(Originally posted November 2015)
This time of year, I often feel particularly introspective. 2015 is coming to a close, and I can’t help but look back on the past 10 months. When October hits, I see myself becoming more somber, knowing what the holidays have historically had in store for me. This year, I’m finding myself in a different place.
I’ve really been thinking about how I’ve grown as a person. I know in the past, I’ve changed in ways I wasn’t particularly proud of. For a very long time, it seemed like as each year passed, I became more and more bitter. I hated that about myself, but I didn’t think I could do much to change it. I was stumbling through life, pretending I didn’t care that I was a miserable person.
I cannot tell a lie. Previously, if I found something particularly offensive, I wasn’t afraid to tell anyone and everyone just how pissed off I was. I believe that I’ve blindsided people who were just going about their life, not ever knowing I was coming to unleash my misguided fury. I am grateful to be able to say that today, that is not who I am. I saw this meme online the other day, and I loved it.
I completely connected with it. Sure, there are some reprehensible things on the internet. I understand that. If it’s a fight for a good cause, I’ll be the first one to throw my hat in the ring. If it’s some stranger that I couldn’t care less about or even someone that I do know, talking about politics or giving an opinion on a movie that I don’t agree with, I move on. I keep Bill tucked away in my brain.
Don’t we all have enough on our plates? Do we really have the energy to devote to all of this nonsense? I know I don’t. Why have I always gotten so riled up about people that say stupid, insensitive things? If it’s directly about me or said to my face, well…it’s entirely possible that they’ll have a fight on their hands. But if I can avoid the conflict, I think it’s essential to walk away…and quickly before I change my mind.
It’s like most things, really. It’s all about balance. I don’t mean to say that I’ll just sit here quietly and let people walk all over me or anyone that I love for that matter. Quite the contrary. I do think that I’ve had to learn a difficult lesson about picking my battles. I’ll be the first to admit that I have flown off the handle at people, too quickly and for absurd reasons. I hate the fact that there are people that are no longer in my life because of that. Yet, at the same time I know that perhaps my slightly hysterical nature helped me to thin out the herd, in a sense.
I know I’ll never have all of the answers. I understand that I’ll make mistakes along the way. I’ve most assuredly put myself out in the public eye where I will often be judged or criticized. I will want to fight back and sometimes I will fight back. I just know that at my age, I don’t have time to sit around getting in ridiculous confrontations with even more ridiculous people.
It’s a relief, really. It’s been a long time coming. I deserve to find peace and happiness. We all do. So, on this Thanksgiving, while I will still miss my loved ones dearly, I will feel grateful. For the insight, for the love I do have in my life, and for how I hard I worked to just be me.