My year in review.
In the last couple weeks, I have readily testified that 2014 was one of the worst years of my life. I’ve been through some really bad times. The worst one (before 2014) was a period of intense struggle and darkness. 2014 did not beat that year, but it tied it in terribleness in different ways.
But, strangely, 2014 was filled with so many great things for me. It was a year of intense change and growth. I’ve concluded after inventorying my year that 2014 is in my mind as the worst year (tied with that other year) because of the suffering. The endless suffering.
The past two weeks have been filled with peace and God’s presence, forcing me to take a step away from the pain and see the year with different eyes. I mean, I’m not stupid; I don’t suddenly have wonderful hopes for 2015. But, 2014 was so blessed. The pain was really only proportional to the wonder.
As I’ve admitted to myself before, even though I hurt in ways I’ve never hurt before and never want to again, I wouldn’t trade this year for any other. I was given so many good things that completely changed my life.
I was drowning in grace.
-A year ago, I was searching for a job. I hated my current job and was desperate to get a different one. I put in my notice and didn’t have a job to fall back on. A month later, I got my now current job. It’s not perfect, but it has blessed me in many ways. I work outside of America, in a country that speaks a language other than English. My coworkers really try to be kind to me despite the difficult language barrier.
-I met a guy (one of many; 2014 was “the year of men” for me…but it was only like 5). And I thought we really hit it off. I was so excited to make a friend!
-I met another guy–and was even more excited to make a friend. He seemed to share something particular with me.
0) Why these two blandly described men are important: being around them helped me learn more about myself. I learned some traits that are really important to me–such as banter. I feel loved during banter. ha
-Another guy. The guy who sat beside me at my new job and who helped me a lot. The guy I ended up liking so much. The guy I fell in love with–though I hesitate to say that since it isn’t requited; I think I lack a proper word to describe it. There are two things going on with this guy. 1) Ultimately, I fell in love. That’s never happened before. 2) I found out that life could be much better than anything I had ever expected–that my boring, dull, monotone life that had never exceeded a 5 on a scale (except maybe at a Blindside concert) of 1 to 10 could reach a 13. It was amazing. And I was overwhelmed. And I spent a lot of time later resisting my return to a life below 13. The loss of my 13, more than “falling in love”, was significant.
-I learned that love–love is the reason. I learned that, if love is real, if love is what it claims to be, it is the greatest reason of all. No one should be denied it. I don’t mean romantic love. I mean acceptance and appreciation. I mean Jesus.
-I learned that love is worth pain. That one good thing is worth many pains and much suffering. That it is better to have and lose than to never have or to avoid out of fear of pain.
-I learned that I am not alone. Really, this third guy didn’t teach me anything. He didn’t do anything special or explicit. But when I was with him I felt as if I belonged. That had never happened before. Unless you have also lived your life without connecting to another person (I don’t mean sharing experiences or being just like each other–we aren’t), you won’t understand. This completely changed my life. I learned that there is nothing wrong with me.
-I learned to hold on, even if there is no obvious hope, just because something is good.
-I learned that I am not a robot, that I cannot live to simply do actions.
-I learned that I could feel more deeply that I’d thought possible.
-I learned that I could miss my family.
-I became a bitch. Losing my 13 made me reevaluate the standards I’d had. The low-quality I’d accepted. The treatment I’d slated for myself. I stopped caring about all these small feelings of other people and I started letting myself feel and express. I say “No.”
-God brought me out of my pit. He set me free. I’m not addicted to porn anymore. It doesn’t have any power over me–though I can choose to look at it.
-I am afraid to let others know me, afraid they will turn against me. Maybe that they will see I am not the perfect person they try to make me into and reject me. I think that will be my New Year’s Resolution: shatter the image of perfection people have painted over me. Well, not perfection–but really high standards or as if I am not human sometimes. Or, that is at least how it feels.
-I pursued what I wanted even though I thought it pointless. I never used to do anything pointless.
-I learned that I don’t know the future, as much as I like to think that certain things are inevitable. Only God knows.
-My idol of power outside God, of some source of goodness or helpfulness present in the universe or nature, was destroyed. God gave me maybe a day or two of warning and then He ripped it out of me. No good thing exists apart from God. It’s a hard lesson, but God gives good things even to people who hate him.
-I found myself. Things are still somewhat rocky. I am wishy-washy on a few things. But, I am here…for the first time in a very very long time. I had totally forgotten myself. But now I am here.
-I’ve found where I belong. With God, with this strength that I now have, with this person I now am. I don’t know what will come next. I don’t know if guy #3 will be in my life (though he’ll always be important to me). But, I am me now. That is what 2015 will be: the year I walk with God. Just me.
-I paid off all my loans and my credit card!! Not something I learned, but it was an achievement!
-God is always good, no matter how painful everything is.
-I’ve learned how to express myself more.
This year was an amazing year. I’m sure I missed so many things. It was an amazingly painful, good year. I will try not to be afraid (a.k.a. my nature) and walk boldly into 2015.
But, really, I most wanted to write this post because I just wanted to tell him that I loved him. I don’t know if I ever will in person–not because I’m afraid. But I really do as well as I can, a fact that my logical brain questions but can’t refute since it lived through the past 8 months. I accept the good and bad that is visible in him. I just want him to be happy and well, even if that’s not with me.
NOTE: The theme of this website is happy, good things. Accordingly, the bad experiences I went through were left out of this post. The goal of the post was to amalgamate the goods things that I learned.