2009 The worst year or best year ever?
This question could have been asked to me 100 times throughout the past year and 99 of those times the clear and obvious answer would be that this was the worst year I’ve been through. However, like many things in life, taking a look back and reviewing things can shed light on the honest reality. I was pondering this question yesterday and decided to make a list of why I thought it was a bad year and why it was also a good year. Maybe I’m just an eternal optimist, but this is how I see it…
The following experiences all occurred in 2009. Here is the cause/effect breakdown:
Broke up with my Girlfriend(basically Fiancée since I was buying a ring)
Saved a whole bunch of money., Met a bunch of great girls who are a lot of fun and most importantly REAL. Lost 60 lbs, started writing again and keeping a schedule that worked for me. Improved friendships with old friends. Realized what I don’t want in a relationship and partner. Declared that I won’t again place anyone else’s happiness above my own and vowed to only let people into my life who want me for who I am, not what I have.
I’d say that whole experience was a big win for me!
My commission based Real Estate job, completely disappeared and I went from being well paid to unpaid.
After floundering about in this abysmal job market I got some great experience as a bartender, a job that I can use while traveling. Decided to defeat my fears my following my passion and starting my writing career and have already seen amazing results in less than 2 months. Discovered that happiness is wayyyy more important than the number in your bank account and that money is simply a tool to help us get by, not what we base our happiness or success on.
Was forced to give up my beautiful water view condo in downtown Everett
Eliminated a 2300 dollar a month mortgage payment( it hurts to even think about that much money going out a month). Learned that living with less is not at all a bad thing (All we really need is a cave and a fire right?). Lowered monthly expenses hugely and discovered happiness in frugality.
Lived alone the majority of the last year for the first time.
Had time to clear my mind and limit my distractions, discovering along the way who I really was and what I really wanted. Read more books this year than I have in my entire life essentially giving myself my own college education. Found strength in the people I love the most, friends and family and forged stronger relationships with them. Realized how refreshing silence can be. Gained the ability to be completely content all by myself on a Friday evening with nothing more than a bottle of wine, a notebook and pen.
The Overall Effect
I made many new friends this year, many of whom I wouldn’t have if things didn’t go the way they did. In two weeks I will be embarking on a journey through South America and I know this wouldn’t be possible at all unless I had cut ties, cut expenses and simplified things. I’m hugely grateful to now be in the position where I can travel the world, pursue my dreams and fulfill my destiny. Life throws us some crazy shit, there is no question about that. Finding opportunity in the bad things that happen is something I’ve learned more than anything else this year. It is so hard sometimes to not just complain and give up, but there is a reason you are being challenged and that reason is so you can persevere and come out stronger and better than before.
Overall I think it is impossible to not chalk this year up as a huge win for me, especially in the long run. While I may have felt more pain and frustration than ever before, it is hard not to see that all of these things happened for a reason and created amazing opportunities in other areas of my life. I have to say though I’ve had enough disappointment in 2009 and now I’m ready for the amazing experiences that 2010 will bring. I’ll be watching the ball drop with a confident smirk spread across my face.