Lets face it my dear readers -- 2016 sucked. It was stocked with many moments of dread, horror, and outrage that affected all of us as a collective. Most of us are in a daze, feeling completely overwhelmed, and for certain feel that 2016 was a travesty. I am so looking forward to throwing away my old calendars as soon as the clock and ball drop at midnight but before I do -- I read this great article from my radical self love guru Gala Darling which encouraged me to take a step back and look at the year for what it truly was. Nothing is wholly bad or perfect and therefore many bright spots in my year. In her article, she asked 10 questions and below are my answers for them. But first a quote from another inspiration of mine -- Sophia Loren: “It is a good reason to talk to yourself, to ask yourself what you have been doing, what you are doing and what you will do. Girls who can’t go off and talk to themselves stay girls and never become women. Women who can’t take stock turn to drink, take pills or worse, but I can take stock. I can send for the bill of life and add it up too. If I ever feel depressed I consider what I have done and what I have accomplished — starting from nothing and arriving now with so much happiness.”
The truth is -- most of 2016 I was either living in a circle of drama, walking on eggshells with a lot of people, or going on autopilot. I think is why I am in crisis mode a lot of the time nowadays -- I haven’t been continually assessing, planning, and course-correcting. However, I am trying to change that by looking at honestly at what’s going on and make adjustments, then making sure where I will end up and where I want to go. So with the being said...lets get on to the question and answer portion of this latest blog.
WHAT WERE YOUR TOP FIVE MOMENTS OF THE YEAR?
1. Definitely one of my top five moment of the year was finally being promoted to a full fledged teaching position. I do not have my own class per say but I am finally get paid the right salary for all of the hard work I have done and will continue to do for the future of America.
2. Creating a tighter and more close knit bond with Veronica. She is simply amazing. There are so many things I could say about her but she knows how I feel. Also getting to meet my new nephew was a big moment.
3. Getting into the band Postmodern Jukebox and seeing them live in Radio City Music Hall. It brought out the creative muses in me.
4. Getting back into what I enjoy, especially independent wrestling. I stopped going to independent shows in 2013 simply because no one wanted to go with me or no one had an interest. That should have never stopped me. I learned and experienced Pro Wrestling Magic and brought myself back to Ring of Honor and Jersey All Pro Wrestling and I was in my element and glory. I must never forsake myself again.
5. The announcement of Nerd Herders Radio returning to the air on Filling the Void network. I missed giving book recommendations and talking about books. I can not wait to get back to saying The Book is Better!
WHAT ARE YOU REALLY GLAD IS OVER?
--Even though it took a lot of waking up and a lot of getting my head out of my ass and realizing that I was, essentially, having battered woman syndrome without the visible bruises -- my relationship of 2 years with the man I thought was "the one". There were many red flags, many issues, many problems, and I tried my best to make it work but relationships are 50/50 and he wasn't putting his end of the bargain into it and I, in turn, became a paranoid codependent insecure person who again completely forgot herself. Now I am not going to say the demise of the relationship was all of his fault, I had my faults as well, but I was only reacting on how he was acting. I do wish that he is happy and that he has a good life.
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT TODAY THAN YOU WERE 365 DAYS AGO?
--Well physically, I cut my hair. That is something I did after my relationship was ended, sort of a cleansing in a way. Got that man out of my hair to be so cliche. Emotionally, well that is a different story. Most of 2016 I was a beat puppy who didn't stand up for herself, didn't stand up for what she believed in, forgot about my interests and hobbies, and overall was not glowing and was not the "Dani" that everyone I know grew to love. Now I am making sure to stick to my guns on certain things, being more open and spontaneous, and smiling.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU ACHIEVED THAT YOU FORGOT TO CELEBRATE?
--I do not think so but will ask around to be sure.
WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THIS YEAR?
--From talking with Veronica and other people I have changed my perspective on how to be with people. I must not try so hard. Also that relationships are 50/50 and I should have never lost the sense of who I am.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT REALLY CAME THROUGH FOR YOU THIS YEAR?
From nerdy bff's to people who bring the law when I need a heavy hit -- those are the people that really came through for me this year. Granted I bet that they all want to bash me upside my head for not thinking clearly and ignoring their advice or just plain ignoring all the red flags and signs. But for them, I am eternally grateful for bringing me back to ormal.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU TOLERATED FOR A LONG TIME, BUT NOW YOU WILL NOT?
--Heavy drinking that leads to alcoholism. I really should have stuck to my guns on how I will not date someone who is a heavy drinker. My family has a history of alcoholism and I have seen the unfortunate repercussions of it. Having one drink at dinner is fine, but visibly intoxicated to the point of being verbally abused in public, yeah, will not stand for that anymore. Also I will not put in all of the effort into something and get nothing in return. Whats the point?
WHAT OLD BELIEFS DID YOU LET GO OF?
--What old bullshit did I let go of: That in order for me to be in love and in a relationship, I must change to fit them. NO. A relationship should be the joining together of two souls; not the mishmash of two people to form one collective. We should be compliments of one another, make each other stronger and better and spread the love. Not beat each other down unto submission.
WHAT WAS ONE THING THAT YOU FOUND REALLY CHALLENGING, BUT CAN NOW SEE SUPPORTED YOUR GROWTH?
--It will sound weird, but my relationship that ended. It supported how strong I can be, how supportive I can be, how caring I can be. It also provided me the strength that I needed to walk away from toxicity.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOURSELF THIS TIME LAST YEAR?
--That he isn't worth it and that I deserve so much better in my life. That this isn't love -- this is abuse and narcissism. Get out and focus on yourself for a while.