Mental Health · Opinion

Can we be eighteen?

2018 should have been the best year of my life, and it wasn’t.

picture of thisdreamsalive playing bass

I wrote a blog called in Can we be Seventeen? in January about wanting to be happy again, and about how happiness is only fleeting and being content is long-term. (Also the title is a reference to a song of the same name from the Heathers musical) I know what made me happy when I was and that’s music, which I did dip my toe back into and I started making videos more often which I’ve always loved too. Neither of those things went as I hoped they would but I’m not abandoning them.

Playbill of The Lion King on Broadway, New York, Minskoff Theatre

I re-visited my two favourite cities; New York and Paris I got some of the most important things done on my bucket list, like seeing the Lion King on Broadway, going to Shakespeare and Co, going to a pumpkin patch for Halloween. As a writer it’s been my most successful year yet, both with creative writing and as a blogger.

couple wearing Minnie and Mickey Mouse ears in front of Cinderella's Castle in Disneyland Paris

Despite all those amazing things, it wasn’t the best year of my life.

Happiness isn’t what you do or what you have, it’s a state of being.

It’s not that I’m not grateful, I’ve made some amazing memories and know that I’m so lucky to have done those things. I appreciate every single new follower here and on my other platforms. I didn’t think I’d even make the short list in the Blog Awards Ireland, let alone make it all the way to the finals! (Even if they got my blogs name wrong – it’s thisdreamsalive, not This Dream’s Alive, and definitely not thisdreamISalive)

thisdreamsalive announced as a finalist at the blog awards ireland 2018

Firstly not being prone to the best mental health means constantly taking measures to mind it. You can have everything in the world and be living your wildest dreams and still feel empty.

A lot of why this wasn’t the best year of my life was circumstantial. If you’re in a toxic environment, then you’re never going to be happy or content. Thankfully, my situation isn’t something I’ll be in forever, and once I graduate I’m spending the rest of my life refusing to settle. I spent 19 years of my life in the education system, and did not have a good time – I’m not spending the rest of my life living for the weekend or for retirement – always having an excuse of “I’m too tired” “I’m too old”, “next week”, “next Monday”.

I’ve had worse years than 2018 and struggled much more at other points of my life. The intention of this post isn’t to get sympathy, it’s a reminder that trips and things won’t bring you joy. I’m relieved most of my issues this year were circumstantial because that’s easier to fix.

I’ll forever cherish what I got to do this year, but I’m looking forward to a new chapter in my life. I don’t want to say I’m waiting for my life to begin, life begins the second you’re born not whenever you finish school and enter the “real world” – but I do think and hope the “real world” will help me feel better because I’ll be free.

stock image of graduates throwing their hats

7 thoughts on “Can we be eighteen?

  1. This is such an honest post, I love it. And can definitely relate. 2018 was a pretty good year for me. I look back at it and think yep, not bad at all. But it wasn’t perfect, it ended AWFULLY (my Dad had a heart attack) but that’s life. And I love your quote about happiness and being content.


  2. Seeing The Lion King on Broadway must have been absolutely amazing and you did so well to get to the finals of the blog awards! I know sometimes it’s hard when the negatives seem to outweigh the positives but you should always try to focus more on the positives lovely! I hope 2019 is a better year for you!

    Jess //


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