A year ago tonight, I was at my favorite restaurant/bar, Matador, with some friends.
A lot has changed in the past year. I can’t even say if things have overall changed for the better or the worse because both have happened. But change is what it is nonetheless. I went for a night ride with my friend Marit and my horse Ruby, and now I’m home drinking the last of my alcoholic eggnog because I don’t want to waste it before it goes bad. I’m okay with that.
I completely restarted my life back in 2015 and it was going REALLY good, and this year threw us all for a loop. I’ve been extremely lucky in some ways, I’ve been able to keep my job which is a big part of my identity and I know there was a lot of complication involved with that, a lot of people who care and had my back. I’m not used to that. I’m used to being the one who gets the short end of the stick, the one who gets pushed down so someone else can lift themselves up, the one gaslit, the one overlooked. I’m used to being in defense-mode, bracing myself for the next hit and wondering how and where I’ll get shoved down. To have people that actually have my back and stand up for me… its confusing, which is such a weird thing to say, I know, but it is. I’m not used to it. I’m so thankful, and yet a little bit uncomfortable and/or awkward at the same time. I catch myself wondering what I did for them to care, and then what if I mess that up? Where is the dealbreaker?
Then I remind myself that I shouldn’t be depending on anyone in any way and my trust issues come rushing back full force. I try not to depend on people, but in life, we all need people in some way, to some degree. I wish that wasn’t true for a lot of reasons, but it just is. I’m more independent than most in so many ways.
I have to remember that I can’t control the fact that people that I like and/or trust may turn on me someday. All I can do is my best. When I mess up, and I will because I’m human, just admit it, apologize for it, and try to do better in the future. I can’t force anyone to like me or to keep liking me. I just have to hope that by trying to be a good person, other good people will want to be a part of my life, too.
I can’t say that my struggle with trust issues is unfounded. Some people that I thought were good people have turned out to be shady; when circumstances change, they change. This is just human nature and I’ve experienced it since I was a child. For some people, when you are no longer convenient for them, they drop you. Or maybe they start taking out their personal problems on you and begin to behave in an abusive manner.
Others are not bad people, but this year has changed so many of us and sometimes people change in directions that draw them away from others they were once close with. It hurts and it sucks, but there’s not a “bad guy” in those types of situations. I said to a friend I was talking to last night, “Even if that person technically did nothing wrong and their actions are understandable, but you STILL feel shitty, You. Feel. Shitty. It’s valid, and it’s okay, and its okay for you to not continue to put yourself in a position that causes you to feel shitty.” Some relationships are negative because a person is toxic, other relationships are negative simply because of outside circumstances, or general incompatibility, or maybe just goals, aspirations, and priorities no longer coincide in the same way that they once did. Its difficult when changes happen that you didn’t want, and its harder when you don’t have someone to blame things on.
I’ve learned the hard way not to hold on to the past. Change happens, its a fluid part of life. Some things are meant to last a lifetime while others aren’t. Some people are meant to be constants, others are meant to enrich a portion of our lives, or teach us hard lessons. I’ve said things that i need to say to people, but I can’t make someone see things the way that I see them, and I can’t make someone care. This year, I’ve had to let a few people slip away quietly into the night; no drama, no fight. I’ve just had to accept that things changed.
This year took us all down a peg. It caused us to reassess our priorities, our expectations, and so much more. I’m thankful for the good things in my life. I’m thankful that I was able to go to the barn tonight and take an evening ride on my wonderful mare. I’m thankful for my job; without it, I have no idea what I’d do. I’m just a single lady and I have a lot of animals, including horses, to support. But my animals give me SO MUCH in return, they bring me so much joy and purpose. I would be DEVASTATED if I found myself in a financial position where I had to rehome them.
I’m thankful for the people at my job who have been supportive and kind to me. I’m thankful for my boss for so many reasons. I’m thankful that my path crossed with someone who did more to save me than she knows. Back in 2015, after getting betrayed by someone one last time after a downward spiral of betrayals, I remember sitting in my bedroom looking around feeling more alone and defeated than ever, and thinking to myself, I can’t live like this. I’m glad I hit rock bottom at that moment, and I’m glad I made the right choice. I’m glad I moved back to Seattle and just stopped fighting to fit in in a place that I didn’t. That’s when my path crossed with my boss’s, and she helped me find my place again.
This next year will probably bring more change, but I’m hoping its the type of change that picks up the pieces of this year and still allows us to move forward with life. I have some hard questions that I’ve been asking myself. What do I want out of this next year? What should my goals be? I don’t want to set unrealistic expectations, but I do want to challenge myself to keep standing tall, to keep bending instead of breaking, to keep helping animals in need, and to keep being a positive person in the lives of others as much as I have the ability to control that.
Happy New Year, everyone. I sincerely hope that this next year continues to inspire us to be better, to be more kind, and to keep working to achieve our goals. I plan to try my best. That’s all that I can do.