A year is not a very small quantity of time. It consists of 365.4 Days. This entry is one that I knew I was going to write, and yet feeling the daunting task of trying to sum up the last 8769.6 hours of my life into one entry is very overwhelming. It could very well become a two-parter, which will be a first time for me. There are so many observations I want to make, involving the people who have shaped this year, the new relations that I have discovered and the old friends that I no longer have that connection with. There are certain themes that have presented themselves to me over the year, certain trends that I have taken notice of… trends that have shaped my entire life to date. It is with a newfound clarity and understanding of my own core personality that I look towards 2011. So, without any further adieu, I present to you, the reader… my 2010.
The year didn’t start off all that strong. I spend the first few moments of 2010 sitting in Mark Lidstone’s basement playing a bunch of rented Rock Band-ish games with Candace and their clique. The night itself was rather enjoyable, especially considering that there was no drinking involved. The reason I say that it didn’t start strong is because I was still rather clueless as to what I was doing with my life. I just finished up my first semester of Journalism so it was clear that I was at least on the right track, but I was still pretty much a child. I was in a failing relationship even if I didn’t know it at the time, and my life had no direction. This ties me into my overall opinion of the year itself. For you see I believe that 2010 and 2011 are basically already established as the years in which I finally realize the potential that everyone has been talking about for 25 years.
Since I was a child I have been told and made to believe that my intelligence is profound, and that there really is not anything that I would find difficult if I applied myself. The issue is that up until the year 2010, I didn’t truly believe this because there is a fatal flaw with this observation. In order for me not to struggle with an objective, I need to apply myself to it and frankly I never put any effort into anything in my life up to this point. 2010 is the year that I looked back on my life and looked at the challenges that actually defeated me, and I realize that they were so simple… so easily conquered. They only got the better of me because I didn’t put in any sufficient effort to overcoming them. University courses were a breeze for me, and when I attended it was a cake walk… Making friends was no sweat at all, usually only requiring a conversation of more than 5 minutes before someone felt comfortable enough with me that all their most cherish secrets became something that they shared.
I’ve never had a proper challenge. There is a part of me that has always wondered that if I have all of this untapped potential, then how come everything I try always end up being an epic fail. 2010 is the epiphany year where I became enlightened that my problems were my own doing all along. There is no better evidence then how it ended, but I will get into that a little later.
Here’s the jist ladies and gents. Walking into to 2010 I was still the arrogant yet completely lacking in self-confidence child that I have always been. 2010 opened my eyes, it gave me a few glances at the man who I can become if only I tried. 2010 was the year that I grew up. I removed my child-like mentality and decided that it is finally time I started taking the responsibility for all the fuck-ups in my life.
2010 has been the year of Growth, where I see that need to step up, and indeed I started doing so. 2011 will be the year that redefine who I am and become the man who I was always supposed to be.
Sounds preachy doesn’t it? Sorry.
It’s true though, I’ve spent 25 years being a child and making excuses for everything that has gone wrong. Always saying, it’ll be better “next time”, I’ll do it right “next time”. I kept a defeated mindset through all challenges, therefore I was a failure long before the fat lady sang. 2010 changed that for me. Albeit yes, essentially this entry is another large proclamation that “next year will be better.” With 2010 coming to a close I’ve seen flashes of what I need to do, I’ve done things that defy all precedents for me. Instead of giving up, I fought. Instead of lingering, I acted.
This has been one of the hardest years of my life since the nightmare days in my second year of Grenfell, but looking back on it I am actually proud of most of my actions.
In March, I did something that caused a lot of pain. I’ve labeled myself as a villain to many for a long time because of an action, but do I look back at it and regret it? Not quite. There is a part of me that believes if the variables would’ve been different things may have ended differently, but looking back on what happened I have no shame in it. I broke up with my girlfriend, and it crushed her. I felt like a complete disgrace on humanity because even though she didn’t converse with me through this time, I still heard the tears. I saw the crying face every night in my dreams, most of the time causing sleepless nights. Just about every day I fought to maintain composure. Sometimes it would take so much energy to prevent myself from calling and asking for her back, that I couldn’t spare the willpower to fight back tears of my own. I never wanted to hurt anyone, I tried to build a lifetime of relieving people of pain not causing it.
