Saturday, December 14, 2013

What I've Learned This Year

This year has been a series of ups and downs for me. Obviously my recurrence being the greatest down of all. This post is not about that though. Instead, it's about the most important thing that I have learned for myself in 2013. Like everything else in my life though it partially relates back to my illness. Without it I cannot honestly say that I would have taken the time to reflect as I have. Often we take for granted our lives and don't willingly spend time analyzing our patterns or our behaviours. This is especially true for me. I would love to sit and tell you that I have always been the whimsical character you know and love (HA!) but it would be total bullshit. Truth is it was not until a few years ago that I was literally forced to look at my life and finally realize; I was doing shit all wrong. I was selfish. Narcissistic. Mean. Vindictive. But most of all, I was angry. Really fucking angry. In trying to stick to my topic the details of this anger and the path it set me on are not relative. Perhaps one day I can explore that objectively. For now I choose to reflect on my past as simply that; my past. Whatever brought on my anger brought along a slew of problems. Relationships with my loved ones suffered, my work suffered, and almost every area of my life was hindered by this constant jaded attitude. When I finally began to reflect and work on this it opened my eyes to how much of life I had been missing. When I got diagnosed, it did so even more. But, like most human beings, I am a masochist and complete glutton for punishment. I could not possibly learn from my mistakes quite yet. It has not been until this year, maybe even this hour, that I have finally learned one of the best things I believe should be passed onto you all. STOP TAKING THOSE YOU LOVE AND THOSE WHO LOVE YOU FOR GRANTED.

I can hold a grudge. Not for a few hours, or even a few days. I mean...I can hold a fucking grudge. In my defense these grudges always stem from a place of deep hurt. Anger always claims the grudge, but as I know now, anger is always a secondary emotion to something much deeper. When you're angry you are actually hurt, scared, sad, embarrassed....the list goes on and on. What I have learned this year though is that I have wasted so much valuable time without the people I care about. Time that I am just not guaranteed. When I think back over the summer and over my life and the people who I chose to stop speaking to over stupid fights, or because I thought they would hurt me I realize how many fucking moments of fun and love I missed out on. The people who love you unconditionally should be able to rely on you to be there through good times and bad if you also love them unconditionally. Fights will always happen. People will always say the wrong things. But being able to forgive, move on and make it work saves so much time and energy that is otherwise wasted being angry.

If I could go back in time and reclaim those lost moments, I would. Unfortunately we are not given that opportunity. If we are, however, given the opportunity to have these people in our lives again we should take full advantage. Treat them well. You just never know if this might be your last chance to learn from your mistakes. While we should all forgive and move past, we should also remember that at some point someone is not going to stick around forever if you continue to treat them badly. I am grateful that those in my life have given me second chances and I intend to spend all the rest of whatever moments I have left with them making sure they know they matter.

So. That's it. That's all I got. It is my hope that in reading this you choose not to make the same mistakes I have. I hope that it does not take something huge such as losing someone invaluable to you to make you realize they mattered.

Should I end this with a Namaste? Kidding.

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