A Look Back on 2014

This year has all but come to an end, and if you live on Prince Edward Island, you are probably more than a little sick and tired of hearing about 2014. This year marked 150 years since John A and friends marched down Great George Street and into Province House where they came up with the idea of Canada. Though commonly referred to as the Birthplace of Confederation, I like to refer to PEI as the Conception Place.

The province did more than enough to mark the occasion, with millions upon millions of provincial and federal money thrown at this anniversary (one wonders what they will do when it’s actually Canada’s 150th birthday?) With our unemployment and poverty rates at an all-time high (and to say nothing of the fact women are still basically second-class citizens without any access to safe abortions and/or other women’s health care), it’s hard to understand the reasoning behind this never-ending, over-priced (lame-ass) celebration…but I digress.

For me, this year was anything but a celebration. I fought (and often failed) the urge to indulge in self-destructive extra-curriculars, was diagnosed with a mental illness, lost my job, had horrible luck with men, and worst of all, lost three wonderful family members. It’s been a year of certain hardships that I’d rather like to forget.

But through all the dark times, there was always a light that shone, however dimly. And it wasn’t until I really started to reflect on my year that I realized out of every bad moment, a silver lining showed its face.

My impulses/addictions were all tangled up with my mental illness – but with the help of the right cocktail of medications, therapy and most recently, yoga, I feel better than I have in years – in over a decade, really.

The loss of a job forced me to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life (I had to once again ask myself what I wanted to be when I grow up) and will be starting a new job in the new year in my field of choice.

The men I saw might not have treated me great, but I definitely sent out negative vibes that would attract such creatures. I now know what I want and what I’m worth and how I deserve to be treated.

Even the loss of my two uncles and my aunt had its share of positive moments – our family was brought closer together, and the love and support was very present. I’m grateful for those who remain and will make an effort to get to know them better.

Amidst the more difficult times, there were many high points – again, these were buried pretty deep in a pile of crap, but they were nonetheless there.

I got my first car! This is pretty insignificant indeed, but it gave me freedom that only wheels can bring you.

I found out my true friends and have tried to become a better, more attentive friend to them. They stuck by me through it all and I’m so ever grateful.

I got to know my cousin and her son a whole lot better, and this was the best part of my year for sure. In fact, I became a lot closer with all of my family and realize how lucky and fortunate I am that these wonderful people love me unconditionally.

I made amends with those I’ve harboured resentment towards in the past, and that’s been so rewarding – hate just consumes you. It really is better to let the past go; to leave the baggage at the door, walk on through and embrace the present with a smile on your face.

I think years like this come about to test our resolve. If we don’t totally break from it, we come out stronger and better.

I have to say that I don’t regret anything that has happened this year. Had you asked me that a few months ago, I would have had a much different response. But it was what it was and I’m grateful to have made it through. Now for Christmas, my favourite time of year to spend with family and friends.

A very safe and Merry Christmas to all. Welcome new traditions and embrace the old ones.

I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store!!

Cheers, friends.

Katie