2009 was a bad year.
No, let me rephrase that.
2009 was a totally shitty year.
That might not be an adequate description either.
2009 was without a doubt the hardest and worst year of my entire life, where I saw some of the darkest days I have ever experienced.
I am glad it is over.
I have been thinking a lot lately about writing about 2009. I couldn't write about it at the time, I was all emo and shit, it would have just annoyed you. Hell, it annoyed me so much I quit writing in my journal. I'm not going to go back and dig all that up to spew here. The short rundown is that everything was going sideways on the fasttrack to fucked up, and a lot of it was totally out of my control. My career was totally fucked, I'd gone from working for one awful manager in a totally dysfunctional team to reporting to what could possibly be the most arrogant elitist misogynistic douchebag in the company who wouldn't have hired me and totally changed the job I had been hired to do by my the prior team manager (who I think I only worked for for about a month before he left the team). My personal life was a train wreck, compounded by the fact that I felt completely incompetent by the decaying orbit of my career and the still smouldering crater of my divorce on the personal landscape. I ended up going through a lot of therapy and on anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications to try and re-set my brain, but the fact that I was depressed and out of control of my neurotransmitters made me feel like a failure - why couldn't I just get happy?
Things started getting better when I quit my job, funny but being unemployed let me get off the anti-anxiety meds. I took five months off and lived off savings while trying to get my shit back together. Today I've got a solid job and I'm proving to myself again that I'm not just a one-trick pony who got lucky and was one of management's darlings for awhile, but truly competent and useful. I've worked through a lot of my personal issues and while I won't lie and pretend everything is exactly how I dreamed it would be, I'm healthy and happy again and have been off the anti-depressants for 2 months now.
So why the hell am I blogging about this at all? Am I looking for pity? To create drama? Send secret passive aggressive messages to people? No on all counts (let's face it, that bit about the misogynist douchebag was hardly passive, and I'd tell him that to his face if I ran into him). I'm writing about this because writing is part of who I am.
If you go back and read the blog's history, I write about a lot of things, but there is a thread going through much of it that relates to my personal journey of self-awareness, and my search for happy. And I've been journeying a lot lately, so I expect I'll be spending a fair amount of time here. I don't know if anyone reads this or cares, but writing and publishing it makes me feel better. There are some things I am intensely private about by choice. But a lot of things I have a need to express, because keeping them inside feels shameful when they shouldn't be
. And if you want to judge me for my experiences or feelings or the fact that I'm sharing them with the world, fuck you. This is who I am, and I don't need negative energy in my life. You should stop reading my blog.
So 2009 sucked ass. There were times that I wanted to run away and start over - new town, new life, new job, maybe even a new name, new hair, new everything - anything that would make me be anyone but me. Everything was so fucked up, I just wanted to try again, get a second chance to do things right. But that wouldn't have actually fixed anything. I would have just moved all my emotional shit to a new geography. I had
to work through it. And working through it SUCKED
. There were friends who helped me when I would let them, friends who brought me smoothies when I couldn't eat anything, friends who would talk to me for hours while I cried, hell I even re-established a relationship with my mom, who I hadn't seen in 9 years but ended up talking to near daily. And while I NEVER EVER want another year like 2009, I learned a lot for it and am a healthier person today for having experienced it.
Possibly the most important lesson I learned was to let go of things I can't control. Stress is inefficient and a waste of energy in many cases. Missed your flight? Well, not a whole hell of a lot you can do except rebook and wait. No point getting upset about it, it doesn't change the situation one bit. May as well get a snack and something to read, and settle down in the airport for some people watching. So many things that used to annoy / aggravate / upset / stress me out, they all seem pretty small potatos now. I've returned to my prior state of being a hopeful optimist, but gained the traits of being much more laid back and relaxed in general about things.
Part of learning to let go of things I can't control was understanding that even if I can understand WHY something is the way it is doesn't mean there is a damn thing I can do about it. Life is not an engingeering problem to be solved. I was trying to figure out WHY things were the way they were, thinking if I could measure and quantify that, I could do something to fix it. And the inability to fix things and make myself get better was making me feel like a failure.
But some things can never be understood. And even if they could be, they still aren't things in your power to change. Sometimes you can do everything right, and you still don't get the outcome you wanted due to variables outside of your control. Shit happens. Doesn't mean you failed. In fact, I probably stay in shitty situations too long because I think if I work harder at fixing it I can make things better, but maybe the reality is that THAT is the failure. Failure to recognize the writing on the wall and walk away from an unfixable situation before hitting rock bottom. Dunno. I don't know that I'll ever be able to balance walking away with the feeling that giving up is a sort of personal failure. We'll see.
For now, I'm just thankful I came out of 2009 stronger and healthier, and while I was broken in almost every way concievable during it, it didn't break me forever. I am glad I was able to learn something from all the darkness. I am thankful that 2010 is a better year. And I am thankful for the people I love, and the people who love me. That is enough.
Labels: 2009, control, future, optimism, self analysis