However, I knew that I couldn’t pick up that phone. There’s no way I could get back with her because the way things were, we were two different people. As I said in a previous post, it was never a question of did I love her or not. That is something that will never change, but I refuse to risk having to put her through anything like that again and at the time there was no way I could see our relationship succeeding. We needed to grow, we needed to advance to the next stage in our lives, something that I DO believe happened to us both.
What the future holds for us, I do not know. But, although I was the bad guy, and I don’t think anyone will ever agree with this viewpoint, but I did the right thing. Both for myself, and for her. She is happily with a guy who from what I can tell provides her with all that I was not able to, and me.. well.. you’re reading this. So you know where I am with my life.
This year brought about a very oddly timed wake up call. You see I am not a stranger to failure. There are courses that I have failed in University, they were entirely due to the fact that I just didn’t show up to classes and in some cases I didn’t even show up to the final exam but, never the less I was numb. I felt bad because I know how devastating it was for my parents to understand how intelligent I am, and yet I’m not passing courses. It was most likely especially embarrassing for my mother who was a teacher and prides herself on the importance of education. Her child prodigy of a son was not passing some University courses… that was a crippling blow to her. Her expectations of me with a Masters making 6 figures a year was destroyed in those years and now she just aims for me to finish something and get a decent job. This does break my heart in a way, because she was right. I am quite capable of going to med school and excelling, I could be an attorney and be a success. The issue is that for all of my intelligence I just didn’t have the ambition. I was not looking ahead. This year I did five courses in my third semester of Journalism. Of the 5 courses in all five I left out a percentage. In three of them that percentage equals more than 30 percent of the course. Think about that for a moment. This means when we look at the averages of my class, when everyone is out of 100, I am out of 70.
The last two weeks of school, it crept on me and almost actually caused an anxiety attack. I was hitting my slacker stride and was about to throw in the towel yet again. I didn’t even believe that it was mathematically possible to pass some of these courses, or at the very least I would need 90+ on all my finals to succeed. That was it, I was done. There was something different though, I wasn’t comfortable with throwing in the towel. I did NOT want to be a failure again. There were some major assignments that required a near endless amount of work in order to get them done. Getting them done before deadline was near impossible, but I was faced with the task of needing to do well in them.
I was referred to counsel because of my lackluster attendance, and I met her. I even, for the first time out loud, expressed my opinion about how I truly feel there is no mathematical way to pull this off. After that meeting and a discussion, it was yet another example of a complete stranger that has been talking to me for no more than 10 minutes, being able to see my potential. She said herself, looking at the progress thus far and the marks required to even pass this semester, under normal circumstances she would just tell the student to leave and try it again in the new year, but I gave the impression I was capable. I could’ve pulled this off. Oddly enough, hearing this from a complete stranger did lift me and help me carry myself towards this semesters finish line. It was a grueling two weeks with minimal social contact, and even less sleep. But when it was all said and done, I did it. It was the greatest academic comeback I have ever achieved and I have no intention on slowing down.
My plan for 2011 is simple. As I said, it is finally time for this 25-year-old man, to start being the man he should have been 5 years ago. 2010 opened my eyes to what I need to do, and gave me the first examples of me living up to my potential. 2011 is the time when I show everyone else that this turnaround for me is not something temporary or to be taken lightly.
2011, I vow that I will be top of the class in the program. If I stay motivated, I apologize because this WILL sound arrogant, but there is no one in there that can come close to my performance if I actually decide to perform. 2011, I vow that with a few key exceptions, Alcohol will become something that I “used to” drink, this applies to McDonald’s, KFC and fast food in general. Soft Drinks are gone too. Actually the fast food and soft drinks have been gone now already, I haven’t drank soft drinks in a few weeks and I had fast food once in the month of December.
By December 31st, 2011. I will look in a mirror and for the first time in my life I will not be ashamed of the reflection. I am not going to see wasted opportunities and lost dreams… I am going to see realized potential. 2010, showed me this goal is reachable and for that I am thankful. Now it’s time to bring on 2011.
Part Two of this entry will be up later, probably by tomorrow. I have a feeling this is going to be a three parter.