The first thing I want to say to you is goodbye and good riddance.
I’m sorry. That was harsh. I don’t mean that. I just need a fresh start.
We’ve had some good times, after all: I went to Spain for three months, and learned what it meant to be a short-term missionary; I started my first ‘grown-up’ job; I participated in National Novel Writing Month; I met amazing people and spent some well-needed time with the people I love most in the world.
You were wonderful in so many ways, 2014, but you broke my heart.
I spent a majority of this year feeling lost. Everything I touched fell apart. I couldn’t find a job, or show someone that I loved them, or strengthen my faith in God, or help my friends when they needed me. I couldn’t do anything right, and nothing was getting better.
I am optimistic by nature, and carrying that weight was especially painful. I didn’t feel like myself for a very long time. I felt very alone in dealing with death, relationships, and growing up, even though I surrounded myself with the loveliest people in the world. The sad truth is that Loneliness doesn’t care if you are with the loveliest people in the world. Loneliness just makes a heart hard to heal.
And so, I did what any reasonable adult would do: I watched a lot of Netflix and wrote a lot of poetry. A lot of ugly, honest, therapeutic poetry (which is, surprisingly, some the best poetry to write when you also have a huge bar of chocolate). I took a lot of naps in between sitcoms and forced myself to take walks and sit in coffee shops. Eventually, I had to be brave and admit to myself that no matter how much I insisted that I was fine— I was fine, I was fine, everything’s fine—I really wasn’t.
And you know what?
Sometimes, it’s okay to not be fine. Faking happiness is exhausting. We do that enough every single day: at work, at the grocery store, when we are in class or attending meetings. I want to be honest when I feel all busted up inside, because I’m tired. I have a right to be. You weren’t the easiest of years to deal with. It’s gotten hard for me to see the times everything felt new and exciting, and that isn’t fair. I deserve so much more than the days I feel like nothing.
A new year is on its way, and I’m not entirely sure what I am looking forward to and what I am dreading once that ball drops and the clock strikes midnight. Change terrifies me, but things can’t stay like this. I can’t keep hating myself, and I can’t keep keep wondering what next catastrophe this year will bring, and I can’t say I loved every minute of this year because I didn’t.
Tonight, change feels comforting, because I desperately need to believe in “once upon a time” and “happily ever after” again. I’m starting to remember that there are new places to see, books to read, and languages to learn. There are new people to meet and adventures to be had.
I’m writing this letter because I’m ready to leave this year behind. I’m saying goodbye because I’m trying to move forward. More importantly, I’m trying to be good to myself.
You broke my heart, 2014, but I like to believe that broken things can be mended.