The ironic thing is that, for the first time in years, I had a plan. Granted, it wasn't a detailed plan. But it was still a plan, and that was a damn sight better than I'd managed to muster since the early days of 2006. As 2009 began, I was more than a little frightened, but excited to see where the plan would ultimately take me.
And then everything fell apart before January had even ended.
I've gone through a lot of conflicted emotions this year, and there have been moments that don't make me particularly proud in retrospect. There are certain things I still think about every day. But perhaps by necessity, I've disconnected myself emotionally from them. I can still remember how they felt, but I don't feel them anymore. I try not to consider where exactly that puts me.
I've been down a dozen roads this past year, trying to do more than just remember. None of them have led me very far before they ran out. I'd like to think just trying will make a difference.
Of course, it hasn't helped that just about everything else in my life decided that 2009 would be a great time to break. That includes my own body, as it turns out. I've dealt with a bad roof, bad plumbing, car trouble, and I nearly seriously injured myself in a freak accident. I've accumulated numerous pains and managed to put on even more weight. I'm sure I've left out a bunch of fun business, too.
Oh, and then my older sister died unexpectedly in September.
I'm still not sure how I struggled through these last 12 months. I'm sure a large amount of credit for that goes to my friends. Though some of those relationships grew distant during 2009, I am pretty sure my friends made it a lot easier to make it. This probably doesn't sound like a major revelation, but for someone who has felt isolated most of his life, it was reassuring to know I didn't always have to be alone.
Creatively, I've achieved some triumphs. I finished what I think is one of the better stories I've ever written, which is all the more remarkable considering the turmoil I was in while working on it. There was also this blog. Originally created as something of an afterthought in January, it has evolved into one of the purest expressions of my unique worldview that I've ever crafted. I derived considerable satisfaction shaping it during 2009, and plan to continue making it something special for me in the coming year.
I have a lot I need to do in 2010. I need to finally bring closure to a project that has dragged on much longer than it was originally envisioned. I need to shape up and stop letting myself fall further into decline. I need to at least begin the task of finding myself again, and where I go from here - in all its many permutations. It's a tall order.
Right now, as the minutes tick away, what I need most is to put 2009 in my rearview mirror. I'm tired of rehashing my many misfortunes, tired of mourning my losses, tired of wondering why, tired of whining, tired of crying, and tired of being so damn tired all the time. I deserve better than I've gotten, and at least some (if not most) of the fault is my own. It's time for my life to turn around, and a new year sounds as good a place as any for that to begin.
It's not hopeless. I've seen glimmers of what could be. Maybe they will end up becoming more fully-realized in the days to come. But right now, they are just hints of what could be.
Good-bye, 2009. You weren't the worst year of my life, but you tested me. Now let's see what 2010 has to offer.