Monday, January 01, 2007

this is going to hurt.

I've spent some time thinking about what I want 2007 to be, who I want to be and what I want to do in 2007. Until today, I never really thought about what 2006 was.

Looking back on 2006, I think, "Ooof. That kind of hurt." I recall 2006 being a mostly difficult year. I think for a good part of the year I was depressed. The type of depressed where you spend an entire weekend in bed and when you interact with other people you manage to get through the whole interaction without ever feeling anything. I think for that reason, not a whole lot about 2006 comes to mind. I was wrestling with a lot of self-doubt about my professional competency. I felt lonely a lot. I really struggled to figure out my own path.

What I thought 2006 would be about is exploration, adventure, new and exciting experiences. I didn't know exactly what it would hold but I knew that it would be bright, and strong, and that the things I did in that year would be things that would lay the path for my future. Looking back today on 2006, I don't think it was any of those things. I wanted 2006 to be like that, and it wasn't, and I was disappointed that I couldn't figure out how to make it what I wanted it to be.

One weekend in 2006, my mother came to visit. Her visit made me want to crawl under the covers and not get up again. It wasn't my mom that was the problem - it was me. When she arrived, I shut down. It took me about a day to figure it out, but I realized that I hadn't quite accepted that this was my life. I hadn't quite dealt with the idea that this is really where I live, this is really where I work, this is where I sociaize. I had been coping with my anxiety about my own life by distancing myself from it, trying to pretend like it wasn't mine, or it wasn't significant, as though the whole thing would be over in a few months. But once I had to accomodate someone who insisted on seeing my life, and someone who was overwhelmingly excited about the life that I couldn't even tolerate acknowledging as reality, that's when I realized what I had been doing. And I thought to myself, That's fucked up. And as I write this now, it's still so upsetting to me that I think maybe I still haven't quite worked through it.

There were some really nice moments. There were some wonderful weddings. There were some fun weekends with friends. I was fortunate to develop some deeper friendships. I keep a journal, which I write it about once a month, and usually only when I'm forlorn. Unfortunately, that means a lot of the brighter moments get eclipsed. The baseball games, the drinks after work, the girls nights out, the long talks over coffee, the good days at work, the great days at work, the good moments with that one guy who is probably the worst guy that's ever happened to me, painting my room, cooking more, and every time that I got together in this city with my dearest friends from law school. There were some really good moments.

So if I had to categorize it, 2006 would go into the 'yeah, it sucked, glad that's over' category. What do I think 2007 will be? What do I want it to be? Well, if I knew the answers to those questions, I would've written that post instead of this one. I have no idea what 2007 will be like. I have no expectations for 2007 like I did for 2006. I'm ok with that.


Scheherazade said...

Hi there,

You didn't ask for advice, and I don't ususally give it. But may I suggest that your post about 2006 contains a lot of goals for 2007? Like, maybe vow that by the end of 2007 you will like where you live, and like what you do? I don't know if that means moving or quitting or finding a mentor or painting your place or what, but those two pieces still seem to be missing, and going another year without them seems like robbing yourself of some joy.

And if you're still sleeping a lot, or shutting yourself off from feeling things with most people, it's probably time to tackle the depression. I spent a few months this year playing defense against depression. I'm still trying to figure out my own life, and I'm vowing that 2007 will be a year to grow up and commit in a way I haven't done in about 4 years. I can't really explain what that means except that I recognize some of what you're describing in your post -- the feeling of tuning out a lot of the things in your life because you're convinced that they're only temporary. I'm going to try my hardest to acknowledge and tackle reality this year. Yikes. So I wish us both the strength to do that.

You deserve to like where you live and what you do.

Audacity said...

"I can't really explain what that means except that I recognize some of what you're describing in your post -- the feeling of tuning out a lot of the things in your life because you're convinced that they're only temporary."

I spent about 2.5 months in a funk like that in 2005. Shut everyone out, thinking I'd come out when things miraculously cured themselves. I finally realized this wasn't going to happen, so I took a big affirmative step to rectify the problem and you know what? Problem slowly dissipated..

I wish you both the best of luck.