2013 was a year of change.
For as long as I have kept this blog (nine years in 2014! wohoo!), I have always dedicated a blog post to bid goodbye to the year that was and to prepare for the year ahead. To keep up with tradition, I am doing the same this year, but believe me when I say that at the end of the day, we don't really know anything.
A year ago, I thought I had everything figured out. I just knew where I was going and how to get there, and then one day, I woke up and bam! nothing was where I assumed and wanted it would be. While I'm a big believer in knowing what you want and going after it, there are truly moments when God takes your carefully made plans, crushes them, and replaces it with His own.
Switching careers a few months before turning 25 was probably the most difficult thing I had to go through in the past year. The uncertainty of not having a stable job in the summer of 2013 was a humbling experience for me because I have always been defined by the work that I did. In a month's time, I was stripped of the things that I used to define me. At 24, I was no longer an educational therapist or a college professor and for the first time since I started working at the age of 19, I didn't know where to go next. And while it may seem like a cliche, it was when I was absolutely at the end of my rope that God picked me up and switched the direction that I was going to.
2013 was also the year I truly hit rock bottom in more ways than I could ever imagine. I have discovered the dangers of having a temper, of bottling things up inside instead of expressing them in a healthy manner, and the importance of being responsible for my own actions. This year earned me the most battle scars, and while I wanted to hide them and pretend I didn't have them, I realized doing so would take away the significance of this year. I have made a lot of mistakes this year that made me question everything I have believed and stood for. It has been a year of pushing, pulling, and choosing what worked for me. Most people underestimate the power of their own choices and this year I discovered its importance. No matter who was or wasn't around me, I had the choice to live a life that was pleasant and nowhere near miserable.
It was also this year that I learned how to see people for who they are: the good, the ugly, the different, and yet chose to love them anyway. Mr. Marley was right in saying that everyone, at one point or another, would hurt you, but you just have to make a decision as to who are the ones worth hurting for (naks, dramarama!). However, it was also this year that I learned the value of cutting ties.
I, just like Elizabeth Gilbert, have been a victim of my optimism too many times to count. This person deserves to be loved so I endure whatever this person does to me because maybe my love can change them. This friendship is way too precious, it has helped me over the years, but it's no longer working but letting that friendship go would be a bitchy thing to do. This man is obviously a boy, but what if he changes for me?
I have let me own idealistic nature take over me and so many times, it has hurt me. Yes, I believe that "love endures" and "love always hopes for the best". But truth is, we can love from afar. Sometimes, the best thing we can do for people is let them go and pray that they find their way to happiness. I think constantly being used as an emotional punching bag has led to my temper problems. Letting people go, and trusting that if God wills them to be in our lives they will be back, could possibly be the best thing I have given to them and myself this year.
I have also learned to stop putting up walls like i'm rebuilding the Great Wall of China. In an effort to maintain relationships that I never wanted in the first place, I begun putting up walls. The walls turned into pretenses. It was a pull between wanting to be loved and not allowing anyone close enough to hurt me (shucks, i have turned into a cliche!).
The ones closest to my heart have been honest enough to tell me that life cannot work that way. I should let my defenses down and be true to who I am, people who love me for me will stay, and obviously those who don't will walk away, and that's okay (I should really be getting a medal when it comes to this rhyming thing or at least a cheerleader uniform!).
And since this has been a year of change, I made a major one two days before the turn of the year: I chopped off my hair. For someone who has always found solace in my long locks, this was a major change that symbolized a significant change inside of me.
You see, for the longest time, it has always been about what other people wanted from me, and while I have no intention of being selfish, I realized (at the Salon, while they were cutting my hair mala Carrie Bradshaw) that I could only love and live the life I desire if I love myself. I can't dislike myself, and try to fit into everyone's expected mold of me without breaking down ala Britney Spears circa 2007.
I need to fix things on the inside if I wish to have successful relationships on the outside. I don't know why it took me 25 years to get this, but I'm glad I still have time to change it. I'm also grateful for multiple chances given by my Heavenly Father, it is only through His grace, wisdom, and goodness that I still have the chance to get my act together.
I've always said that the year to come will be my best year ever, but I never realized that making it the best year starts with one thing: me.
So, closing off this entry with two songs (sorry no Kendrick, Drake, or even The Weeknd) that has defined my year, and a verse to wrap 2013 rather nicely.
Wishing you a happy 2014 with blessings that are more than you have ever asked for, hoped for, and imagined.
Darling, the best is yet to come.