Tuesday, December 30, 2014

An Open Letter to 2014

Dear 2014,

Christmas is over and the new year is just around the corner. I've been reflecting a lot lately on the past year, and I decided to share of few of my thoughts (because clearly they are important enough that I naturally assume everyone cares!)(also, hubris!).

And let's face it, 2014, you weren't very kind. From what I hear, you didn't play well with others, either. Like, lots of others. Most of the others.

(Isn't there a horror movie called The Others? Now I'm creeped out. But I digress.)

While I can't speak for everyone else (they'll have to take up their beefs with you individually), let's just go ahead and do a quick rundown of the many ways in which you screwed me over this year:

Polar vortex (welcome to Wyoming).
BTW, EOG owns you, bitch (otherwise known as the agent who lied).
Jerkface family member that decided to lie about me rather than face her own personal messes she'd made and lies she'd been living.
Friends who decided I wasn't worth the effort because I moved to a state they didn't approve of.
Aching, crippling homesickness (I love you, Seattle. Call me).
Family cancer scare #1.
Work/life balance that was impossible to maintain (for all involved).
Family cancer scare #2.
Worst. Vacation. Ever.
More crippling homesickness.
Actual family member cancer.
Unexpected debt (broken vehicle #1).
Bright spot (yay!).
Ripped bright spot away (glare).
More asshole family members (they came from all directions this year).
More unexpected debt (broken vehicle #2!).
Another bright spot (yay!).
Oh wait just kidding... (boo!)
EOG is back and wants your soul.
Family health emergency during Christmas.

See, 2014? That's quite a hefty list. And that's only a partial. I've left a few off for the sake of privacy, time, or the utter mental exhaustion of rehashing it.

So I think it's fair to say you sucked, 2014. You let me down. You let me down real bad.

Now, I will acknowledge the fact that a few good things did come out of this otherwise shit-tastic year.

I got to fly back to Seattle, surprise my mom, and attend the Women's Show (and come away with yet another ear piercing, because alt girl forever).

Hubs got an awesome new job.

My writing career has started taking off more.

I discovered Curt Gowdy State Park (yes, there are trees in southeastern Wyoming!).

And I've pretty much honed that whole grace-under-fire thing.

But to be honest, this year has left me exhausted. Straight up mentally and emotionally drained. You wore me out, 2014, and not in a good way.

But despite my pervasive snarky demeanor (I'm a joy) and nearly-consuming levels of stress (tea!), I've managed to come away with a few positives that I'm looking at carrying with me into 2015. Because optimism is a sure-fire way to deal with life's incessant curveballs.

Well, that, and a lipstick taser.


First of all, I'm letting my self-doubt go. I admit, I've been awash in self-doubt for... well, how old am I?

Yeah, most of that time.

I mean, hell, I gave myself an ulcer at 9 years old for crissake! Can you say perfectionist? Actually, can you say stereotypical oldest child?

Anyhoodle, the crapfest that was 2014 finally gave me the cojones to just let it go. I'm going to pursue my dreams, dammit, whether you like me or not!

Because guess what? I don't want to go through my life swimming in mediocrity. I don't want to be "kinda" happy, or "somewhat" fulfilled. I want to live each day in a crazy, joyous, vibrant sort of way.  I want to dig my toes in the sand, yell from the top of a mountain, and literally dance in the rain. I want to experience everything. And I want to write about it. And in order to do that, I need to stop getting in my own way. Or letting others' perceptions get in my way.

Second, I'm going to live my truth. I can no longer justify not being my true, complete, authentic self. I've always held back, hedged a bit, worried what others would think. (Again, ulcer at 9). I've always sought others' approval, acceptance, and acknowledgement. If 2014 taught me anything, it's that I'll never make others completely happy, and trying to will only make me less so. Living your life according to others' expectations is, quite frankly, a fun sponge. It sucks all the joy out of you. So I'm done.

And third, I'm cutting out the crap. The toxicity, the garbage, the baggage (mine and other people's). I don't have time for it. I don't have patience for it. And I don't want to deal with it anymore. Yes, I will be digging out of the mess of 2014 for awhile. And yes, some of the bullshit will continue into 2015. But I'm going to choose how and what to address, and when.

Don't like it? Take it away, Rhett:

Clark Gable, you sexy beast
You were rough on me, 2014. You left me battered and bruised and licking my wounds. But I'm not broken. I'm more focused than ever.

And 2015? You better be paying attention. Because if you suck too, we're going to have a pretty serious exchange of strong words. So play nice. Mmmkay, pumpkin?

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