Friday, January 3, 2014

Farewell, 2013, My Best/Worst Year

There are 365 days within a year.  It only takes one to completely change your life.  With that being said, it's quite obvious that a year will be filled with its share of good days and bad, which is great because a little bit of variety keeps things interesting, but for me, 2013 has had nothing but extreme highs and severe lows of an emotional roller coaster from hell.  The entire year was a giant contrast of life events that had me face to face with my best and worst possibilities, and though I made it out of the last round barely able to stand, this year has earned its place as the most memorable and the most empowering periods of my life, thus far.

It was in this year that I got to celebrate in revelry with some of the greatest friends that I could ever ask for. With only 12 credits to complete, 4 of which were electives, I went on a semester long binge enjoying the company of everyone around me.  Our days were filled, our nights were epic, and our spirits were high.  I gained the friendship of so many people that I still hold close to my heart, but it was also in this year that I had to part ways with everyone as I graduated from Boston University.  I dawned that red robe and walked to receive that diploma that I earned with every caffeine fueled, late night study binge.  To celebrate my accomplishment with my family and my close friends was something truly special; however, the time was also defined by melancholy as I knew it was the end of an era.  Yeah, we all had the anxiety of college finally coming to an end as we begrudgingly entered adulthood, or for some, put adulthood on hold with graduate school, but the real feeling that we couldn't shake was that things were going to change, for better or for worse, and though we could see our college mates again someday, it would never be the same.

It was in this year that I fell in love and met a girl that irreparably changed the course of my life.  It was her endless fascination with the world and childlike wonder that shook me out of the grasp of ennui, or the numbing indifference that had me bored of it all.  She taught me about things, and we spoke about things because things are interesting and there are so many things to see and discover, I just never knew.  I never thought that I would meet a girl that could make me reexamine myself and change me for the better, but she did and things were great for a while.  We loved each other and we hated each other also, and just as fast as it all came, it left even quicker.  She died on April 28th, and on that day I was pushed to my breaking point as I fell to my knees when I got the news.  I used to think I was invincible, I used to until that day.

It was in this year that I reached my lowest point in life as I fell into a depression that spanned 4 months of my life.  I guess I could call these months The Dark Ages because during this time I was quite literally stuck in a rut.  I came off of the high of my last year in college where I felt like I was on top of the world and then graduated to find myself in what I viewed to be the bleakest of outcomes.  I couldn’t find a job, my heart was stricken with grief, I was stalked by guilt, and I could not find it in me to pick myself up again.  At some point I just let myself give up.  My spiral of self-loathing and demotivation had me questioning who the hell I was anymore; this type of behavior wasn’t me, but I wasn’t thinking straight at all.  I was sucked into the vortex of depression as I woke up every day to a reality that I couldn’t handle as I went through the motions of the day in a dream like daze so that I wouldn’t have to be fully present to experience my mind’s wild trip of self-hatred, then I would go home into the retreat of my room and wish that I didn’t have to wake up the next day to face it all again.  I really wished that I wouldn’t wake up the following day.  I never thought that I would end up in that sad state, but it happened and when I hit rock bottom I realized I needed to make a change.

It was in this year that I started my travels around the world and I rediscovered myself during a two month adventure around Southeast Asia.  I wandered around exotic lands experiencing the culture and meeting people from all over the world.  It was during my travels that I found a place called New Life Foundation where I learned the power of meditation and how mindfulness can be used to my benefit.   I was given the tools and with them I managed to forgive myself and move past the pain that I held on to.  I was free.  I took on each day while traveling with excitement and vigor that I feared I had lost forever.  I proved to myself that I was capable of once again facing the day, throwing caution to the wind and pushing my limits to explore the uncharted.  Have I ever ridden a motorbike? Nope. Sounds like I should rent one and ride it up a mountain.  Check.  The world was boundless and I felt my passions once again aflame.  Each day I regained more of my confidence, and with every unforgettable experience, with every challenge that crossed my path, I surpassed all my previous known limits.  I was no longer standing, waiting for the future to come, instead I found myself running forward to accomplish my own visions of the time not yet distributed.

This year was the best.  This year was the worst.  This year was many things, but it certainly was not my last.  I have much to be thankful for and besides, there are worse things that could have happened, like, nothing happening at all.  Without life’s tests and tribulations I wouldn’t be able to grow from my accomplishments or my defeats, so I’d much rather have things happen, no matter how painful.

So, when the ball dropped and I haphazardly threw my champagne glass into the air as I yelled at the limit of my hoarse voice with a chorus of drunk others, I toasted a year that has indeed immensely changed me for the better.  I weathered the storm, it nearly killed me, but it has prepared me for a lifetime to come.

Here’s to you 2013, and to many more.

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