In this, my 31st year on this planet (yes, I am only 30, but I am currently in the midst of my 31st year), a lot has occurred in my life. But how do I assess it? I think I would say that things have gone down in the same manner as why my dentist told me I should brush my gums.
My dentist, Dr Sveen -- thanks for the straight teeth, and my parents say "you're welcome" for the yacht -- told me that I should always floss and brush my gums. Because, you see, if you brush your gums, they will bleed a bit at first, but in the long run, they will be stronger and provide a better foundation in which one's teeth could rest comfortably. Now, I am not a vain person, but I must say that with the exception of a small gap between my right maxillary second premolar and my right maxillary first molar, my teeth are breathtakingly straight. Due to the uncertainties of life, I am very much aware that I am one fistfight or car accident or corn on the cob hazard away from having my stellar fronts removed from their status of quasi-perfection. But boy am I beside the point.
My point was this: though we go through some hard times and rough changes, we learn to be stronger. And not in a calloused, cynical way, but rather in a way that makes us stronger and more apt to handle all the twists and turns that life gives us. And I have found more twists and turns in my life in the last half-year than ever before.
2006 has been a year of transition for me, and though I may have bled a bit at first, I am finding that it is only making me stronger. I have found that I am capable of existing in a plane that is befitting me. I have rediscovered the importance of friendship, my appreciation for delicious craft beer, the importance of introspection, and perhaps something even more special. I have allowed a lot of special people into my life, and though they might not realize it, they have all left a trace of themselves upon me.
I'm in a good place right now. I have been able to travel to visit some old friends with which I have had varying degrees of contact, but keep a solid home base. Though I have left Syracuse several times in the last few months, my heart is always back here waiting for me when I return. I have learned that it is better to put myself "out there" rather than be safe all the time.
I have been able to explore my inner self. (Yes, I know this all sounds very Buddhist, but it's the truth.) I am finding that certain flaws I have are not really flaws at all. And that the flaws I do have are not all my fault. I am at a point where I can pinpoint the negativity that has befell me over the last several years and overcome it. I have rediscovered my self-worth and realized that yes, dammit, I am a good person, and worthwhile. And that my flaws, while numerous, do not relegate me to second-class status. I know that I have a lot to offer anyone willing to look hard enough. Sure, you have to look really really really hard to see it, but I am worth the effort.
I've dropped over 20 lbs since April. Not bragging, just a numerical fact.
Most importantly, I have learned that sometimes the unknown -- while terrifying at times -- can be wonderfully exciting as well. Unlike before, I would rather take a chance on something and fail than never explore it at all. But I will continue to try my best to make everything fall into place.
No matter what the following weeks, months and years bring, I know that I am on the right path. I am supported by a wonderful group of people who have all unwittingly banded together to lift me up like a crowd surfer of a decade ago. To all 143,000 of you that have been there to hold me up, I say thank you. You know who you all are, and you have helped me rediscover the Me that was missing for so long.
Things are looking up. And maybe happiness isn't so far away after all.