It's been a while since I've had Subway, and the diet gets strictly enforced tomorrow. I walk in and there are a few folks in line ahead of me. There tends to be a lot of pedestrian traffic from the bus station to the gas station with Subway in it. The man in front of me is a tall middle-aged man in tattered clothes. He does not seem to understand the process, which at first, is annoying. The employee asks, "What would you like?" He responds, "a sandwich." The employee points him to the menu and asks him to pick one. He looks at me and says, "let her go first." I order. "How much is that?" he asked. I told him. The employee asked again, "now, what would you like?" ..."A sandwich." I don't think this man intentionally was being complicated. I think he was just hungry. And couldn't read the menu.
Maybe it is because it is the end of the year and I am a sucker for themes, morals and grand takeaways, but this small occurrence served to put my "bad" year in perspective. How "bad" could it really have been? I don't write about it much - mostly because it affects more than just me - but my marriage did end in May. The reason isn't important or dramatic, but it did happen. It's nothing anyone ever plans. Needless to say, the first part of 2014 was emotionally jarring. I was making decisions, taking risks, and hoping eventually to land on happiness.
As I sit here now, looking back, I am amazed at how much growing I've done in one year. I've learned about living with unpopular decisions and making unpopular choices. I've learned about speaking up and standing up for myself. I've learned that those who love you always support you and withhold judgment. I've absorbed and depended on the advice of those wiser than I am. I've learned to use food and exercise to place my own disease and ailments in submission. Don't get me wrong, I am still Diabetic, but I don't have to use needles to manage it for the time being thanks to a disciplined diet and a great wellness coach. I've learned that true compatibility lurks in unexpected places and I can wake up 8 months later with a better understanding of partnership and respect than I ever knew I was lacking.
I'm not interested in calling it a "bad" year when there are folks out there struggling to string together a few bucks to order food off of a menu that they cannot read. Put another way, I've had a revolutionized year. Riddled with change, good change. And I will be taking some of that energy with me in 2015. I made a lot of selfish decisions to get a stronghold on the notion of happiness, and I journeyed down paths that led to dead ends for a while. And then I found a path worth navigating and someone worth navigating it with.
(I hate ending sentences with prepositions, but I am making an exception here.)
So, how's that for perspective? There's a lot of folks out there who would trade years with me. This year, I want to remember that. I have a lot of richness in my life - basic needs are met, people are supportive, job pays the bills.
I will file away 2014 in a special place for teaching me important things and helping me turn sharp corners, and I will embrace 2015 for all the newness it will bring. And I will try to help others this year, because half the battle of finding internal happiness is in sacrificing a bit of it so others may also feel a similar joy.
Cheers to all who made 2014 a remarkable year.
Be Kind, Memphis & Happy New Year!