Dear Jessica,

I spent my new year’s eve crying on my kitchen floor. Well, some of it. I spent the other time curled up in bed with my mother like I would when I was a toddler. My ex-boy texted me. I broke up with him in September and ghosted him. I haven’t spoken to him since. He had some questions for me, and I could tell that he hasn’t been doing well. I felt all this guilt sink in around my neck and shoulders, like a soggy bath towel. It was one of the worst feelings. I couldn’t help but feel that my involvement in his life contributed to a lot of the problems that he’s been having. As we were conversing, it dawned on me that it was new year’s eve. Sure, I’d already thought about it, come up with some resolutions that I’ll never stick to, made the same jokes that everyone has been making about 2017. I hadn’t thought about how every year has been the same for me though, lately anyway. Different things happen, but the themes are pretty consistent. Death, making friendships, losing friendships, falling in love, getting my heart broken, struggling in school. Pretty standard life for a teenage girl I think, when you boil it down.

So I thought about this boy, and how our one year anniversary would have been in just about two weeks, and how I had come into his life as some sparkly magical creature that made him feel special then tore that away. Everything I thought we had was artificial. I should have known better, because these things never last, and I always get my hopes up for something that not only makes me happy, but that I’m confident will stay. Those things don’t seem to exist. When it hit me, I stopped pouring my glass of juice and just laid down on the kitchen floor. I’d been tearing up throughout my conversation with said boy, but at this point I just let myself cry. Why keep trying when happiness doesn’t last and memories only end up tasting artificial later on?These things I mentioned that make me happy are no better than the added sugars in that glass of juice.

In less than an hour, it would be the new year, another “fresh start.” My evening had been going fine until I began this mini existential crisis, which I’m laughing about as I write this. That sounds so dramatic! I suppose they happen to the best of us. Anyhow, I began talking to myself as I put away the dishes, repeating phrases from the conversation with him.

“Either way she withers.”

“She didn’t mean that.”

“I thought I should tell you so it won’t come as a surprise.”

“I still want to see the stars at Cherry Springs.”

“Even with as angry as I’ve been, I’m still keeping that promise.”

Out of context those all probably just seem like gibberish, but I couldn’t get them out of my head. My brain felt like that spinning thing full of the numbered balls that they have at bingo, or the lottery. I felt nauseous, helpless in the moment. I went back upstairs and crawled into my bed. I closed my computer and just waited. Normally, I’d be asleep by now, but I was waiting for midnight. Why? I had no idea why. My mom was already dozing off in the other room. Why would I spend my last minutes of 2017 not being able to stop thinking about how pointless everything seems? I surely couldn’t fall asleep yet, and I suddenly decided that I didn’t want to be alone.

I crawled into bed with my mom, and she waited up with me. In the final twenty minutes of last year, we talked about my dreams and nightmares, and how I’ve been having a hard time sleeping, and how she was worried about me, and how she didn’t know how to help me and that I should start seeing a therapist. As much as I hated hearing that, I knew she was probably right, so I didn’t say anything in response. I missed when the clock struck midnight, but I knew it was the new year from the sounds of people banging pots and pans outside to scare away the bad spirits and the echoing fireworks in the distance.

Everything was exactly the same as it was just a minute before.

I am confident that this year will be the same as the last, and the one before, and if I don’t distract myself, I keep going back to my theory that happiness is artificial.

I wanted to tell you all of this because I trust you and want your advice. I know you’re caught up in your own life right, so I didn’t want to email you again. I hope you’re doing alright. For what it’s worth, I’ve been better but I think I’ll be okay. These feelings I’m having come and go, and I’ve handled them before. Of course that just means trying not to acknowledge them until they go away, but it seems that’s always temporary as well. I miss you and I love you and you’re one of my favorite people in the world. Thank you for putting up with my angsty and dramatic adolescent behavior. I hope I talk to you soon, so we can catch up a bit. I have more book recommendations and gossip to tell you.

P.S. I had forgotten how much I need my mom, and even though I hate being vulnerable around her, I’m glad that I was able to spend the last few minutes of 2017 with her like I did. You should remind me of that whenever I complain about her.