With the Fall soon to be in full swing, and the leaves getting ready to change and collect on the ground, I often find myself reflecting more on the past year than I do around the time of the changing of the calendar. (Fall just feels like more of a rebirth or refresh to me than a commercialized holiday smack dab in the middle of a season, but I digress.) I look back over this past year with importance because I am not where I want to be right now, but I am where I wanted to be last year in several ways. And such is life.
I think about all of the tough decisions I had to make over the year. All of the times I delayed my comfort in exchange for something new, something that would help me grow. I think of how many times that tough decision was to trade a friendship for a memory. As robotic as meme culture helps us delude ourselves into thinking we are, it does hurt when you stop speaking to someone you were once close to. It always always always does. Even if the pain is what’s fueling the decision, it’s still pain.
But I realize how much better off I am for making such tough decisions. I see the ways in which my confidence has improved where there was once a mismatch of energy from trying to force a relationship out of comfort and idealism.
That’s what toxicity comes down to really, not bad people, just a bad mix of energy. I realize that making these tough decisions has allowed me to come to such a conclusion; the ones that hurt me and that I have hurt were never inherently bad, just not for me. This year was sort of a long, sometimes painful, sometimes joyful, process of trying to figure out which pieces and people of this world are for me.
That being said, I have gained so much from this past year as well. I have met new faces of people with stories I had never heard before. I have heard dreams and plans from people who are just as lost and scared as I am. I have rekindled friendships that I thought were long over only to find that they could come back twice as strong.
I have learned that I have no idea what this life has in store for me. No matter all of the planning or going with the flow that I try to do, this life still always manages to surprise me.
So this next year that will come to pass, I will only ask for what I need and nothing more. Whether what I need is a broken heart, or a redirection, or starting all over, I trust that life will surprise me in the best way for as long as I agree to show up for it. I will be here for it, because there’s really nowhere else to be.
To the me that I was last year, I say, you will be fine. To the me that will exist next year, I say, you will be great.