I always seem to get down around Christmas. It’s a sad truth, but a truth nonetheless. It’s a pattern I’ve noticed over the last few years – my mood always seems to get really low around December. It sucks because, with Christmas being this month, it makes family time hard to enjoy.
I came back from uni for the holidays on Wednesday 11th. The last few days at uni were pretty terrible. I didn’t want to be there. I couldn’t focus on my work and couldn’t enjoy anything I did for ‘fun’. I couldn’t write – I still can’t. I’ve been really struggling for blog ideas lately and even this one isn’t writing itself as smoothy as some previous posts have done.
When I started the Hell Butterfly, my mood was high – there are two almost perfectly definable weeks of ‘up’ in fact. This was after the essay period had ended and the crippling stress had lifted and made functioning like a regular human being an option again. For two days after this I went from painfully down, to neutral, and then without warning I was in a good mood. I assumed it would be a one-off. But the next day was good too. And the next. And so it went for two weeks. I don’t remember the last time I was genuinely happy – and I’ll go so far as to say optimistic – for two weeks straight.
This is not meant as a downer post. Just the sad truth that is my life.
In the two good weeks, I started this blog and even – god forbid – managed to write a significant chunk of new material for my book. This was November. As November ended things were okay. Not fantastic, but not bad. But so began December, and with it came the ‘December Blues’. I don’t know why, but I always get down around this time of year. Last year was particularly bad. It makes me worried for this year. I’ve only been home 5 days but I’m already feeling it. Having people around all the time. Wanting to relax but knowing I still have work to do for uni. Knowing it should be a happy time of year but being uncomfortable in my own head to the point where I just can’t enjoy it. Knowing that yet another year is rapidly coming to an end and I can do nothing to stop it. And the greater knowledge that I’ve really done nothing of value this year. There are only 16 days until 2013 is over. Done. Finito. And I can’t name one accomplishment of worth I’ve done for the last 349 of them.
Writing my CV today was a startling backhand to the chops. The only things I could include were some half-decent (yet ultimately worthless) GCSE’s, 6 years of being a dinner lady, some vague knowledge of Spanish and – like every other human being over the age of 8 – the ability to use Microsoft Word. I have no special skills, extra-curricular activities, memberships or related experience. I think I want to go into publishing, but with no work experience in the field of, you know, books, I have no chance of getting even a book related job. Much less a summer internship, which is what I would be looking toward for the up-coming summer, and eventually a graduate job. It came as a hard pill to swallow to see in stark detail how little I have to offer. This obviously did nothing for my December downslide.
I wish I could enjoy the time I have with my family, especially knowing how fast the years can disappear. I still go to introduce myself as 17 at times, forgetting I am in fact 20. I wish I could use my time wisely and take the advice people give me. People tell me to be positive, that confidence is key, that I need to be getting all the experience I can, while I can, that I can do anything if I just believe.
But I can’t.
The bare facts are these:
I’m scared. Of everything.
I’m not particularly intelligent.
I’m an escapist. I don’t like to face reality.
I’m a pessimist.
And the worst part is, I don’t know how to change. I even worry there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to.
These are the thoughts that always seem to come about in December. Don’t be fooled – these thoughts appear year round – but December is especially bad for it. Maybe as it’s the close of a year. Maybe because I’m supposed to be happy around this time. But either way, for whatever reason, I know his month will be hard to get through. I just hope I can turn my rock-bottom self esteem into something remotely positive. I hope that I can learn from this year to make the next one better. I say it every year, but maybe, as with each new year comes even greater responsibility, maybe this time it’ll be different.