I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because (at least in my case) this is nothing but a recipe for disaster. Yet, there’s something about the closing of another year that turns me into somewhat of a sentimental asshole.
I say “asshole” because I’m a bit of skeptic when it comes to affairs of the heart. If you have to picture what that means, just imagine the Grinch (or Chelsea Handler) and you’ll get a better idea of what I’m talking about here. I’m not that girl who cries during romantic movies (usually), I roll my eyes at all the star-crossed lovers bullshit (even though I dig me some Shakespeare now and then), and unless you’re related to me—or I really like you, or you’ve just experienced some horrific tragedy—please do not attempt to hug me. I have a personal space bubble and if you intentionally pop it without my permission you’ll see an awkward expression cross my face that means I’ve just made a mental note to always stay at least five feet away from you (unless I’ve been drinking, then I tend to hug everyone, so you’re totally in the clear there). So, as you can see, I’m usually not sappy, and I think happy people are assholes. (Ok, not all of you, just most of you.)
If you follow this blog you might also remember that I write letters to myself (and at times I ramble a bit). To me, writing is like therapy and, believe it or not, there’s a very large chunk of my writing that I don’t share (and there’s probably plenty that I do share when I probably shouldn’t). Either way, that’s the joy of this blog—it’s mine and I can say whatever I want. Hopefully it makes you laugh, or maybe it makes you realize that you’re not alone when you feel a little less than sane. Life has a funny way of turning us all into crazy-ass freaks sometimes. It’s natural, really. And, there’s nothing crazy-ass freaks love more than knowing there’s other crazy-ass freaks out there that are just like them (or at least feel like them, anyway).
My point (and I do have one) is that I’m about to get a little reflective and sentimental on you. Why? Because, if I’m being honest, 2017 has been a less-than-stellar year for me, but she had her bright moments too. In looking back over some of the things I’ve written to myself over the last 362 days (because as I’m writing this the year isn’t quite over yet), I realized that even at the lowest points of 2017, I came away with “something.” It may not always have been what I wanted, but again, life is funny that way—just when you think you’re at the end of your rope, she has a way of pulling you back up (whether you like it or not).
So, (if you care to read on) here’s a bit of my year in review and the lessons I learned along the way …
2017 has been a year of love lost, love found, and of being angry and pushing through it. The love I lost was one I spent years building and maintaining—but the love I found was for the woman I see in the mirror. It’s been a year of making friends, losing them, reaching out and holding back. I learned that, like love, friendship moves freely in both directions and I can’t carry it on my own—and I shouldn’t have to. Though the circle sometimes gets smaller, the ones who stay (and reach back) are the ones worth holding on to.
2017 has been a year of sickness (both inside and out) and realizing just how much I take for granted, and how lucky we really are when we’re healthy. Though time was lost and fear set in, I learned how to tell myself “this will end” and “you WILL be ok.” Oddly enough, sometimes my greatest strength (and my most powerful wisdom) came when my world was spinning and my face was in the toilet.
2017 has been a year of letting go of lies and telling the truth about myself—no matter how uncomfortable it makes some people. It’s been a year of hanging the “closed for business” sign on my heart and not making any excuses for having it there, because those who knock (and keep knocking even when I don’t answer) will find a way back in.
2017 has been a year of realizing that we’re all on different journeys. My journey isn’t the same as your journey, even though I sometimes wish it was. Despite all my meticulous planning and careful navigation, it might seem my roads always lead to dead-ends. But, the funny thing about getting lost is that sometimes, even when it takes a really long time and you just wanna scream “fuck you” and throw your boot off the side of a mountain (this is a nod to my good friend, Cheryl Strayed … ok, we’re not really friends I only wish we were) — it’s the only way it can really bring you back to being found.
2017 has been a year of having hopes crushed, having dreams realized and of understanding that the only way to make anything happen is by trusting in myself. I learned that sometimes the only thing to do is move forward—no matter how slowly, no matter how old I am, and no matter how much it hurts.
And, in the end, 2017 has been a year of finding a way to take all of this (and more) and doing the one thing we can do when life puts us through the wringer and spits us back out again—we get out the iron, smooth out the wrinkles and we learn from what experience teaches us. Life’s lessons aren’t always easy, but the important ones never are.
I’m not naïve enough to believe that 2018 will be the year that everything changes for the better—but it might. That, my friends, is the beauty in looking forward—the future is unwritten. Whatever words fall on the page in the year ahead, I hope they’re good ones, because life is nothing without a little reflection, and a little inspiration.
Though he was a drunken, womanizing fool (most of the time), Charles Bukowski is one of my all-time favorite poets. He has some spectacular quotes, but as I turn the page on 2017 and look forward to the new year, this one says it all …