The first step

In looking back at my previous posts, I realized that my annual New Year’s Eve post came up very short. Although I’m not sure why at the time of that writing, I think now that I was probably not in the right frame of mind to write it, as I was distracted by everything that I had been doing in the U.S. But as always, in keeping up with my obsessive-compulsive need for consistency, I wanted to do, at least, a brief review of the year that had been.

Now that I’ve been back from New York for nearly three weeks and more or less settled back into life at home, I’ve had time to really process everything that transpired in 2016, and in fact, having lived through the first month of this new year, I can look back even more clearly than I did in the previous years. That makes this my continued — and hopefully a little more in-depth — stock-take of 2016.

More than just my relationship issues, 2016 was also the year that I decided to shift my work priorities, at least for now. I put my writing and public relations consulting jobs on hold, because I wanted to channel my energies in that towards the restaurant and jewelry businesses, and also because I realized that the value and credibility of what I was doing was becoming greatly diminished by a new breed of sycophants who, though grossly unqualified and inexperienced, were adding my profession to their portfolios.

The upshot of this change in my work is that I rediscovered the satisfaction and gratification that come with working purely for yourself or the people you care about. And in an odd, roundabout way, it also helped me rediscover the real meaning of friendship and what I wanted out of it, because nothing helps you weed out your true friends more effectively than business and crises. To this end, I resolved to only surround myself with people who lift me higher, and make an effort for those who are willing to do the same for me. I have no use for people with whom my conversations will only ever be about who attended what events and what they wore, who has more Instagram followers than whom, and how to raise social media profiles and monetize them.

Now that we’re a month into this year, I know without a doubt that I made the right decision with said choices. My social circle has been whittled down to a handful — literally one hand-full — of people, and I’ve never been more content with it. My insecurities and trust issues remain as unresolved as ever, but I’ve learned that, for the time being at least, I just have to maneuver around them as opposed to actually overcoming them.

Having hit rock-bottom in 2015 and begun taking the road of recovery in 2016, I can only hope that 2017 will allow me to continue on that road. As I wrote in my previous post, I had to do without a lot of things and let go of many people in the past year, which only served to make my bubble smaller, but if in exchange for that, the world can open up to us again this year, then all that downsizing would have been worth it.

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