A few hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve, I reflected, as many do, on the past year. As I let my thoughts drift, I felt myself sliding down a steep slope, slowly at first, then picking up speed, and then racing haphazardly towards a fortissimo. I cried. Sobbed.

I hate feeling sad in this way. I resented what I saw as character flaws that could be exploited and considered as weaknesses by future employers. I despised the frustration I felt during my struggle to improve the situation. I abhorred my lack of control. I felt guilty. This rumination did no favors to my anxious state of mind, and I kept crying.

I tried to think of more positive things, to distract myself as I frequently did, and to utilize techniques I learned in CBT classes. That day, it barely made a difference. But sometimes, crying itself is therapeutic. Pent up feelings are expressed, and my boyfriend offered a comforting embrace and towel to absorb the tears. After half an hour and a cleansing shower, I was more calm.

Especially during the latter part of the year, I found myself wondering, “What is normal?” I scrutinized how much anxiety could be useful in situations. Maybe my level of sensitivity is my normal. These are examples of the many things I am still learning about myself. This post documents my effort to be transparent, organize my thoughts, and share my experiences.

Often have I felt the overwhelming barrage of feelings that are terrifyingly confusing, but at the moment of writing, I can distinguish them. I feel excitement for the future. Apprehension for uncertainty. Grateful for my supportive friends and family. Weariness from the long day. Slight disappointment at my reaction described earlier. Fear for what you may think of me now offset by the confidence of, “Screw it. It’s not going to change my mind about publishing this post.”

Though I do not believe that a new year is necessary to set goals, I do believe it is important to review progress gained regularly. There will be ups and downs, and I will be there to take them on step by step.