A drawing of Ana holding a phone and taking a photo of a cat who is washing itself. The cat says, suprised, oh, hello Ana.


Jottings from Ana Rodrigues

Goodbye 2019

This year sucked with the exception of one moment of it. It was a long and draining year. The year number switch doesn’t magically create a brand new blank year where everything bad goes away. In fact, I’ve been dreading the end of 2019 exactly because the end of the year forces me to reflect on it. And when it is a bad year, it is painful to do it.

I looked back to the blog post that I did one year ago and I’m heartbroken and I feel disappointed in myself. My goals for 2019 were vague but I still feel like I didn’t accomplish anything.

This year I lost and found my cat and the whole experience absolutely destroyed me. One of the reasons why I have a lot of anxiety, it is because I have the need to feel safe. When my cat got lost, as I explain in the blog post, I felt exposed, vulnerable and unsafe. These feelings didn’t disappear once we found the cat and it took me weeks to recover. I was on edge all the time and very sensitive to “potential threats”.

I resumed therapy and with it I lost friendships and had some rude awakenings on some people’s character. Realising you’re a people pleaser all your life and sometimes a doormat is a disappointing realisation. And in my case, start asserting boundaries or stop accepting some behaviours towards me backfired. Some people don’t even know they lost me. I was so heartbroken with how I was treated that I just decided to accept that confrontation would not only not change them but it would cause me even more distress.

Therapy was incredibly painful this year and I also experienced re-traumatisation. I addressed a lot of painful memories that I tried to bury and I thought that talking about them would make me feel better. But the actual result was opening intense wounds that bleed for months.

The majority of my year was spent crying and feeling anger and sadness. The bitterness was overwhelming and all I could think was: “where could I have been if this and that hadn’t happened to me?”. This year I finally understood why people talk a lot about the power of forgiveness. I always saw forgiveness in a light level. I thought it was accepting someone’s apology when they messed up but it isn’t. And my problem is that I haven’t been able to forgive the past and it consumed me all year. This has taken a big physical and mental toll on me and changed a lot of relationships.

Because I am not a robot, I can’t fully separate things: my talks didn’t go that well, I stopped applying to give talks, I stopped writing, I lost count the amount of times I cried at work. I burned out because I wanted to compensate for every bad day I had this year and I was never satisfied.

And then I entered the forbidden loop: the one where I start comparing myself to the other’s perceived success on social media and resent myself for having current personal issues.

In a scenario where I am a bank account, all the things that happened this year where withdrawals from me and very little was being transferred back. And good things did happen to but I felt like I was living in an overdraft.

Speaking of good things:

And finally, the highlight of the year:

I married the most understanding, patient, kind, compassionate and beautiful human. My resilience is what made me survive this year but it would have been much much harder without him by my side supporting me.

Even in the past when things didn’t go well either he was the only person that fully accepted me and gave me room to feel and grow without holding anything against me. Thank you.

I would be lying if I said I don’t have goals for 2020. I do have some but all I want is for my whole self to feel better.

I suppose that making lists with a lot of goals that are for productivity and efficiency instead of happiness are the killers of my creativity and passion. So I will try but I will need to practise a lot of self forgiveness.

To anyone else who may read this: have a healthy 2020.

  • Mood: Meh 😔
  • Doing: Petting my cat
  • Thinking: Some people, when they are having a bad time, they do something productive. But I cry and don't do much. I hate that about myself.
  • Listening: nothing

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