This post is open ended with no real conclusion.
As the year of 2013 comes to an end, two things are most commonly on everyone’s mind. Two things that are most commonly on everyone’s mind at the end of any year.
- What that year taught them
- What their New Year’s resolutions will be.
People sit and wonder
“What did this year teach me?”
“What will be different?”
“What expectations will I set for myself going into the New Year?”
A lot of things that people maybe feel forced to think about, whether or not they actually do, I’m not sure.
So as I see these repeated posts, see them come up on memes, commercials, twitter, instagram, and facebook posts, I guess I have to think about my own things too, right? I happened to stumble upon what I “learned” from 2013 just a few days ago, and I happen to not be making any resolutions this upcoming year, a matter I will discuss in a future post. However, a lot of this year I just went through the motions. Did what I needed to do to get by, and now the year is over, and when I realized what I learned, it hit me in the face like a bus. So here we go.
In the memes that I’ve been seeing on twitter, Instagram, whatever else there is to post a meme, they’re all pretty common.
“2013 taught me that I will lose people.”
“2013 was a hard year.”
“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book, write a good one.”
Except something more inspiring than that with a picture of some random city or sunset behind it to make it more meaningful.
I can agree though. 2013 was rough. And even though that third quote literally makes no sense, a lot of people I know want to start over and have a clean slate. Rewrite their story. And maybe I want to as well. I lost a friend to suicide. I went through many fallouts causing me to almost lose a best friend. I went through a break up. I lost a pet. I lost myself. See a trend? Loss. It happens, more than we’re comfortable with. And most of the time we see it happen to someone else and say,
“I’m sorry for your loss.”
“I’m sorry that happened.”
“They don’t deserve you anyway.”
Only half meaningful words. Words that should be comforting, but they’re so repeated, they don’t mean much anymore. We don’t realize that whenever it happens to someone else, they lose part of themselves, and we just go on with our life. And then when it happens to us, we don’t think of everyone else that it’s happened to, we just think of ourselves, and how we’ve lost just a bit of our heart and soul.
So for Christmas, I got the book The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It’s amazing, and probably one of the best books I’ve read to date. Not because it’s a love story. Not because it’s about teenagers so that makes it a little more relatable. But because it’s one of the only books to make me think about not just the story it’s about, but my own life. Why did this happen? Well, SPOILER ALERT: someone dies. I won’t tell you who, just in case you want to read it for yourself because you should, but yes, someone dies. And I lost it. I sat there and cried and thought about my life. Thought about everything and everyONE I’ve lost in 2013. Then I had an epiphany. And I composed a text message to some of my friends. It reads as follows:
“This book that I’m reading. Is so sad. And it’s literally everything I’ve been through this year. In a different way, of course. Someone you love dies. (I lost mine to suicide, in the book it’s due to cancer.) You lose the one person you’re in love with. [You lose a best friend.] But. It’s all here, [in this book]. And it makes me feel so miniscule. It makes me just like, why can’t I just realize that life, it goes on. Whether or not people are there. But that just seems so unfair. Why. Why do we cut people out of our life for practically nothing? Why do we deny ourselves the simple beauty of living next to someone, to enjoying life and seeing people live. Instead, no. We cut people out of our life that we love. And if something were to happen to them, that’s it. That’s what it would be. We would remember them as the person we LOVED who we CHOSE not to associate ourselves with. Who we denied ourselves the simple thing of life with them. When really why should we have that choice, when some don’t? How does that make any sense at all? We deny ourselves an existence. We convince ourselves we need to move on from people. Not have them. Because we don’t need them. People need people. And that’s it. And we deny ourselves that right. That simple right of existence.”
Maybe you don’t understand that on the first read. I just quoted exactly what I wrote to keep my original thought, but I’ll elaborate a little bit.
After reading The Fault in our Stars and reaching page 258 out of 313, I realized what exactly 2013 meant to me. I’ve just gone through a breakup, mind you, that is sort of complicated in its entirety, but a breakup nonetheless.
But because of that, I felt miniscule as I read this book. Crying for days because I’ve gone through a breakup by choice, whereas this couple has gone through a breakup by death. Literally. So. The one person still alive (this is difficult to write about without names, but I’m sparing you total spoilers for when you read it, because you should.) Anyway, the one person still alive has to go on with life. They go on because they have to. They have no choice in the whole matter of a broken heart, of being sick, of mending; it’s kind of their only thing left. Yet people, who are totally and completely healthy, make the choice to cut people out of their life because something isn’t working. Granted, there are times when you should cut someone out of your life, whether it be abuse, neglect, etc. And I’m not saying that cutting someone out of your life isn’t just as painful, because trust me, it is. But most of the time in life, we’re faced with an ultimatum.
“I can’t be your friend if ________.”
“This won’t work if _________.”
“We can’t be together if __________.”
Or we’re faced with “reasons” as to why we’re better off.
“They don’t deserve you anyway.”
“You’re better than that.”
“You deserve better.”
“You shouldn’t settle.”
“You have plenty of friends.”
So therefore, we have to make a choice somehow. A choice to cut someone OUT of your life. For what? Because something or someone says it needs to be done. So we, as human beings, decide to deny ourselves the beauty of being with someone, friendship or relationship, deny ourselves the ability to watch them grow, and enjoy their stories, smiles, laughs, sorrows, fears. And we made that choice. We decided to deny ourselves the experience of life. And of course, in return, the other person is then denied of you as well.
I got a few different responses to this.
- You need to do that in order to grow, to allow for other people to enter into your life. Allows you to live more. Without loss, there is no growth. Yin and yang sort of stuff.
- You cut people out of your life because they’re not right anymore. They were right then, but now it’s different and you need to move on from that because of XYZ, and you want to make sure that’s what left is good memories.
- You will be okay with or without that person. You will have to be.
I’m not saying these are right, I’m not saying these are wrong. But I am saying that they still kind of don’t make sense to me. And I’ve thought about this for a few days now, before writing this on the eve of the New Year. I don’t understand why those things are “necessary” to make your life somehow better. To allow yourself to grow. To allow more room for other people. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt like I don’t have enough room in my heart for people. There is no limited amount of 16GB of memory, telling you that your storage is almost full when you’ve taken too many pictures (Thanks, Apple products). I’ve been privileged to know the people that I have, to experience them and their lives, and it’s great. It’s a learning experience, it’s a cultural experience, it’s great. And too often I find myself facing the decision to rid someone of my life for no better reason than an ultimatum. An ultimatum and a fight between pride and dignity.
So maybe I’m being ignorant. Trying to think I can make it through life without losing someone. And I’m not necessarily thinking that, just realizing that all too much, I choose to cut someone out of my life, or see others choosing to cut someone out of their life, or choosing to cut ME from their life (those are rough). Whereas a lot of time, we don’t have a choice. Someone may die, and that’s it; we no longer have a choice about what we do with them in our life. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? Choosing what to DO about someone being in your life. The whole idea of it kind of just makes my heart break. So although it is our own life, MY own life, who am I to deny myself, anyone, the right of living?
So there isn’t a conclusion to this. There isn’t a reason in my mind that truly justifies all of this. Honestly, I didn’t even necessarily learn anything besides that half of the misery we face is by choice. So although there are many propositions as to why we do this, to grow and all of that, I still see no logical reasoning behind it. So this is open ended. A lot of life is open ended, actually. I have no answers.
So maybe you
disagree, maybe it doesn’t make sense to you at all. I may even be wrong about all of it, but it’s just my view on it.