It seems unbelievable to me that 2012 has come to a rapid end. This year that began with so much hope, so much anticipation is ending now with so much unknowing. It’s been a most difficult year for me. I’ve gained a lot and lost a lot. I’ve felt happiness bigger and pain deeper than any emotions I have ever felt before. The birth of my first child. The tragic death of my closest friend. The bitter pain of betrayal. The absolute devastation of my marriage ending. It’s been tumultuous to say the least.
When things are hard, you learn. When things are challenging, you grow. I’ve done a lot of learning this year. The very core of the person I am has been drastically altered. Life does that. It changes us. It affects us and effects us and moves us and brings us such beauty and pain and joy and… and… and I am a different human being now to the person I was when I stood in this same house, husband by my side, baby in my belly, and watched the fireworks crack over the Sydney sky exactly twelve months ago today. Everything is different now.
I have spent a lot of time thinking in the dead of night. When things are finally silent. When I have a moment with myself. Thinking of what this year has brought me. The lessons I have learned and the good that has come from the difficulties I have faced. The only way out of the pain I am in right now, the fractious sense of self I have, is through. And to go through, one must do so with eyes open. Because denial, as easy as it may be temporarily, is only delaying the inevitable.
To get through, one must take a moment to truly reflect on what was, and what is, to try to define a way forward.
This year I have learned that if you want something, if you truly want it, you will make a way. If you don’t, you will make an excuse. Excuses (both mine and others) show me what we truly want. It’s so clear if you just listen.
I have learned that trying really hard to make everyone happy and ignoring yourself, your own feelings, your needs, is not what makes a good person.
I have learned that we are all good people, each and every one of us, one step away from making a mistake that could alter our lives. A stupid mistake does not make a bad person, but it does have the potential to tear everything apart and crack open the sky and rain tears on us all.
This year I have learned that there are a few times in life when you need to just listen to your instincts. Even when everyone tells you something different. Even if others think you are crazy. Just listen. You already know what needs to be done. Ignore logic, ignore the fear, just do what you need to do, and you will be alright.
I have learned that the only way that we can truly live is if we keep moving forward. And the only way to move forward is to grow. The only way to grow is to adapt. The only way to adapt is to face change. The only way to face change is to accept the things that have happened. And the only way we can accept is if we allow ourselves to exist, right now, in this time and place, with eyes and ears and arms wide open. We only get one chance to live the life we want… but within that one chance there are a million chances to change.
I learned that I need to find the strength, power and compassion to see every day as a new beginning. I haven’t learned how to do that yet, but I have learned that I should.
I have learned that to truly love someone you don’t have to be loved back. And I have learned that even when you love someone, even when you think they are your greatest love, it still might not be meant-to-be. And at the end of the day; even when it doesn’t feel like it’s every going to be OK; it is actually OK. Because the love I feel with my heart and in the very pit of my soul, is not based on someone elses feelings… but mine alone.
2012 has reminded me that some times letting go takes much greater power than holding on. And sometimes things that you held on so tight to before, just need to be let go. Feel it. Then let it go… like I plan to do with this year come this evening. Let all those feelings wash over me like a wave, and then just let them go.
I think that the most important thing I have learned this year is that when I’m having an awful day, a terrible month and a difficult year, things are forever changing. Pain lessens. Grief gets easier. These feelings that knot my stomach and sit in my throat, they don’t last forever. Maybe it’s true what they say, maybe the hardest lessons to learn are the ones we need most. Maybe everything truly does happen “for a reason.” Maybe not. I guess we wont ever really know because the world, it keeps on turning, and life is what we make it (fate or no fate)… maybe for us to know true joy we must first experience true pain. Maybe for us to be great we must first make great mistakes.
Maybe for us to be reborn we must first commit our old life into the ground.
I don’t know what 2013 will bring for Bo and I. But I do know I’m going to take charge of our life. That I am going to strive for happiness in whatever way I can. That I am going to grab life with both hands and live the hell out of it… showing my daughter that life, no matter how painful and challenging and damn hard it can be, is joyful and peaceful and absolutely glorious at the same time. And maybe, just maybe, something truly wonderful is just around the corner for us. We’ll keep on looking and living until we find it.
What did 2012 teach you?