Print Story reflections on my fortieth year
By aphrael (Wed Nov 26, 2014 at 11:35:51 PM EST) (all tags)
My birthday is Friday, and that always triggers feelings of introspection and backwards-looking at this time of year; another year around the sun, another time to take stock of my life and see how things are the same and how they are different, how I am growing and how I am stagnating, etc, and to look forward to a new year.

This year is particularly hard.

The last year has been one of the worst years of my life. I don't say that lightly; i'm comparing it to the year I got thrown out of school, or the year I got burned out and quit my job only to have my resignation rejected, or the year that my relationship with my mother and her fourth husband deteriorated to the point that I ran away from home. I can say honestly that this year ranks with them. It's been a painful, soul-wrenching, tragic year. It included the first time in my life that I've actually contemplated suicide, and it doesn't get much worse than that.

And at the same time, it's been a very good year. I have learned more in the last year - more about myself, more about the people in my life, more about how to live, and how to share, and how to be with people without trying to merge with them, than I have in any previous year. I come out of the year stronger and healthier and smarter than I went into it, more aware of myself and my surroundings, better able to allow myself to feel empathy and love and experience the beauty in other people without needing to sacrifice myself in the hopes of making them like me. It's been a great development, and I'm a much better person for it, and I think that my friendships and relationships will be stronger than they were before this year, because of it.

But it sucks that such growth has to come at the cost of such pain, both for me and some of those around me.

So I end this year in a wierd place. Part of me knows despair; part of me knows strength; part of me knows hope.

I hope the next year is happier, less painful, better than this one was. And I hope that the growth continues, and that I stay strong and do not lose what I have gained - because the last year would be truly terrible if no good had come out of it at all.

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reflections on my fortieth year | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)
... by ana (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Nov 27, 2014 at 07:28:00 AM EST
 Many (happier) returns of the day!

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

Happy Birthday by clock (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Nov 27, 2014 at 05:09:50 PM EST
I wish you more peace and strength in the coming year. Introspection is good. Moving forward is good. Coming out the other end alive is, well, the best thing.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

Happy Birthday Mr Aphrael by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Nov 28, 2014 at 11:53:59 AM EST
Happy Birthday To You

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Happy birthday! by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Nov 28, 2014 at 03:51:05 PM EST
Growth is often painful.

oh, honey by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Nov 28, 2014 at 10:23:47 PM EST
I just want to give you a great big hug.

Happy birthday! by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #6 Sat Nov 29, 2014 at 02:24:40 PM EST
Sorry it's been shite. Growth is great, but growth without pain is so much better.

Happy Birthday! by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Dec 01, 2014 at 11:58:28 AM EST
Sorry for the late reply, I've been busy for a few days.

Happy Birthday, my friend.

I wish you peace, happiness and contentment.  We have to find a way to get together again one of these days.

Stealing from my favorite TV show... by atreides (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Dec 01, 2014 at 01:45:24 PM EST
"The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation.

No one knows the shape of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain."

Welcome to the future. It sure beats the alternative...

He sails from world to world in a flying tomb, serving gods who eat hope.

reflections on my fortieth year | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)