So it’s almost 3 A.M. and I’m sitting alone in the office at work.
It’s kind of perfect that the above song is playing right now as I’m typing. Purely coincidence since I’m listening to my Seeds of Memory playlist.
This year has been full of ups and downs but like always, everything seems to have worked out the way it’s supposed to. I could go through my list and itemize it all for you but I doubt any of you are that interested in my life. Or maybe you are. I don’t know.
I think it’s safe to say that my trip to Florida was the highlight of my year.
Even with the crazy hair from the wind that night, I think that might be my favorite picture from the entire trip and I have a few really good ones. That trip… I don’t even know if I can put into words that those seven weeks did for me. All I know is I definitely want to go back someday and I see a palm tree tattoo in my near future to commemorate the trip.
This year also was a big year for thinking about personal responsibility. I had the opportunity to sit back and observe others on the matter. As you’re probably aware at this point (based on previous blog posts) I have an on-going struggle with my alcoholic mother. She’s aware of her problem but is choosing not to do anything about it. I can’t force her to get help, although I wish I could. I wish it was as simple as demanding she go and take care of it.
As a result of her drinking, my sister has cut off communication with her. No phone calls, no emails, no text messages and she’s been blocked on Facebook. I read the email my sister sent our mother, explaining her reasons for cutting off contact and I can’t blame her. My sister is trying to get her life together and get mentally. It’s not easy to do that when you have someone like our mother heaping her emotional baggage onto everyone else. I’d like to be able to say it’s not intentional on her part but if that were the case she would seek help for her addiction. She hasn’t. I don’t think she’s planning to. She sees herself as a victim in all of this instead of owning the reality that she could be a part of her daughter’s life if she gave up the booze.
Honestly, I don’t know what she would do if I chose to move away.
I loved Florida enough that I’m sure I could live there. I’ve been invited west to California multiple times and I plan on going that way next. That’s on my list of things to save for.
I got closer with some people while others drifted away. I’ve always been of the opinion that people come into my life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. You never know upfront what their purpose is and it isn’t until you have the time to look back and reflect that it might make sense. It’s been more than a year since I last talked to the person I considered my best friend for more than fifteen years. Do I miss her? You bet. Every day. But I also can’t help feeling like going my own way was the right thing. I have my moments when I think about sending her a message on Facebook or calling her to see how she’s doing, but I never do. We’re still Facebook friends, oddly enough. I’m not sure what that means. Maybe it’s because I don’t have any animosity toward her? I don’t know. Maybe I’m not prepared to truly cut her out of my life. Could be both if I’m being honest.
But then there are the ones I not only unfriended this year, I blocked them from contacting me. This year marked the first time anyone has ever referred to me as ‘toxic’. It leads back to the personal responsibility thing. It’s easy to blame everyone else for your problems, whether it’s addictions, low self-esteem, your failures or just a generally negative attitude. There’s being an actual victim and there’s calling yourself one because you don’t have the guts to take charge of your own life.
If telling someone to quit whining about the negatives in the life and do something about it makes me toxic then it’s for the best that I’m no longer friends with that person. I’m not the type to blame others for my faults and this is the one instance – at least for me – where it is okay to victim blame because it’s all in their own head.
The funny part is reading someone waxing poetic about people showing their true colors while they’re showing their ass. I honestly cannot remember a friendship at any other point in my life where someone was so possessive and jealous of any time I spent with someone else.
Talk about toxic…
More than once I had to remind myself that I wasn’t at fault for someone else’s insecurity. I’d like to say it wasn’t my problem, but it became my problem because it caused many arguments. Arguments that other friends ended up hearing about because I honestly couldn’t believe I was dealing with such ridiculousness. It was seriously like dealing with a jealous lover and jealousy is pretty high up there on my list of turn-offs.
I would be lying if I said I never got jealous or envious because it happens. It’s a reaction everyone experiences at some point. However, I can’t recall a time when I let it dominate my responses or behavior. I recognize that any jealousy or envy I may feel is my own problem; I have no right to take it out on others.
The thing I am most proud of is that I quit smoking. I was a little concerned when I first started my job because pretty much everyone that works here smokes and the boss lets them smoke anywhere they want. I found that when I get the hankering for a cigarette using the e-cigarettes works instead. I bought a disposable one back in October (it’s got about the puff life of a pack and a half of cigarettes) and it hasn’t run out yet. I don’t know how much is left but I’m not dependent on it. On the days when I have a craving to smoke or if I’m dealing with high anxiety or something it helps calm my froggy ass down. I’ll take it. Call it cheating if you want, but it works and it’s kept me from going back to smoking cigarettes.
Anyone out there looking to quit at the start of the New Year let me just tell you that if you are not prepared mentally for it, you’re in for one hell of a battle. The decision that you’re done; that you’re not going to smoke anymore is an important one. If you don’t have that in your mind it’s going to be that much harder. My mother quit the week before me but she started again while I was in Florida. She’s tried to quit twice since I’ve been home but I don’t think her heart’s really been in it. I’m positive she’s not mentally committed to it and because of it, she’s gone back to it both times.
The funny thing about is that I didn’t really have a plan. I was halfway through my last pack and I decided that was going to be my last one. By my calculations I’ve saved myself almost $1500 since I quit. It’s crazy to think I was spending thousands of dollars a year to kill myself slowly. Of course I didn’t think of it that way at the time. There are times when I think, “Eh, I’m only here for a short time. Why not live a little?” Then I remember how crappy I felt after I quit. No one told me that I was going to randomly feel nauseated because my goddamn stomach tissue was regenerating. Yeah, that happens. Crazy, huh?
So it’s not worth it to start over.
Plus I don’t know how long it would take for me to get to the same point mentally to be able to quit. I got lucky that it was so easy for me to stop the first time. I’m not going to take for granted that it could happen a second time just as easy.
Now that I think about it, maybe this year was a good year for giving up bad habits and things that weren’t good for me. Smoking, friendships… Moving on in positive ways is always a good thing no matter what.
It’s not exactly the same but you get the point with that song right? Good.
In closing, I hope that anyone reading this is able to live up to whatever expectations they set for themselves in the next year. I hope you seize whatever opportunities present themselves to you because I am beyond grateful for the ones presented to me. Take care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to make you a priority. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes and blow off plans to stay home and watch Netflix. We all need some time to unwind and find our own center of gravity.
I found mine in Destin, Florida.
Happy New Year! xoxo