So, I lied. To myself and you, dear reader. In my last entry back in August, I vowed to write more and that obviously didn’t happen. Not so long after writing that post, I found myself in a deep depression. Normally, I experience a deep void around the holiday season (despite being a complete sucker for Christmas). Said void came earlier, at the end of September. I hated my job, my life and myself more than usual. I felt stuck and alone.

One of my favorite things I love about myself is my resiliency. I’m always able to pull myself out of deep holes of despair. Yes, it takes time to do so- often weeks as it did this time around. But I’m now out. I climbed out of the hole, navigated my way through the clouds of stagnation and am wondering what to do next. I have to credit my friends and my father for extending their hands of hope as they reached in with their words of advice.

My dad said something that really resonated with me. I called him late one night to vent, sobbing that I didn’t make enough money to buy a car and how mentally exhausted I was. He reassured me that inflation prices will eventually adjust so I’ll be able to afford my dream Prius. Then he asked me, what I was doing for myself? I had to think hard. I was working a job that I desperately wanted to love during the day, and job hunting at night. I was working a second job, behind a bar four nights a week. I wasn’t riding my bike. I wasn’t writing. I completely abandoned my hobbies and my friends. I started drinking a lot.

I can’t remember the particular moment of that Friday but something triggered me at work. I walked to one of my favorite bars, had four of their strong frozen margaritas and then, texted all the numbers in my phone, saying that I hated them all. I started crying in the Lyft that picked me up and took me home. That crying continued into the night. I was angry about everything. My best friend, Clarissa, once old me that depression is anger toward inward. Once inside my apartment, I passed out and woke up a few hours later to 50+ texts of concern. That drunken moment left me ashamed and embarrassed, and I fell deeper into my depression. I was so incredibly mad at myself.

I thought for a long time on how to make amends to the people that I texted. I tried a little harder at work. I donated cash to the homeless man who slept at my bus stop. I tried to smile more. I was still feeling like shit. I don’t often take my dad’s advice- we just don’t have that kind of relationship. But I was starting to think that he was right. What was I really doing for myself? I thought that working so I could afford my bills was “something” for myself. I thought that job hunting for a better tomorrow was “something” for myself. No, they weren’t. Yes, they were helping make my life a little easier… But my life drained me. My soul was sucked out. What was I doing to restore it?

I didn’t want to go to my parents’ for the Thanksgiving weekend but I needed to get out of Austin for a while. I rejoined my Thursday night bike riding group. One night, at a pit-stop on one of our rides, I asked my friend, Stephanie, if she wanted to go to New York City for Turkey Day. We had the best time, exploring the city, meeting friends and seeing snow. My heart was so happy. Lesson learned: take all of your PTO.

As I look to the new year, I ask myself, How will I take care of my whole self? Lately, I’ve been really into horoscope readings (I’m a Pisces with stereotypical “fish-y” traits). My most recent one said that 2022 will be a year of massive gains for me. It will be filled with traveling, wealth, love- all the good stuff. I think about where I want to be at the end of next year and I think about all the work I need to put in. But within that work, I need to have some fun and do something for me.

What are you doing to fill your cup, dear reader?

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