As many of us do, I sat back last night as the year came to a close, reflecting. Perhaps it’s cliche’, maybe because it’s only natural for most of us to do so. However, I didn’t do it in prototypical “New year, new me” fashion. I sat home alone and sober, actually reflecting. Not just on the past year but on all of those I’ve been lucky enough to make it through and for each I’ve been blessed with.
Some days I look back at all I’ve been through and just shake my head in amazement. Astonished at all I’ve made it out of. I truly have been blessed and I don’t use the word lightly. Although it didn’t always feel that way and can be easy to forget. I’ve lost so many friends at early ages to a single bad decision they made as well as others who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. These days I do my best to remain grateful for all I have rather than griping about all I don’t. I try to look at those less fortunate than me and remind myself it could be me as opposed to looking at those more fortunate and envying them.
Looking back, everything in my life has happened for a reason. Each person I’ve been lucky enough to have in my life served a purpose. I’ve learned more from mistakes I’ve made and my personal experiences than I ever did in any classroom. Those lessons were hard learned. Paid for in pain. I don’t have regrets today, just lessons learned. Lessons I do my very best to try and apply to my life today.
So as I sat in my favorite chair last night as the clock struck midnight, I thought about the person I want to be and how far I have to go. If I’m being completely honest, I haven’t been happy in so long sometimes I forget what it even feels like. I don’t say that for sympathy, I don’t feel sorry for myself. I’m the reason I haven’t been happy. I don’t allow myself to be content, it’s just not how I’m wired. I’m too used to waiting for the storm after the quiet to enjoy the silence.
I woke up at 4:30 AM today and was out for a run by 5. It was sixteen degrees here in Philadelphia when I headed out and my weather app said it felt like eight degrees. Needless to say, I didn’t want to run. Which is exactly why I went and probably why I even took up running almost two years ago in the first place. Because so much of my life has been based off of doing what I want. I’ve made the joke in the past that even my rock bottom was furnished but it’s true. I’ve had it relatively easy. Life’s not supposed to be easy or be about doing what we want to do, at least not all the time.
After my run, I sent two apologetic texts to people who probably haven’t so much as thought about the thing I apologized for in awhile — simply because I never apologized and genuinely don’t want to bring any problems from 2017 into this year. I didn’t apologize for them, I did it for my peace of mind. To clean up the crumbs of 2017, so to speak.
I thought a lot about peace and forgiveness last night. Those two words just kept making their way to the front of my mind. While I would never allow myself to say ‘new year, new me’, there’s plenty of changes I would like to make and I think peace and forgiveness are where it starts. I need to make peace with and forgive myself for things maybe even I don’t realize I haven’t yet. It’ll be as complicated as it sounds. None of the things I hope to accomplish this year will be easy but nobody said life would be.