One year seems to have gone by so quickly, and yet when I consider all the things I have experience in just one year, that 12 months seems to stretch out considerably. I have learned more about myself in one year than I have in the past four years. I have learned who my real friends are, and they are not who I thought they would be. I have learned to let go of the things which hold me back, and I have learned to accept things that cannot be made better, or different. I have learned to cope with loss. This loss comes from a place of self-worth and confidence. I have lost my confidence. I have in the past, lost my sense of place and I have lost those strong thoughts which banish self-doubt and fear. I have felt fearful, confused and broken.
2014 won’t change what has happened, or what I have been through these 12 months. Some months a long time in the past, have been in retrospect, worse than the last 12 months, and some have been better. It isn’t that I have had a particularly hard year – having a job this year has fared better for my wellbeing than the year before. Only this year has been challenging, taxing and rewarding. I have confronted those which I believe have wronged me, and received no gratification or explanation for their behaviour. I have reached out to those I believe would always be there for me, only to fade into the background, betrayed and frustrated, empty-hearted and left yearning for the reasons why. I have pushed those away who do not deserve to be pushed, but to be loved and embraced and I have built up the confidence to say thank you without a blush rising in my cheeks.
I have cried beyond measure – weeping uncontrollably as to why my thoughts and feelings are sometimes so bleak, I think that nothing can save me. I have shouted, thrown objects, argued with my partner when I had no reason and I have learned some hard lessons, ones which I cannot take back, and ones which will probably stay with me for a long time, even if as a warning for the future.
I have taken the great leap that most of us are fearful or unwilling to take – I have begun to accept responsibility for my actions. I have begun to blame my mistakes on my own doing. I have begun to challenge the way I think, and thus the way I treat people has changed – this change is different, but is not always necessarily good.
I have spent this year figuring out what I enjoy, what gives me life, what gives me purpose. I have both lost and gained old habits, I have lost and gained hobbies and interests. I have doubted my passion and reason for carrying out certain tasks, certain things I used to enjoy doing. I have often wondered had I made better decisions, had I not behaved in a certain way, had I not made hasty choices, that the experiences and pain I have gone through would be different. That perhaps the way I treated people in the past is the reason for my undoing.
But if 2013 has taught me anything, and I’m sure it has, it would be that people, no matter how much you think they are there for you, no matter how long you have known them, no matter who you think they are – these people will always surprise you. Sometimes that surprise is not a good one, and you learn the hard way that losing a friend is horrible and confusing and upsetting. But most of all, I learned that I am not always to blame. That had it even been my actions or words which caused so much unrest among the people I thought cared, it is them who have failed to see past my mistakes. If I can forgive myself and others for mistakes, if I can give people second chances when they do not deserve one, others must surely be able to do this, too.
And that is where my thoughts on this year lie. It hasn’t been a bad one, but it could have gone smoother. Yet when I really stop to think about it, those friends who left me behind, who ridiculed me and cut our friendship in two without so much as a simple thought, those friends who are not even acquaintances now are no longer worth my thoughts. The people who have been there for me through difficult times are not always here for the really good times – either because they are unable to or these are personal to me – but I have learned that those who are with you for the good times, yet leave you to deal with your demons on your own are not good friends in the first place.
It’s hard accepting that a friendship you’ve had for so long is over. But once you realise the friendship is dead, once you understand that people who say they care will never be able to give you what you need from them there comes this kind of freedom. That the shackles of a false friendship has released and you feel so much more alive. Like cutting a dead weight from your back – it feels strange because it’s always been there, and this strangeness you mistake for betrayal, for loss and grief and anger. Then you realise the dead weight was hurting you anyway and never added anything significant to your life except comfortableness and familiarity.
The unfamiliar is something I have experienced a lot this past year. Starting a new blog; changing my blog to suit something I like and something I can be proud of; starting a new job with new skills; being in and strengthening my relationship with my partner; understanding what it means to love and to care; cutting my losses; confronting my demons; confronting people who do not like to be confronted; asking for forgiveness; asking for help; understanding myself; finding confidence.
These things have all been unfamiliar to me at some point – some still are. I have said things I have found difficult in the past to get my tongue around. I have questioned myself and my writing until the point I realise that filtering my opinion to suit others is not what life is about.
2013 has taught me to hate. 2014 will teach me to lose this hate. 2013 has taught me to defend and attack. 2014 will teach me to live my life without personal war. 2013 has taught me to doubt. 2014 will teach me to accept.
I know this because I am already doing the things I need to do in order to be a better person. But I am not becoming a better person because people have told me I should. I am becoming a better person because I am growing and I am changing and I am finally understanding what matters in life and most importantly, what matters in my life.
Some people, unfortunately, do not always matter. Especially when insignificant things are such a big deal to them, so much so that they do not see the person behind their own selfishness. They do not see how their words, their action – and inaction – upsets and affects other people. They do not see that by not accepting, by not willing to accept change, to accept that I am a different person, that I have my faults and I make mistakes, they do not see that they inadvertently reject me. I look at them silently judging, wanting me to be different and yet they will not themselves change.
To those people who do not understand me – I have never held enough hate in my heart to hate another human being, or to treat another person the way I have been treated by you. I am a person who feels deeply – I love and hate with a passion. Those people who have hurt me by judging me, by ridiculing me, by ridding me from your life – I am indifferent to your actions. But I am not a hateful person, only when I see something wrong, I believe I have the right to view my opinion in any which form I choose. I do not publish with hate in my heart, only a hope to make others understand and to incite debate, at the very worst.
Those people who have stood by me, who have been there for me, who have never judged me no matter how angry I seem or how callous my words – thank you. My blog followers, my Tumblr followers, my friends on Facebook and who I see in real life and especially and most importantly, my boyfriend Dan – thank you.
It may not always be possible to look at a person and see who they really are, but at least you are all trying. And at least when you do get to know a person, you accept them, even when they are not someone you thought they would be.
2013 taught me hate myself. 2014 will teach me to love again.
Happy New Year. I hope yours will be a good one.