So, as this year ends, I want to look back and reflect on all the things that have changed. At least that’s what I’ve thought I wanted to do. Instead I want to write about only two things.
The first is “One Step Forward.” I woke up on January 1st 2013 and posted “It doesn’t matter how many steps backwards you take if you can take one step forward at the dawn of each day.” In some ways it was a New Years “resolution” but in other ways, it was a conclusion. The night before I had gone out with some friends and had an interesting evening. The highlight of the evening was a conversation I had with this girl that was absolutely meaningless. It was just fun with a random stranger. That was really important because I have made a serious and concerted effort to talk to people. This has had a serious impact on my life.
This one post kick started my movement to positivity. I have tried to post one positive thing each and every single day and I posted 322 positive posts this year which only puts me at a success rate of 88.2%, which is actually so amazing that I have killed the curve. Do you know how many positive thoughts you had in 2012? I can tell you I had less than that. It is really hard for me to admit that I probably had less than 322 total positive thoughts in 2012 and that makes me tear with joy. I am not who I was. You know what is even more amazing? I am talking about 322 positive posts in 2013 and that doesn’t scratch the surface of how many positive thoughts I’ve had in 2013. I have taken one step forward.
The second major thing that happened because of that night is Jeannette. I doubt meeting me has been important to her and I doubt that anything actually happened in Jeannette’s life because of me. However, one of the random times I saw her, I heard her say something to someone and all of a sudden I saw her for the first time. You see, Jeannette had been through something that defines a person, something that changes a person. I have never met someone who’s been through something like that and has not been changed for the worse. She took something that people cope with and has turned it not into a badge of shame or even a badge of courage but a piece of her that reinforces everything that she is.
She is cute and beautiful and fun and easygoing. There is little not to love and I’ve said I love her and I do, but it seems most people don’t really understand half of what it means to love someone. I don’t need to hold her tight and stare into her eyes. I don’t need to taste her lips and nibble her neck. I need to know her. I see her and am humbled and inspired and renewed. I see her and I feel like a failure and a success. I see her and I am renewed and lost and found. And when I say “when I see her” I do not mean her flesh and my eyes, I mean soul to soul. Love is the right word for this. There really is no other.
If it wasn’t for that conversation with a stranger on New Year’s Eve, I don’t think I would have opened up to her. I have opened up to many people, and it is what has allowed me to find someone who has been on a similar detour and can still smile. And I can smile too. It is incredible.
The final gift of 2013 has also come in the guise of a woman. About a week ago, I started talking to a girl I met over a decade ago. It has been among the most rewarding things in the world to talk to her, and again it is all about timing. I get it, the sweet, sweet irony of it all. It is beautiful and wonderful. Here, at the close of a year, the end of a chapter I am given this sweet closure. I could not have written a better ending. I sit here and talk of how great it is to see Jeannette and how she has taken this similar journey, though her trip seems so much greater and she seems so much stronger. And then later I will sit and talk to this girl and help her on her own journey. Sometimes I share what I’ve learned from Jeannette and sometimes from my own life. I am conceited enough to think I am helping her. I am humble enough to see that she is helping me.
I can say that I am ready for 2013 to end. And I can say it with a smile. I can say it like I say love, in truth and in completeness. I am READY for 2013 to be over. I have learned the lessons. I have accomplished the goals. I am ready for the next year, the next lessons, and the next steps. I am excited. I am ecstatic. I will have a celebratory drink at the same bar and see what happens. Perhaps the girl that kick started 2013 will show up. Maybe someone else will show up. Regardless, I cannot imagine being as sad as I was one year ago. And I cannot wait to see where I will be when 2015 is ready to start and can only hope I am just as ready then.