Ugh. 2014. You were a hell of a year.
2014 left me feeling wrecked and ruined. Thinking back on this last year elicits a deep gut punch of shame and worthlessness that I didn’t even know was on the spectrum of the scale of emotions. I just felt dull and full of guilt. I was physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally spent.
I was a dweller in comfort and never have felt less myself. I never wanted to get this comfortable. I never thought I’d be the girl living with her parents post-grad. I thought I’d the girl that was doing and seeing and risking, packing up everything and moving to a new place just for the thrill of it. I had always been ‘that girl’, or at least that was the girl I knew I wanted to be.I lived this year in a fog and had no idea where my life was going. It was terrible and confusing. It still is. I became so sick of myself I couldn't figure out why everyone else wouldn't be as well. I spoke to myself in a way that I would never dare speak to anyone else. I was stuck in my own head and the more I fought to get out of it the more self-involved I became.
I went silent. I lost my voice and when I found it I was quickly reminded that I was not good enough to speak. It's hard to talk about your life when you're embarrassed by it. There were times when I felt too deeply, too much hurt and all I could do was feel. Then other times I was nothing. I felt the way clouds do as they sit between mountains. Life is a solitary experience. My comfort in being alone would drift in and out into loneliness. I knew I should be around community and people yet the anxiety that came from social gatherings made it almost unbearable and effects of the small talk would take me days to recover from.
I faced death and I faced life. I faced the terrible pain that comes from living through my 'works' to gain worth from people that was never going to come. Depression would creep in out of nowhere, like the evil crawler of the dawn that it is and stretch me thin within the walls of my own mind. How can something that is a part of you work so hard at your own demise? How can your body that you want to love so badly always, always hurt? I faced anxiety that laid me out on the floor realizing, “OH, this is what people are talking about”. It’s crippling and unexplainable.
I learned a lot this year. I learned I can’t do fake. I learned that family is really hard. I learned about parts of my personality that I had tried to keep hidden because years of growing up and reading people’s reactions to me had taught me they were shameful, to be afraid. I learned I don’t have to be defined by what other people think of me. I learned that I can change my roles. I learned I hate the term ‘kill them with kindness’ because some people are cruel and manipulative.
I already know there will be a time when I miss 2014. Closer than I think I will find the silver lining because through sadness, confusion, vulnerability and navigating the waves of loneliness I am still here. I am alive. I am breathing. The flittering and distant flame is still there and fuel is being added to the fire that is me.
Life is rough. Life is messy. Life is complicated.
I am rough. I am messy. I am complicated.
Being alive and human on this grand, breathtaking Earth is rough and messy and complicated.
Admitting all this makes me feel so selfish. Why does saying I had a sucky year make me feel like I just wasn’t trying hard enough, that I’m just not a good enough Christian? I mean, how could I, an 'American-middle class-white-female' have any right to whine?
So, I say all this knowing that there will be years worse than this and there will be better. I say this knowing that perspective is everything and I am in an extremely fortunate position in the grand scheme of things. No year can be all darkness and I did have so much joy mixed in. Life is good. This year I caught glimpses of eternity. I got months and months of cherished and sacred time with my Grandma that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I got to see places new and old. I got to be consoled by the rugged Oregon coastline, lost amongst the pines that point me to a higher Power.
2015 is going to be better, filled with magic and madness.
I’m also not naïve enough to think that a sudden change of digits on the calendar will take the daily battles away. It’s a process. New struggles will come. They will change me. I will learn. I will grow. I will love. I will trust.
Basically this next year I just want new mercies. Whatever those are. Sounds like the right thing to want at this point. To wake up everyday and rejoice in the fact that it is new. I am new. I can try again. I can fail again. I want to take risks and ride into life bravely, once again.
FOR NARNIA…FOR FRODO.
Sometimes we just have a bad year.