I like a new year. It’s a clean slate, full of possibilites. Sometimes it’s a relief to see a year go because some years are just the pits. As if bad luck and misfortune are limited by a calendar and the misery won’t continue past December. Most of the time I look forward; I’m more optimistic that way, I suppose. I used to think I was a pessimist until I actually married a pessimist. Turns out I am much more of an optimist; or really I’m just pragmatic. Things are how they are; sometimes good, sometimes bad. My feet are firmly planted in reality. But I think reality tends to be good a lot of the time. Or rather, it’s not as bad as it seems at first.
I try to avoid looking backwards. Looking backwards always fills me with regret and nostalgia. I hate, hate feeling regret. It’s got to be the most pointless of feelings. It’s the past. It can’t be changed. Either learn from it or forget it. So a new year is just my cup of tea. It’s the complete opposite of looking back. But this year was kind of different. This past year taught me a lot about friendship. I would have to say that was the theme of 2013: Friendship.
Let me just say that I am a very, very loyal friend. There are not very many things you can do that will make me not be your friend once we get started. I may not be fond of your Facebook posts that feature endless photos of your dog, but I’m not going to end a friendship over it (although I will block you. Sorry Sandra.) I don’t like friend drama and I just want everyone to feel good about each other.
But I had a very dear friendship completely bite the dust this past year. I’ve never had that happen, not even during those volatile Middle School years. It’s just one of those things where you wake up one day and realize that everything you thought about that person and their friendship was completely wrong. Like your friendship is a piece of glass. At first glance the glass looks fine but the closer you examine it, the more tiny cracks you see everywhere, til finally you try to pick it up and it breaks into a million pieces. And that can feel both heartbreaking and like being doused with a bucket of ice water at the same time.
Try as you might to keep the friendship hobbling along, it simply isn’t possible. There is too much hurt. I wish this person all the happiness in the world. I am not angry (well, I am a little bit) but just sad. But mostly I want to stay clear of this person so I don’t get sucked back into their web, only to have the whole thing happen again.
It’s been an eye-opener for sure. I’m still trying to make sense of the whole thing. Did I make this friendship more in my mind than I thought it was? Was I being used? Were we even actually friends? That’s where the looking backwards thing becomes a pain.
But 2013 also saw the emergence of new friends. Ones that I have to think were sent straight from God to fill the hole in my heart. And of course there are old friends who reappear on the scene from time to time, just when I need it. I was super thrilled, especially, to get a nice visit from my brother last fall. He’s one of the coolest people ever but we live on opposite sides of the country and our paths rarely cross. But he was in town for business and came a couple of days early just to hang out with me (and my family of course). It was so fun hanging out and just spending time together. And we got to hang out again at Christmas. Luckily, he’s family so we’re stuck together forever.
I have no idea what the theme of 2014 will be. I’m going to let the year flow and deal with things as they come. I’ll just keep striving to be the best that I can be. OK, let’s be honest. I’m not going to be the best I can be every day. That is way too hard. I’m going to try every day to make some aspect of my life better than it was the day before. It might just be something small, but remember I’m a pragmatist. And I’m perfectly happy about that.