so this post is a little premature since it isnt quite New Years Eve yet, but soon enough so here goes.
A few weeks ago, the boys and I began planning our annual New Years Eve party. When I invited a very close friend of mine, he informed me that although he would be attending, he doesnt like New Years Eve. He mentioned something along the lines of reminding him that he’s alone, but more than that he gets incredibly sad on NYE. He, in fact, hates NYE. To him, it is a night to remember all of the failings of the past year, all the unrealized possibilities, all the “what ifs” and what could have been.
When I first thought about it, I will admit that I immediately thought “I will be more than happy to see 2011 in the rear view mirror”. At first glance, it looked like 2011 wasnt a banner year for me, particularly with regards to my personal life. I spent much of the year dating people who were unavailable in a variety of ways: physically, emotionally, and/or psychologically. A lot of time and energy was spent/expended/wasted on people who in the long run either werent worth the time/energy or couldnt reciprocate in a way that I wanted. I spent a fair amount of this summer feeling alone. I stopped working as a resident in June and lost my surgery “family”. There were times I felt incredibly bored which led to feeling incredibly lonely. 2011 definitely had its way with me, and at first glance not in the good way.
But then I thought more. I mean, nothing REALLY bad happened. No one I love died; I still have my health. So was it really all that bad?
And that… that is why I love NYE. December 31st to me is not a time to rewind and wonder about all that could have been and all the things that went wrong, but as an opportunity to look back on all the good that happened. NYE is not a time to regret, but an opportunity to change all the bad things from the past year or at the very least put them behind us and start over anew in the year to come.
I have to admit, this past year was a year of incredible change for me. When I interrupted my surgical residency at the end of June, I made a promise to myself that I would truly evaluate my friendships. I immediately started to feel lonely because a lot of those friendships felt incredibly superficial (see the post from a few months ago). I can honestly say that has changed immensely in the last 6 months. I’ve formed amazing new friendships and strengthened others, among them my roommate Joe, and my two close friends Darren and Sergio. Through various groups, I’ve finally found and become extremely close friends with my confident – Boston installment – Areeg. I once told her that I was both incredibly happy and grateful that she came into my life; in her normal jokingly self-depricating way, she laughed and said “who me? why?”. I cant entirely say I blame her, we had been drinking a fair amount of wine by that point. But I truly am grateful, and I know (I hope!?) she feels much the same.
I spent various weekends this summer in Ogunquit and Ptown with my roommates Joe and Austin and my good friend Jim. I found I judged completely wrong and came to know my “Ptown boyfriend” Jeff. And even though I lost my surgery family, I gained a whole new group of friends through the School of Public Health. I also promised that I would keep in better contact with family and friends. I’ve done that to a certain extent, although perhaps an area to work on. And even though things in my love life didnt go according to plan, I certainly learned a lot. I learned to be a little selfish with my time. I learned to care again. I learned that jumping all in feels so good, even if it hurts in the long run. Finally, I learned to look after me – to truly make the hard/painful but right choice instead of the easy but wrong choice.
So much good happened in 2011, that it seems wrong to go back and think on all the not so good. Because really the former far outweighs the latter. It’s easy to think about the negative; the good news is we get to put the negative behind us tomorrow night. We get to clean the slate, wipe the board clean, and erase all the negative from the past year and look forward to a hopefully better year to come. I’m not making any promises, but I know I’ll be toasting to 2012 tomorrow night.
Finally, I leave this year with a few words I consider rather wise from one of my newest friends, Rodrigo and blended it with words I said to my Boston confident. I posted this phrase not too long ago, but to me it’s priceless and worth repeating. And if you dont believe it at first, keep saying it to yourself; the meaning becomes incredibly true and self-evident time and time again.
~We as human beings are intrinsically priceless, and it’s the unfortunate ones who dont see our inherent worth. We are here to choose, not to be chosen, and only those who see our true inherent worth should be given the opportunity.~