January 4, 2011

Maybe It's Me: In Review, or, The Year Of . . .

My years tend to have themes. I’m not sure if this is something that happens organically or if I subconsciously look for trends throughout the year as a personal way of defining the seasons of my life. Maybe it’s me, but I tend to think it’s a combination of both. As life’s natural succession plays out, I find myself in reoccurring emotional states. And from that, I begin to see and feel the unique ambiance of that specific year.

This whole thing started in 2006 when I first noticed that the year seemed to have an endless feeling of undulating sadness to it. I don’t remember every event that contributed to that feeling of desolation. But some moments from that year will always stand out. My first real boyfriend and I decided to call it quits after three on-again-off-again years together. He was the first boy I had considered a real future with, so to accept that he wasn’t “the one” was a lot for a young, yet calloused heart, to deal with. I had the worst job of my life, working four months of doubles – 3am to 12pm, then 5pm to 11pm – as a baker. But, most painful at all, one of my best friends – my grandfather – passed away. In the end, I referred to 2006 as “The Sad Year.”

The following year, 2007, was the complete opposite and would end up fondly being known as “The Fun Year.” In February of that year I started the job that would eventually alter the entire course of my professional life: I began working as an alcohol spokes model. I dated a Rockstar. I travelled all over making new friends, seeing new places, trying new things, and having the absolute time of my life. And at the end of the year I took off to live in England. It was the ideal, carefree twenty-something life.

2008 was The Year of Self-Destruction. After coming home from Europe I hit a personal wall: I wasn’t sure I wanted to be back, and it took a lot for me to admit that maybe I had made a mistake by not staying abroad. I fell into an emotionally and psychological abusive relationship. I stopped working out, I stopped eating right. I made some pretty poor personal choices: everything I could do wrong to myself, I did. I put my health, my career, my entire life in jeopardy because of the things I did to myself.

And then 2009 was the much-needed Year of Self-Discovery. Along with realizing what I was really made of, I also began to understand what made me function: I began applying necessary changes to my own individuality and started to wholly appreciate and accept myself. Those drastic changes, while made abruptly, would be the best thing for me in the long run. Oddly enough, all of this good came from the biggest heartbreak of my life. And looking back, I wouldn’t change a single thing.

It wasn’t until the end of each of these years that, after much reflection, I would realize what purpose they served. What theme they eventually revealed themselves to be. In 2010, though, I knew within the first few weeks of the year what it was going to be all about: balance. Having a crappy job in your favorite city in the world. Having an outstanding relationship, but never having any money to do anything. Having the car you hate that’s nickel and diming you to death be replaced by a car you hate equally as much but that’s brand new, sans any problems. The beauty of living alone; the loneliness of living alone. It was a year of high highs and low lows, but one in which I was never surprised by or caught off guard when things quickly turned one way or another. Thus, it was The Year of Balance.

Again, maybe I’m reading much more than I should be by series of coincidental things that all happen within January to December timeframe. But it certainly helps rationalize and explain the ebb and flow each year seems to bring. And, I’ve never really been one to be taken with the notion of coincidences or fate. I believe in a God that has a plan, and if He wants to show me or teach me something, than He – being my Creator KNOWS my best learning style – will do so throughout a years-span in a story-telling, hands-on manner, letting me gleam what I need to when I’m ready, when I’ve put all the puzzle pieces together, when it’s time for me to start over again.

I know that it may seem like some of the year’s themes I’ve just mentioned hold some kind of negative connation – but believe me, I don’t see it that way. We need to be challenged! We need to grow! We need to be stretched beyond our borders! This helps us expand our minds, our beliefs, our sense of self – sometimes, we need to go through bouts of time that aren’t always happy.

So, what will this year hold for me? Will it be The Year of Hope? The Year I Conquered? The Year I Settled Down? The Year of Comfort?

I’m thoroughly excited at what this next year has in-store for me. To see how, not just this following year, but how the next five years, unfold.

I’ll try not look for anything that isn’t there; I won’t try and create or force moments to exist just to encourage a particular theme apply to my life. I’ll enjoy and learn as much as I can, while partaking in and absorbing in the life that happens organically around me.

All the while having learned from, appreciating, and always holding dear the Sad, Fun, the Self-Destructive, Self-Discovered, and Balanced years prior.