Reflecting: NYE On My Own Terms

There is so much pressure on New Year’s Eve – it feels like everything I’ve ever done throughout the entire year has all boiled down to this day, December 31st, 2014. And it must be perfect.

I’ve come to realize that I’m not the only one. With that mindset, the holidays inevitably become a great time for reflection. It can seem like you get what you deserve on New Year’s – if you go to an awesome party or get a New Year’s kiss then you must have done something right; if you’re sitting at home, it’s because you made the wrong choices or didn’t try hard enough.

Last year, I didn’t have a lot of friends (not that I have a lot of friends now, but I have a couple more) and none of them chose to spend their night with me. One of them changed his mind a couple of days before because he needed to reflect. See? Not just me. But that just caused me to reflect too, which resulted in me crying in his car about the fact that none of my friends loved me and it’s just not FAIR because I try so hard, and I was just a pathetic loser and why did I even move away from Oakville anyway? Did I really think that would change anything? I felt so stupid for even thinking that anyone would actually want to share New Year’s with me. I spent it alone (technically my parents were there too, since I was at their house, but you know what I mean), and I thought, this is my life now. I was alone for most of the second half of 2013, and I would only continue to be alone in 2014.

Of course, none of that is true – not what I was telling myself, and not the idea that New Year’s Eve somehow represents your entire life that year. It’s just a day like any other. You can’t feel the difference between 11:59 on December 31st and 12:01 on January 1st.

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This is Me

You may remember the video I shared a few weeks back from Healthy Minds Canada about Cynthia Foster, who recovered from bulimia. Although we released that video first, I was actually the first video subject.

This video was shot way back in January. It was ready a long time ago, but after filming Cynthia, we realized that we wanted the videos to look a little different. We wanted to make them more personal, with photos and videos, and we wanted to add facts and information so that people learned more. We wanted to make them longer so we could tell a more complete story.

And the first cut of my video just wasn’t the story I wanted to tell. The story I want to tell is less about the way that I am, and more about WHY I am the way that I am. Oftentimes, people don’t talk about the “why”, and that is especially the case when it comes to bullying – it’s dismissed as a typical childhood phase, something everyone goes through, something that usually doesn’t have a long lasting impact. It’s all over when you graduate.

But that’s not true, and that’s why I am the way that I am. So we recut the footage that we had in order to tell that story, and this is the result of that. Because it was filmed so long ago it’s not perfect, and I would probably say different things now, but I still stand behind the core messages of the video – mainly, that before dismissing a person, you should always ask why. Find out what’s bothering them, step into their shoes for a bit, even if perhaps they aren’t behaving perfectly at the moment. Most people are inherently good, so ask why and try to find that.

I had a great time editing it but now that it’s been released, I have a hard time sharing it. I don’t know why really, I’ve said most if not all of this stuff in writing before. But it’s just different somehow in video form. More personal. The pictures and video from when I was a kid and in high school – even the ones that seem normal, I can see the story behind them, and I feel like now everyone else can see that too, even though that’s probably ridiculous.

I could just not share it, but that would defeat the purpose of all the hard work that we put into it, so here it is – my hope is not that you will understand ME better but that this example might help you to understand others in your own lives better.

I hope you enjoy the video and please share it if you think it might help others. ❤

Watch the Video Here