No Illusions as the Year Ends

new year 2014I know full well what a charmed life I live.

I’ve never really had to worry about having a roof over my head or food in my belly. Even in 2012, when I was barely scraping by trying to get my own business really going, always on the verge of getting evicted, I never once had to worry I’d have nowhere to go.

Over the years, I’ve been able to build and maintain a solid group of supportive friends. I was lucky enough to be born into a family that actually cares and is able, at times, to help smooth over rough spots.

Professionally, I’m damn good at what I do, even when I’m not trying that hard. (That’s at least half luck and biology.) I have a knack for finding ways for things to fall into place, often at the last minute… something I count on maybe a little too much at times.

There’s very little I can legitimately complain about in the eyes of the world at large. I’ve simply got it good.

But I stopped measuring myself by external standards a long time ago.

It was always too easy to find someone better to make myself feel like a loser, like a second-rate hack, like someone who was an abject failure at everything. That wasn’t good for me and it got in the way of me being good for anyone else.

For more than a decade now, all of my measurements have been firmly based on my own personal milestones and high-water marks. I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out what’s most important to me and building on past successes (and failures) to reach numerous goals that I don’t often expect anyone outside of my own head to really grasp the importance of.

It’s by that measurement scheme that I can say with no doubt that I’m a incredibly unhappy with this past year of my life.

Again, by typical, external measures, I’m doing pretty damn good. I’ve got a healthy, steady income and a nice set of walls around me to keep all my stuff safe from the elements. I have the opportunity to go out and do all sorts of things with all sorts of people that could get me all sorts of fame and fortune (or at least a wee bit more money and maybe some status).

Thing is, I really don’t care about any of that. It’s not important to me because I know that if I lost all of that tomorrow, I could get it all back in relatively short order.

It’s only stuff. And in this world, stuff is often literally a dime a dozen.

So what is important to me?

My internal life. My thoughts, my dreams, my feelings. My faith and my forward momentum. My friends.

All of those things have taken quite the beating over the past year or so.

In one fell swoop, I’ve gone from having everything I ever dreamed of one step and three words away to having everything thrown into utter chaos when the one big gamble I’ve ever had crapped out on me. Everything I built my life around got shaken something fierce and I haven’t been able to sort out what’s good about the shakeup… something I can usually do pretty darn quick.

I’ve had to cut two people I care very much about out of my life. That’s something I never wanted to have to do. I feel “less” for not having them around, even if I can say it was for my own good (in one case) and their own chance at good (in the other). There’s a real void where they were and I don’t see any way to compensate for it.

Because I’ve spent the last 20 years or so interconnecting everything in my life into a coherent whole (a process that has really, on balance, been an awesome boon), this particular series of events has left me completely unable to attain a number of things that I have always seen as my main purpose for being.

Right now, I’m further away from where and who I want to be than I’ve been in half a lifetime. I don’t see any way of getting back. And that bothers me. A lot.

I can do better. I should be doing better. But I’m just not.

So, yeah, I’m pretty unhappy with how the past year or so have gone and where I’ve ended up. I’m appreciative that I really don’t have to worry about the basic necessities that others have to focus on… but having that luxury just means all these internal, metaphysical, and emotional issues sting all the more.

It also means that I’m fully aware that these are my own problems, caused mostly by my own choices in how I’ve structured my own life. As such, all the solutions are going to have to be mine as well.

Which means, while I appreciate anyone who thinks they have advice to offer, and I’ll politely listen, expecting it to make a difference is just an exercise in frustration for both the person offering and me. If I think you can help me, and I want you to, I’ll ask. Clearly and directly. Otherwise just have some faith that I am actually working toward being better, even if the way I’m doing it doesn’t make sense to you. I know my ways are strange. I made them that way on purpose and they’ve served me well for a really long time.

I’m still me. I’m still holding true to the things that have always been most important to me. And, maybe, sometime in the next 50 years or so I’m scuttling around this life, I’ll figure something new out.

Until then, I’m really not going to miss this year and I’m also not going to expect… or even hope for… the next one to be better.

Because it’s not about the year or what happens. It’s about what I do what what I’ve got. About how long it takes me to figure this out.

It’s about getting better on the inside, so I can make a bigger difference outside.

About Kier

I've been on the web since about 1994. I have a background in a lot of things, including a five year stint as a journalist and over a decade of helping people get their message out to the world.

I write on a number of subjects--everything from relationships to personal development to politics and every day life. I hope you get something worthwhile out of it.

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