#Opinion

My 2022 Review: The year I learned to be kinder to myself

Thanking the memories (and the lessons) in 2022.

Fact: I can’t say I am sad 2022 is coming to an end.

Also a fact: as WILD as 2022 was, I can’t say I regret any of it.

As the year comes to a close, I’ve been thinking about all that I’ve been through. The good, the bad, and the downright apa benda ni of it all. While many of my 2022 highlights have been, well, high points, there is one pretty bittersweet lesson that stands out the most.

Fact: My 2022 review begins with ending a friendship that was no longer healthy.

It started out small: something they would do would make me feel some type of way. Then it progressed to them saying and doing things that actually hurt my feelings and anytime I brought it up, we’d fight and argue. Two weeks later, we’d make up. Tapi next month, jadi lagi.

A young woman asks So yeah, this keeps happening to me. Really exciting!?

I started feeling really torn about hanging out with them sebab they were one of my besties, but it felt like I was their emotional punching bag. Apa-apa I cakap pun they would maki and then get upset kalau I cuba bincang.

Eventually things got really bad, to the point that I would make up reasons to not see them. And after months (okay sebenarnya one whole year) of being pushed around, we had one huge, explosive fight where I tak tahan dah. I just luahkan all my perasaan (it wasn’t pretty) and said I wanted to be done with the friendship. We haven’t spoken since.

READ >> 5 Things I’ve Learnt From (Almost) Losing A Friendship

Sis, that last fight was giler dramatic ok. We both raised our voices and cried and I knew I could’ve handled it better. Like, a lot better. But I thought once I cut ties with them, the rest of 2022 would be easy breezy lemon squeezy.

Oh gurl. I was so wrong.

Fact: I thought that would be the toughest part of my 2022 review.

For the next couple of months, I became so fixated, like obsessed, with why the friendship failed. Memang tu je yang I borak with my other friends. I’d recap everything that happened and analyze it with a moral microscope. I kept thinking about how I could have been gentler with them in that last fight and how I should have understood their POV better. It felt like the only way for me to make sense of why my bestie would treat me that way was to blame myself.

Thankfully, I made the call to talk to my therapist about it. I went down a spiral of feeling like a failure of a friend. After listening to me, she told me that while it’s good to be compassionate to others, it’s also important to do the same for myself. She then said: “Don’t be so hard on yourself”.

And a month later, when I was stressing about a task I had, another person told me the exact same thing. Like, word for word. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Aku sumpah aku cuak. Like??? Eh??? Is 2022 trying to tell me something here???
Two people who look the same stand facing each other. One is called 2022 and the other is called me.

Fact: I’m going into 2023 as a kinder me.

I’ve always prided myself on being a kind person. I am not perfect, but I know I try my best. And when that last fight happened and I basically blew up, I felt so much shame and guilt. I could make so many excuses for my ex-friend/bully in my head even after they treated me so badly, but I found it so hard to forgive myself for messing up that time. So how can I say I am a kind person if I am unable to be kind to the most important person in my life?

2022 really challenged me and the way I treat myself. It wasn’t easy at all and really not fun. But I’ve been trying to be more aware of the moments when I start blaming and shaming myself because that honestly doesn’t do anyone any good. Shame only makes it harder for us to learn from our mistakes.

But they year also taught me that kindness is not the same as infinite patience. Kita ni manusia ya, bukan doormat untuk dipijak. So while I wish I was kinder when I set that final boundary, I am also proud of myself for walking away from a friendship that broke me down rather than built me up.

And you know what, maybe in 2023 I WILL get better at setting boundaries, choosing my friends, and choosing myself. And I hope you do too.

I also hope you learned something from this about kindness and forgiveness and friendship. If you had a big lesson from your 2022 Review, I’d love to learn from it too. Share dekat comments k? See you again in 2023 💙


PS: If you’re going through a challenging time, whether with your friends, family or apa2 pun, you can always call Talian Kasih @ 15999 / WhatsApp  019 26 15999 or BUDDY Bear @ 1-800-18-2327. They’ll be able to provide you counselling, advice, and a listening ear — which we all need sometimes!

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Tati Wira

A 20-something fierce believer of children's rights!
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[…] normally prioritize when it comes to making these resolutions. Last month, I wrote about how leaving an unhealthy friendship taught about me kindness. And that’s why I’m making friendships a priority in my 2023 […]

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