It’s a new year with new lessons to learn,

Yes, my new years post is coming a bit late. It has been a whirlwind of a past few weeks and being very, very sick has not helped with the initiative to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

But, here we are,
Another year come and passed.
With all the twists and turns and unexpected derailments, 2014 may have had the steepest learning curve yet for me.

I can’t remember another year where I have been given such an ample amount of what I have declared as “self development opportunities.” For those who showered these unfortunate circumstances on me, thank you.

I tore myself apart – and let others help.
For much of the year, I didn’t even recognize the person staring back in the mirror, and I wouldn’t have known how to address them if I tried.

But I have learned so much about myself, about others, and about how the world seems to work. I’ve gathered a list of things I’ve learned and truths I’ve accepted over the course of this year:

1.You will never know.

You will spend hours, even years, of your life tearing apart past situations in an effort to understand them.
Why did she leave?
Why didn’t he stop?
Why did they lie?
If you let yourself, your life can be consumed by the desire to understand and know the reasons.
But, the truth is: You will never really know. It will be impossible, unless you receive 100% honesty from someone, (I’m convincd this type of honesty does not exist, because I have never seen it) to get into their head and understand the circumstances that lead to the situation you are currently agonizing over. You may be able to understand part of it,  maybe even a good chunk of it, but you’ll never understand it all.
Accept that things happened (maybe for no reason at all other than the human condition of selfishness)
and move on.

2. Words mean nothing.

I have found that in this life there may be countless people who will tell you that they love you, but only a few will really show it.
Stay with the people who don’t use their words as a currency to buy your affection. Rather, stay with the people who pay with a medium that everyone has a limited amount of – time.
Stay with the people who don’t shower you with gifts or money but with their affection, with their soul, with the very essence of who they are.
You should never have to beg for the attention of someone who professes their love for you. They should be freely and aggressively giving it. 

3. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting.

I mean, if a restaurant served you bad food, you probably wouldn’t carry a vendetta against them for the rest of your life, but maybe you would hit up a different restaurant the next time you found yourself wanting to impress a girl.
Do you get where I’m going with this?
forgiveness /= forgetfullness

4. You can’t always trust your emotions.

I was so in love with the last girl I dated. I rarely questioned it. In fact, I fully believed that this would be the last girl I ever dated, and found myself
expecting to marry her. I opened myself completely to this girl, and I was pretty severely burned for it.

The point is, your emotions mean very little, and on the grand scale, nothing. You can love the completely wrong person for you. You can feel the breath leave your body when they enter a room and that person will still make mistakes, that person will still hurt you. Don’t trust your emotions.
I was so certain that no one that I cared for this much, no one I had made so many personal sacrifices and worked so hard for, no one who it felt so right to be with, could ever be wrong for me.

But I was very wrong, really wrong, and I changed my life for a misconception brought on by wayward emotions. Probably my biggest lesson yet.

#5. Wine hangovers are the worst hangovers

#6. You don’t know as much as you think you know.
I know, here I am making a list of things I’ve learned and know, and one of those is How much I don’t know.

But, think about it. What you know and believe is largely made up of circumstances and experiences that you have endured.
Now think of the billions of other people on this earth who have had completely different circumstances surrounding their life and completely different experiences as a result. Who’s worldview is correct? Who has the proper outlook and beliefs? I believe that learning is fluid, that things you strongly believed to be correct last year (the existence of truth, the innate goodness of people, etc) can now appear entirely wrong viewed through the lens of your current circumstance. With this thought in mind it is very difficult to criticize anyone else’s point of view, after all, next year – when you understand better- you may agree whole heartedly with them.

7. Love fades.
Love fades.
It waxes and wanes like the moon and the only people who can make it last through these cycles are the ones who show dedication and commitment.
I have yet to see this type of commitment from someone, and so I refuse to believe that I have been properly loved or that I have ever experienced it wholly. The effort needed to commit to a person only comes from the dedication you feel towards keeping your relationship alive, the work you put into it, and again, the time you are willing to gift it.

When I read back over these it is clear to me that my rosy outlook on people, relationships, and life has been tarnished a bit. Part of me believes this is a good thing, because wouldn’t it be naive of me to maintain my beliefs when every example I have seen points in an opposite direction? The other part of me berates myself for letting someone else’s actions change my beliefs so much.
I will be the first to admit that I know very little about love, and even less about making it work with someone.
I have a long list of people who I crashed and burned with, and so I won’t pretend to be an expert.
But I will say this, I haven’t stopped hoping that someday someone will prove to me that all of this that I have thought is entirely wrong. I haven’t stopped hoping that someone will prove to me that love can surrive the plague of human selfishness.
And I haven’t stopped believing that someone will finally fight to stay.

maybe 2015 will be that year.

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