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It's Chaos Be Kind

A New Years Perspective

By River JoyPublished 3 months ago 4 min read

"It's Chaos, be kind" -Michelle McNamara

This year New Years looked a lot different for me, I spent it with my love, I stayed up until midnight and shared our first kiss of 2023, it was all very, normal. As someone who has spent their New Years Day and the preceding week in a psych ward I've come a long way.

Similarly to how my New Years Eve looked different this year, my new years goals (I HATE the word resolutions, I'm AuADHD with cPTSD a and a mood disorder nothing I do is resolute) look different this year than they ever have. They are smaller and larger.

In fact my whole holiday season looked different this year because I was not working high volume retail, I spectacularly burned out from a job I was really good at, I was a framing manager at a big box store. Not working in a place that sells glitter during the holidays is good for the human soul. I didn't even have to experience the slow torture that is November 1st Christmas Music.

Back to the goals this year though, being clinically and chronically depressed mixed in with neurospicy makes setting goals difficult and often frustrating. My brain is awesome it wants to create and love and have novel experiences, but it also quickly loses interest in creating and novel experiences. Then in direct conflict it craves rigidity and schedule and predictability. What's that Greys Anatomy quote? "The carousel never stops turning."

My deluded self thought I was going to be able to jump into a full time job two weeks after leaving the glitter store. I left in October and I'm only now staring to come out on the other side of burnout. So okay, goals again. See? I can't focus to save my life.

This year I want to listen to my body, I want to take my dog on more walks, long walks, I want to listen to more books and start writing my own. I want to find a job that is fulfilling enough that I do not resent going there (and pays the bills), but unobtrusive enough that I can love my person and see my friends and help my family without the fear of this burnout returning.

This year I want to continue my journey of unmasking, learning about the layers of myself that I put aside because they did not fit in society. I want to paint and make messes and love my friends. I want to see more music.

The last few years have repeatedly reminded me that "it is chaos, be kind". That it is experiences, often not even big ones that define our lives. That we cannot take for granted the moments of sitting together on the couch in comfortable silence. We cannot afford to let our goals and resolutions define how we feel about ourselves at the end of the year. Not to be fatalistic, but surviving each consecutive disaster is pretty miraculous on its own. We've had an objectively absurd run of it the past few years.

This past year I stood up for myself, I loved harder than I thought I could, I experienced passion that was not also burning. I learned how to regulate myself. I learned I am autistic and what that means for me and my partner. I wore ear defender big pink starry headphones to the renaissance faire and it allowed me to enjoy a full day without getting overloaded. I painted, I quit a job that was making me physically and mentally ill. I watched a new TV a show and it was my first sign I was coming out of burnout (my fellow ND people will understand this one). I turned thirty, which was not an age I thought I was going to make.

So if the successes I have in 2023 are like the ones I had in 2022 I will take them. If they are greater I will find myself happy at the end of the year if they are lesser I will keep it as a lesson.

When my great grandfather came to the United States he came around New Years. He didn't speak any English, he was Italian. He was happy to have people greet him "Happy New Years", except he heard "Hop in the Ass" (say it a few times out loud you can understand his confusion)

So anyway, Hop in the Ass, and try to have a good year.


About the Creator

River Joy

I make things with paint and words and light. I was once described as an asshole with Mr. Rodgers vibes.

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