It Was a Terrible Year and I Can’t Wait to Say Goodbye, 2019.
Sometimes, people have no idea what you’re going through. I had the same experience in High School. This year took me back to a time when people thought I had it all. Actually, my life was in pieces. I was in High School, living on my own, working, playing my role as typical-teen, but nothing about my life was normal. My peers were so naive that a handful was actually jealous of my lucky-life.” Back then, I couldn’t wait to say Adios, High School. Today, I can’t wait to say Goodbye, 2019.
All the expectations. Goodbye.
In High School, I ran for Student Body President, was a Varsity Cheerleader, and was pretty well-liked by almost every clique, without actually having to belong to one. So, what was so wrong? Everything! Most importantly, I couldn’t be me. At least, I didn’t think I could. It felt like the whole world had their own expectations of who I was or was supposed to be and no one cared what I wanted to be, much less about who I actually was at that time.
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Living on my own.
I was living with two roommates, paying rent, going to High School full-time and participating in extracurricular activities so I would seem normal. I was different. My life was different. I didn’t have parents advocating for my education, future, and emotional-wellbeing.
The people who stuck a nose up at my constant new outfits had no idea I would buy clothes for school the next day during my lunch break working fast-food because I didn’t even have time to wash my clothes. There was no laundry room to throw my clothes in and have them magically appear clean and folded in my drawers. Everything that was done for me was done by me. Hello, 2019. Goodbye, 2019. This year came with a lot of let-downs, personally and professionally. I wanted to convince myself, once again, not to count on anyone.
Everyone needs someone.
As a teen, I learned to not ask for help because I was on my own. No one was going to save me from my life. At the end of every year, I was so happy to say goodbye to the past. In such a hurry to “grow up,” nothing else really mattered to me besides control and independence. I spent the rest of my young years and early twenties determined to never ask for help. From anyone. Eventually, I learned that we all need help. We all need people, someone to count on, to lend an ear or guide us, whether it be personally or professionally. Just not all the time.
Oh, hey, 2019! Goodbye, 2019.
Have you ever had a year that seemed to be the fastest year of your life? That’s what 2019 has been like for me. Even though, there were plenty of days that felt like an eternity. I’m talking longest-day-of-your-life days. Something happened in my son’s life. I don’t think any of us will ever be the same. Usually, I love the end of the year. I want it to last just a little longer. There’s something peaceful about the in-between of old and new.
I don’t want to wait one more day. Goodbye, 2019.
Every time I have to write the date, look at a calendar or see any reminder of this year, my eyes burn as if all the tears are going to break through the wall of courage I’ve built and just flood into 2020. If you’ve never heard me talk about these things, then you never will. They’re not just my stories. I have to respect that.
Something happened in other loved-ones lives. It’s hard to imagine, but those things were even worse than what happened to my son. They’ll never be the same. My mother, a sister and some of my closest friends have no idea about my hardest days this year.
You can’t make it better.
Inevitably, there will be those of you who want to help. Friends and maybe family might read this and want to rush to the rescue. Resist. Don’t do that. It won’t help. You can’t make it better. So, why did I bother sharing all of this in the first place? Well, I can guarantee you that someone needs it to be said because they can’t quite find the words, and someone else needs to hear it!
It was the best of times; It was the worst of times.
Charles Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities is my favorite book. Perhaps it’s because it depicts a time many ages ago, yet so parallel to modern-day. While some of the absolute worst things happened in 2019, some of the most amazing things happened, too. Mostly, I’ve shared the latter. You’ve seen me laugh, rejoice and exude positivity. That’s only half of the story. It’s hard to find the bright side in your darkest moments. Watching people you love suffer, hurts. In 2019, I suffered. People I love the most suffered.
Knowing you would if you could.
I know I just said you can’t help. Well, that’s not entirely true. Knowing you would if you could, helps! Even if you don’t know there is a problem. If someone you love knows you’d be there for them if they’d let you, that helps. Knowing you won’t try to fix it because it’s not what they want, helps. You see, sometimes, not trying to make something better is the only thing that helps; simply by not making it worse.
It’s none of your business.
People and our problems are complicated because we’re connected to other people. Often, our pain points don’t just involve us, but others, too. Our stories aren’t just our stories and for that reason, sometimes we don’t feel like sharing. I mean, because quite frankly, it’s none of your business. Yeah, even if you care. Even if you love us. That doesn’t entitle you to know everything. I say this in honor of all the people who needed this to be said.
People go through stuff.
As we head into a New Year, let’s remember that people go through things. Not knowing people are going through hard times doesn’t mean they’re not. It just means you don’t know. So, let’s assume they might be. If you love someone, treat them with respect. That means understanding that they don’t have to share everything with you. People need people. We do. But sometimes, we need people to keep their distance and mind their own business while we catch our breath. That’s love and respect.
Personally, I’ve had moments this year that anything someone said to me would have triggered an angry response. I knew there were times that nothing anyone said was something I could hear. I didn’t want to snap at them and have to add feeling guilty to my list of angsts.
Somewhere in the middle.
Living constantly in the extreme isn’t sustainable. We can’t shut people out forever. Nor can we open up to everyone about everything. If you don’t get an invitation to make someone’s situation better, that’s not an invitation to make it worse. In the best of times and the worst of times, life can be extreme. Most of the time, we live somewhere in the middle. If you love someone, meet them there.