Let me start simply by saying that for the most part, this year was pretty average. Most of the time it was pretty well below average if I were to be completely honest.
This year, particularly the last couple of months, has brought with it some hard truths and unpleasant realisations. First and foremost on this list is that I no longer have the luxury of being a kid. Something about the last couple of months have made me realise that, at 21, it’s probably time to start acting more like an adult. That means getting a full time job (eeep!) and working towards that big scary thing called a career. It means accepting responsibility and admitting when I’m wrong. It means working towards my goals instead of sitting on my butt (which will probably get fat if I continue to do so!) And it means living, instead of merely existing. After all, to quote an Anberlin favourite of mine, there’s more to living than being alive.
This year has taught me a few things. Firstly, you can’t rely on anyone, at least not completely. Even the people who are closest to you will eventually let you down. It doesn’t matter if they mean to or not, that feeling of disappointment when they do will hit you hard and will probably come with a healthy dose of hurt too. But don’t think you’re exempt from that because you will inevitably let people down too, and the truth is, that hurts just as much.
Another thing I’ve learnt is that life can and will throw you curveballs. The minute you become content in something, life will turn around, trip you over and then point at you and laugh while you try to pick up the pieces of your shattered illusions and put them back together. One of the biggest curveball moments for me in 2013 was when I lost my job at the bookstore. That, while being one of the lowest point of my life to date, just showed me that things can always change, especially when we least expect them to.
Over the last twelve months, I’ve realised that we often outgrow people. The friends for life pacts we make when we’re younger just don’t seem to be as strong as we hoped they would be when we were kids. But often too, we lose friends due to lack of contact. Relationships are a two way street and if one side fails to keep in contact, the other will soon follow suit. Unless you want your life to become a ‘How To’ guide to becoming a lonely recluse, pick up the goddamn phone. And if, after you’ve made plenty of effort and get no response, perhaps it’s time to cut ties and move on from pointless relationships that will inevitably drag you down.
And finally, one of the major things that I have discovered this year is that you can’t help who you fall in love with, or who you don’t. Unrequited love is a painful and miserable thing, but it is no one’s fault. Sometimes, it’s just not meant to be. But if you do fall in love with someone who feels the same way, then you should hold on to them and make sure that they know that they’re special to you. Even if, like me, affection is hard for you.
Basically this year for me has been largely unpleasant, with a few memorable times that I will remember until I either die or go senile. 2013 has been a year of sorrow and anger, of disappointment and discontent. It has been bitter and unmotivated, stressful and utterly exhausting. But in amongst that there have been incredible hugs and gentle kisses. There has been passion and laughter and great food and red wine. There has been love and friendship and the occasional moment where I can speak aloud as well as I can speak on paper. And I’m not saying 2014 is going to be any better or worse. I don’t know yet, because that’s still in the future. But I will say that I’ll be thankful when this year is done and hope that next year might be a little more fun.
Happy (ever so slightly early) New Year.