Author’s Note: I do not like the term “God” as I don’t involve myself with organized religion. When I read this I use either Universe or Spirit.
“It only ends once. Everything else that happens is just progress.” That’s my favorite line from the show LOST and I love the sentiment behind it. And I have found myself thinking about it a lot as I close out 2017 and look forward to 2018. As much as anyone I am ready for 2017 to go fuck right off.
Without a doubt this has been tumultuous year. I lost my job after being there less than a year. This just after my second trip to the ER in that time span to treat symptoms stemming from anxiety attacks. A condition I had successfully navigated for over 20 years prior. This has also been compounded by fighting within my family, with many longstanding issues finally starting to come to a head.
Looking back at 2017 with hate and disdain accomplishes nothing, and when I stopped looking at it that way for a moment, I realized the value of what I learned through the turmoil.
I learned that I had spent far too long trying to be someone I am not. Too long being someone others told me that I should be. That I had convinced myself I should be. I learned that in order to unburden myself of anxiety that was becoming crippling I needed to heed the advice of Polonius: “To thine own self be true.”
This is not as easy as it sounds. First you have to know yourself. I never really took the time to do that the way others had. I’ve had glimmers of it, but in order to start seeing the fuller picture, I needed to divert the energy that I was spending trying to be someone I wasn’t, and instead spend it on discovering and becoming the man I want to be. Self-discovery is a never ending journey, but it can only happen when you are on the right path.
I also learned in turn that this will be met with resistance by others. The more you disrupt the status quo of some people, the more push back you are going to receive. And that sometimes when you are being true to yourself, you have to make the hard choice to let people you care about go if they are toxic.
I was reminded about the incredible power of friendship. In fact, I have an entire post dedicated to it called Will They Help You Bury a Body. My friends are truly amazing. Encouraging me as I explore my creative side and start to carve out a path for how to best turn my passion into a profession.
These lessons are helping me come into 2018 with a clear vision of what I want to achieve. I gave up on setting broad sweeping resolutions years ago. It almost never works out. But this year I have some clearly defined goals complete with benchmarks and steps written out to get them done to help keep me mindful of the process. These goals include publishing my first novel, launching a successful podcast and expanding this site among other creative ideas. I also have goals financially, as well as for health and wellness.
So as much as I am glad to put 2017 in the rear view mirror and watch it get throat punched by a bear, I am grateful for the lessons it taught me.
Looking onward, upward and forward to 2018.