It has been a long year. To give some of the pain of this year some redeeming value, I am trying to remember a quote from one of my posts, “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson”. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the lesson.
First the hard stuff. I have learned that a deep heartbreak can change you, make you a different person than you were before, not necessarily better or wiser, just changed. All this is supposed to get easier as you get older, but for me, it hasn’t. Deception and betrayal still hurt at 39 as much as they do at any age, older or younger.
I don’t recommend waiting until you are my age to deal with your childhood pain, either. But, so many people (evidently) don’t realize what they are hiding until later in life. I didn’t. It hits you when other pain hits you, and then everything comes out at once when you are good and weak. When it rains it pours. But better to weather the storm in one big blustery outing than to drag it out over years of painful drizzle.
Now, onto some of the better stuff. A great election year---finally! That HAS to be a sign of good things, doesn't it?
Another good thing: I have realized through all of this, well, actually I have been forced to realize, that I cannot let work be my life. I cannot give any company all of my hours, all of the days of the week, all of my passion and creativity. First of all, I have yet to work for a company that deserves or appreciates that, and secondly that is not a life.
I have discovered that the things that make me –well, me-- are some well hidden dreams I packed up and put in my virtual attic, and literally gave up on. Even though I said I wanted to be this or do that, the fact that I was doing nothing about it was just as good as giving up. Having started writing, taking pictures, and really spending time doing things I love recently, just being out in the world, and not working 24/7 has made me realize so much about who I am and who I almost lost in 2008. It’s easier than we think. No matter how fine we think we are, one thing can get out of hand, and then another, and then we feel overwhelmed and it is all too much. A friend of mine once told me that we all never know how close we are to our own borderlines. They can be closer than we ever dared think.
It is so important to do the things that make you –you. To keep in touch with the things and people that remind you who you really are and help you see the best parts of yourself. You can’t let anything get in the way of those touchstones, those reminders, that beauty. They are your rock, your stories, the music of your life.
Oh, and keeping a sense of humor, even in your darkest hours, is just the best medicine. I am so lucky to have friends that can make me laugh when it seems impossible and even inappropriate. Those times are the best!
All of this wisdom (and much of the pain) has only come to me in the latter part of this year, and I have not yet completely wrapped my heart and mind around it all. In other words, I have more to learn and more healing to do. But I think I have a clearer path ahead of me, and it is leading in a better direction. I hope and wish all of that and more for all of you—clear paths, happy futures, lots of love, lasting friendships, and all of your dreams come true.
Happy New Year to all of you!