess, my friends were there for me. Whether it was taking me to a bar in the city, just talking, or guiding me through every girl I mistaken for a potential future. In that time, I really saw who my real friends are. For the first time ever, I felt good about my friends, who they were, where I fit in, and my relationship with them each. For the first time, I had my “boys,” (and one female friend – I didn’t forget you, Adele) and they mean a lot to me. I’m sure they’re all gonna rip on me for this later on today, but they all mean a lot to me and I love em all, even when some of them piss me off. Now that I’m in a new relationship, they’ve been great about it and I know that I have to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes I made in my previous relationship.

Conclusion

While a lot of people tend to have negative feelings towards 2015, I can’t really complain. 2015 was a huge year for me. I learned a lot about myself. There was heartache, loss, love, hope, acceptance, promotion, revelations, rebirth, death, and a Mets World Series run. It was definitely a year I won’t soon forget. I can’t wait for 2016 to start tomorrow.