On 2013, the year that was

Authors Warning: This post is mildly depressing and had I written it even a few hours later and especially a day or two later I think it would certainly be less so. But I am leaving it as is, partially because I still very much agree with the point of it and partially because it is an accurate representation of how I felt when I wrote it. So with that, here it is.

The title of this post is in honour of my brother, for after seeing this very title on an issue of the Toronto Star remarked that it is quite possibly, the least useful headline imaginable. Akin to titling a Sportscentre broadcast ‘The sports that happened’ or a movie review titled ‘A film that played’, but I am going to use it as a jumping off point, so you’ll have to forgive me if it seems redundant.

When the idea of collecting these year reviews for this blog came up I jumped at the chance. Most of what I write is intended to be educational, requiring research and fact checking, and the chance to stray away from that is always a welcome assignment as for me, writing is therapeutic. Writing provides me with a chance to really sit with my own thoughts and get them out in exactly the way I mean them. So, 2013, the year that was.

2013 was a year like no other.

2013 was a year that I finally took the plunge.

2013 was a year where much was lost.

2013 was a year of 2 halves, or perhaps 4 quarters.

2013 was a year which housed some of the best moments of my life.

2013 was a year when I decided that comma’s before which don’t matter.

2013 was a year that will likely do more to shape my adult life than I can currently imagine.

2013 was a year. Full stop. And that is probably how it is best remembered.

As my previous posts have alluded, 2013 was a year filled with an abundance of ambiguity. It was also likely the hardest year of my young life. This speaks more to the lucky and privileged life I have led thus far than it does of the hardship faced, but nevertheless it is the case.

And honestly, I am not sure if I learned anything from it. Or at least, I am currently not in a position to feel like I can speak authoritatively on any new insight. Who would ask a lost man for directions? I know where I am going, I know from where I’ve come, but the streets around me are anything but familiar and I’m plowing forward praying for a recognizable building or two.

But this post is getting far too gloomy for my liking, as I really am excited about 2014 and the possibilities that await, so let’s get on to the one thing I feel that 2013 did teach me (or at least gave me new appreciation for) and that is the value of a strong support network. Whether that is friends, family, a community group, or whatever, it is invaluable. What I have learned this year is that a strong support network isn’t just a thing that you can rely on when things go south (although it certainly is) but rather, and perhaps much more so, it frees us to take risks that would otherwise be impossible.

This is because sometimes life requires us to chase a moving subway, and sometimes that means running full steam into the end of platform wall. Yes that can lead to a lot of pain and perhaps even smash your entire concept of self into a million little pieces, but what matters is being able to pick yourself up and prepare yourself for that next sprint. And knowing that you have a few people that will be there to help pick up the pieces and provide a shoulder to help you work your way back towards running form is one of the most freeing realizations you can have. Because then, when the subway is leaving the station, and you know you need to run with it, you can, and better yet you are freed from worrying about the oncoming wall and instead live the glory that is running as fast as you can and hoping that maybe this time the wall will have nothing on you.  (http://www.digitaloperative.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/koolaid.jpg)

So I leave you with this, in 2014 may you find those who free you to run and when you do, don’t slow down. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-vE82L3rvk)

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