2012, I can't say that I will miss you.
I know that most of this post won't make much sense to most of you reading, mostly because I go to extreme lengths to avoid actually writing about the big, huge, important things that happen in my life.
Try to stay with me.
Incidentally, I know that it's patently unfair of me to do this to you guys. Not really tell you the background stories, but tell you about what they've taught me. Someday, if I can get my act together, you can read those stories in the book I'm writing. If I can get my act together.
If I can put it on paper.
Last year this time, I was not in a good place. At all.
I didn't just welcome the end of the year, I urged it. Practically begged it to be over. There are reasons, many valid reasons, that I will forever refer to 2011 as the worst year ever. It truly was.
This year wasn't great, but it was better.
The tragedies of this year were fewer and further between. They were not of the variety like the year before, where so many things happened that rocked me to my core, stripped me down and left me shaking in a corner. They still came, but not as often. Not as bad.
The worst part of all the no good terrible things that have happened in the past few years? The part that makes all of it the most unfair and unjust? The part that I have struggled with the most?
None of it, not one bit of it, not a single piece of any of it, was my fault.
I couldn't have stopped it, prevented it. I couldn't have lessened the pain for myself or anyone else. I did all that I could to try, lord knows.
That lesson, the hardest one I have learned this year. What I can't do.
I can't do a single thing to change anyone else. I can't change the past. I can't change the choices of other people. I can't help those who refuse it. I can't force others out of denial. I can't do much except live my life the best I can, temper my reactions to the curve balls life throws, and learn.
I've learned about the idea of redemption. I rediscovered myself. I have struggled to earn the ability to let go. I've learned that it's far better to overcome than stay a victim. I've learned that I need to take care of me before I can do any good for anyone else.
I've learned to say no to the things I don't need in my life. I've learned to let go of people that bring me down. I've learned to forgive people for the terrible things they do.
Last year, I survived. That was all I could do. It had to be enough.
This year, I expect better from myself. I demand it.
And next year? Let's do this thing.
Let's raise a toast to another chance to do it right.