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This Will Be The Year

It’s that time of the year again, time to slow down, have some mulled wine and reflect on the past year. Without much hesitation I can say 2018 has been an absolutely horrible and terrible year.

I’ve been through so much pain and anxiety that I would gladly punch this year in the face. I lost my grandmother, I nearly lost my dad, I crossed paths with psychopaths keen on destroying my life. Some of the people I considered friends walked away from me. I turned down an amazing job offer, something I had wanted for a long time. Darko and I went to hell and back, several times. I left, I came back, he left, he came back. The life I’ve known for the past 5 years has been shattered to the core.

But the worst of it all – at one point I lost myself. I made bad choices, choices that hurt people I love. I lied. I trusted the wrong people. I lost my integrity. I lived in my friend’s spare bedroom, in a crappy hotel room, in an overpriced tiny studio apartment, in my apartment in Croatia, in my beautiful Dublin apartment, alone, surrounded by memories of a once happy home. The concept of a home was becoming blurry to me. I would wake up at night not knowing where I am. Panic would take control of me. Alcohol crept its way into my life; I was drinking every evening, afraid I wouldn’t be able to sleep without a tranquilizer. The nights brought anxiety and days brought a feeling of hopelessness. I drifted through each day, without a clear sense of direction, feeling nothing but pain.

However, I am not the one to dwell. I have so much to be grateful for, so many things worth fighting for. Here are some of them:

My dad
My dad who surprised doctors with his miraculously recovery. Only a few months ago I was afraid he might stay permanently impaired. And there he is now – driving, walking, taking care of a million things that needed to be taken care of after grandma’s death, cleaning, carrying boxes, kicking ass and most important of all – determined to live.

My friends
These are the people who brought me tissues, wine and chocolate, people who listened to me cry and talk, repeatedly, until there were no more tears left to cry or no words left to say. These are the people who stood by me on the brink of an abyss and didn’t let me fall over, people who showed me that the abyss is not so deep nor so dark as I originally thought.

My job / my colleagues
While the rest of my world was on fire, my job became my safe space, a lifeline. I’ve done some kick-ass work this year, I was given opportunities to take part in the most interesting projects, worked with amazing people who believed in me, challenged me and pushed me to step up my game. I became not only a better engineer but also a better person.

My niece
Unplanned time spent in Croatia gave me an extra opportunity to bond more with her. Nothing makes a day better than an innocent laugh of a 4-year old.

Once I was done with loathing and self pity, I decided to hit the gym. For months now I’ve been going pretty regularly. My form is nowhere near where I want it to be, but I am stronger than I’ve been in years and it’s a good start.

So, while the year’s ending is not how I imagined it or wanted it to be, it’s looking good. I started smiling again, traveling, enjoying stolen moments in the sun. I got myself back and not only that; I got a better, improved version of myself: strong, confident and calm one. Or as my dear friend would say – it’s Maja 2.0.

Have a happy new year everyone, may it be filled with love, happiness and joy and bring you closer to your goals. But remember, even if you take a little detour, it’s still ok. We all get a bit lost sometimes.

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