New year, new hope

Every year, at around this time, I would think back over the months and marvel at how quickly time has passed, smile at the good things that I’ve done, and balk at the bad. Every year, I would sigh about how I don’t know where the year has gone, and think about how, before I know it, I’ll be 75 (if I even manage to live that long) and wondering where my entire life had gone. And once every few years, I would sit back and say a little prayer of thanks that it had been a surprisingly good year.

But not this year.

This year, I know exactly where it all went: down the drain, into the dregs of Earth, and eventually damned into that chasm we all picture laced with flames, known as Hell. So I did less of the marveling and more of the sighing with exhausted relief that the year has finally come to a close.

Because this year was a terrible one. It was abonimably, mind-numbingly heinous, and in fact I have great trouble finding an appropriate adjective for it, because honestly there is none that can adequately describe the monstrosities that took place this year.

Having to admit defeat and let go of that one crux in my life that I had fought for and against for so long. Being thrown into a professional purgatory that ultimately caused me to lose the will to work, and indeed, sometimes to live. Realizing at some point that I’d had enough of the politics and self-deprecation that come with my job and feeling as though I’d hit a dead end where the value and relevance of my work was concerned. It was all enough to send me into an almost permanent state of despondency for three quarters of the year.

And yet, despite all that, there is something to be grateful for this year. The one thing that has stopped me from throwing myself out a window so many times over the year, the one thing I can look to to help me preserve my sanity, the one thing I look forward to going home to on Fridays because it takes me away from the despair of the real world and for two or three days I can breathe more easily and be myself. And it’s the one thing that has made at least half the year that much more bearable.

And so I look back on this year and once more think that, after everything that’s happened, next year can only get better, and there’s only one direction in which it can all go. That thought, along with the raw plans I’ve made to pull myself out of this mess, is all that’s letting me hold on to my hopes for a better 2010.

Happy New Year.

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