One thing I cannot stop myself from doing once the year is drawing to a close is to look back at what I have done, what has happened to me, trying to get an overall view of the period that has passed. But because lately I have started to realize that what remains once an experience is done and lived is the lesson that you were taught, this year I am trying to think of the things I have learned rather than try to re-live the moments that have marked me the most.
Altruism is still well alive in some people
The most impressive thing I have discovered this year must have been what it feels like to receive a gift that has the sole purpose of making you happy. Two tickets to the concert of your favourite band might not seem like anything extraordinary to some people, but it has deeply touched me to see that someone invested time and money in something that would make me so happy. Actually the simple fact that they thought about doing this for me moved me deeply. For someone to come up with this thought, to plan this, to just make this gesture, to try to make things simpler for me… it even moves me now when I remember it.
This is why sometimes, when a crazy idea of making a gesture like this for someone comes to me, I try to act on the first impulse. And I try to shake away the thought that the relation that we have would make my gesture seem awkward, that I might be taken for a fool or that they might take advantage of me by mistaking my wish to do good for weakness. Because at the end of the day life is hard enough for all of us so if we get the chance to put a smile on someone’s face and make it a bit better, why not do it?
Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, not what is most comfortable
The second important lesson I have learned is something that actually stuck with me from last year. The human psyche is something very frail and can change direction way easier than we would like to imagine or accept. We like to think of ourselves as of the heroes in the stories that we populate, but the truth is we can turn into monsters in no time.
I hate to admit it and I will always carry this burden into my heart, but I have wronged a person because of selfishness, because of my impossibility of seeing the big picture and because I had refused to accept the cards I had been dealt. I will no more get the chance to ask for forgiveness, but I have learned that I cannot run away from the responsibilities life puts before me, that life is, contrary to what we keep hearing almost everywhere around us that we must seek happiness and fun throughout our journey, not only about finding ways to enjoy yourself, but mostly about accepting responsibilities and doing the right thing, even though at times that might not be exactly what you wanted.
My place in the Universe gives me reasons not to fear my death
I have read books and saw videos that opened up my mind about the world around me, about the huge universe I am but a minuscule, insignificant part of, I have managed to come to terms with the idea of my death. I have managed to finally put some order in my thoughts and beliefs around the existence or absence of a God and I am inclined to believe the latter. I have come to the conclusion that the God in our dogma is just an invention that bears the limitations of the human mind, it wasn’t us who were created in God’s image, it is God who was created in our image, simply because we couldn’t imagine anything more.
The Universe is so immense and such complex phenomena take place out there, that it is simply impossible for me to believe an old man among the clouds is watching me and writing down the good things and the bad things that I do. A frightening thought for when you feel the need for protection by someone or something above and beyond you, but also soothing for me when I think of how unimportant I am in this infinite realm of ours. So then why should I be so worried if I exist or if a cease to be? That is of course no reason to stop enjoying life and to try to make the most of it.
Words don’t really mean much
Another thing I’ve discovered is that one day you can hear the sweetest words from someone and the next day they can make you understand they don’t want to have anything to do with you anymore. Which is shocking. If someone tells you that you are perfect and special one day and then they stop talking to you and actually expect you to take the step of getting out of their life, it is at first shocking. First you try to find a logical explanation, although it is difficult to explain such a fracture in a logical manner, then comes a strong feeling that you have been treated unfairly, then you get hurt and then you’re back at “what the hell happened?”.
Whatever subsequent reassurances that you are alright, that nothing is wrong with you, that you are wonderful or whatever you might be told, cannot really change this situation. First because you have heard the very same words before you got discarded and secondly because when people care about you, they find the time and a way of keeping you around them. They don’t look for you, they don’t care about you. It’s as simple as that. And yes, they didn’t like you that much in the first place, because the truth is… nobody wants to let go of someone they really like. So “It’s not you, it’s me” actually means “It’s not you, it’s me and I don’t like you”. Case closed.
My dreams are my dreams
I may end up this year a bit disappointed, but for the first time I feel that I am one of the greatest people I can rely on and that I have it in me to offer myself some remarkable experiences in the future. It must also be for the first time that I am trying to imagine myself with someone by my side and that the image pains me and makes me wish to do everything I dream of on my own. My dreams are my dreams and next year I will put my own dreams first.