Dear shiny disco balls awaiting descension,
Today is New Years’ Eve (obviously)! The past few weeks my social media feeds have been overwhelmed by posts in regards to how terrible the year has been. People have been waiting for the year to end since the beginning of December, hoping and praying for the demise of the villainous 2016. I believe the phrase “bye Felicia” sums it up well (also, sorry Felicia).
It’s true there have been some dreadful occurrences this year. In many of my blog posts I have been far from subtle about the fact that in my personal life, this year really kicked my butt. I’ve thoroughly expressed in detail all I’ve had to battle through and all I have lost. I agree with the majority of the internet that 2016 wasn’t always pleasant. However, I disagree with the majority as well in that it seems they keep wanting to blame this year for all the awfulness we’ve endured. The truth is, it has nothing to do with the year at all.
There have been amazing years and tumultuous years all throughout history, but the fact is that the numbers associated with the events that have happened are really quite arbitrary. It takes 365.25 days, 8760 hours for our little space blip named Earth to perform a celestial ballet about the sun. Whether we call it a ballet, a year, or a bucket of fluffy puppies, it remains true that we as humans decided that 365 days make up a single year. Why we did that, I haven’t the slightest idea. Dammit Jim, I’m a writer, not an astronomer!
It can wrinkle your brain to realize that time as we know it is in a way, entirely made up. It also means that blaming a single date for a terrible event, or a cluster of them, makes absolutely no sense. As human beings, we are particularly talented at finding someone or something responsible for terrible circumstances. Every problem must have a target to blame so that our anger and anguish may be rightly placed. If we don’t have something to hold at fault, then we may end up having to think deeper, and some people aren’t fond of that prospect.
Through this year I have learned a new truth; I must release that which I cannot control. That doesn’t mean I must become inactive or complacent, but as someone chronically ill, it has become extremely obvious that there are some aspects of my life I can control and some that I cannot, namely my health and the actions of others. Regardless of how I panic some things are truly out of my hands, and stress will only worsen my wellness without having any affect on the problem I face. Therefore it is best to let it go, as much as my anxiety disorder allows me at least.
I have also learned that when life has caused me to be forlorn, thankfulness for the little things makes life far more bearable. Throughout all my misery this year, I have found many things that didn’t solve my problems, but certainly made them less painful to fight. The kindness from strangers and friends, little bits of helpfulness here and there, and itty bitty victories have kept me pushing forward.
By far, the most valuable lesson this year has offered me was that everything I was told by others that I could not do, I did. So many of my worst nightmares came true and amazingly enough, between my own persistence and kindness from friends, I survived them. I have realized that I am far stronger and far more resourceful that I ever thought I was. I have also began to accept the insane notion that I’m not completely terrible or burdensome on those I love, and that there’s much more to me than I and my abusers have credited me for. Without a doubt I can honestly say that though I have lost a great deal, I’ve gained quite a bit too. What I have gained may not be tangible, but I promise you, my heart and soul are full.
Tomorrow will be January 1, 2017. I’ll still be myself, a concoction of experiences over 26 years all held together by stardust and sarcasm. I’ll still have all my frustrating issues that I haven’t entirely figured out yet, and still have the chronic illness I’ve always had. I don’t expect change to come with the new year because It is never too early or too late to make a promise to myself, give myself a gift, or to be introspective. I expect change every single day of my life; in fact, I strive for it.
Though it is true that we should celebrate making it to a New Year and being alive, the new year doesn’t dictate my life or what happens when. The only one that should have such power over my personal timeline is myself. The new year will bring change, naturally. But I simply refuse to let it command every single aspect of my life, and I certainly will not lay all the blame of my misfortune on a meaningless number like 2016. I don’t know what is to blame for my hardship this year or any other, but as I get older I’m realizing that finding blame is not nearly as important as finding goodness in the most heart-wrenching conditions.
I’m excited for the new year, and I’m excited for tomorrow. However, I’d be excited for tomorrow whether it was a new year or not, because each day I am alive is another I can add to my life. Some of the days are dreadful and painful while others are lovely as can be. As I always say, regardless of the day, they all impact me and add to who I have become.
I’m not counting on an ending, I’m counting on plenty of beginnings. Here’s to not only the New Year, but to every new day ahead. I hope they’re all wondrous.
What you do with your life is not nearly as important as who you do it with.