This year, I got everything I wanted. And it’s sucked.
Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I made everything that I wanted happen. So, I’ll say it again, this time a little differently—more accurately: this year, I made everything that I wanted happen, and it sucked.
But you won’t see me posting any “good riddance, year” memes as has become the miserable custom of folks annually. You won’t see me grumbling how this year has been the worst. Because the year itself hasn’t sucked.
What I’ve chosen to make of it has sucked. How my body has handled the changes has sucked. The reality setting in that changing one’s entire life in a single year or two is difficult (no matter how positive the outcome) has sucked. And if we take a good look at ourselves, this is probably an accurate statement for most of us.
Happiness doesn’t come easy. Finding it—making it, rather—is hard. It’s a moment-to-moment choice that we’ve all succeeded at many times in the year, and failed at many times more.
It’s been a big one for me. I quit a corporate job for my “dream” job as an editor at a mindful publication. I moved half across the country by myself to a place where my heart feels more at home. I climbed two more 14,000-foot mountains, and entered into a relationship that continues to grow strong. More than that, really. I’ve fallen in love.
And yet that big lifestyle leap gave me a month-long migraine and started my hair falling out. The dream job and following my heart to it came with a huge pay cut that has been anything but easy to navigate. I have needed to climb to those new, mountainous heights because it has forced me to breathe when I have sometimes forgotten to in dealing with my anxiety.
And love is a choice that I have had to make every second despite it being my biggest wish come true. It has been far more tiring than I’ve ever imagined to both face and express my fears of abandonment, and my issues with trust. It has taken exhaustive work to be patient and to come to understand this wonderful human and his heart instead of running from him or pushing him away as my assumptions raise their pitch forks.
Honestly? This entire year, survival mode has been in high gear, and try as I may to be Zen, everything in my universe feels shaken up. And that’s because it is.
The dust of this new universe I’ve created for myself is still swirling about. Parts of life are still suspended mid-air while other parts are settling or falling into place. And so at the turn of the year, it’s time to clear away the mess of what doesn’t belong, what doesn’t fit, what doesn’t add beauty or pleasure in one way or another.
So, yes, I got everything I wanted. And yes, this past year has still been painful. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Growth ought to be a bit uncomfortable, after all.
A difficult year doesn’t mean that the “negative” should be carelessly kicked to the curb with a single “F*ck this year” meme pinned to its banged-up surface like a bad piece of furniture. No, a difficult year deserves reverence. It deserves a love note. It deserves a thank you for the lessons, and a more careful look at our successes.
We had a year, after all, we should perhaps be a bit more grateful.