I sit here on the verge of a new year. As such, I thought I would look back and see what I accomplished, if anything, during 2009. And, I am taking a shortcut by using the letter I wrote to myself almost one year ago (it will be a year tomorrow) to see how I measured up. The original letter is as follows, and can be found in Chapter 1. Comments will be in bold italics. And here we go............
Welcome to the first year of the rest of your life. Your life as you knew it is over. Deal with it, move forward, forgive but never forget. Jesus I was a harsh motherfucker wasn't I?
Why do I tell you never to forget? I tell you this because for you to forget would mean for you to forget all the lessons that you have learned. You should never forget those lessons. You should not forget how the words and actions of X2B made you feel. Not so much so that you can dwell on them, but so that you can realize that they were just words and actions of a broken human being who was using you to make herself feel better. You deserve more, and in this upcoming year, maybe you will even find it. However, don't be a sorry sack of shit feeling bad about yourself if you don't. You are a prize, and any woman would be lucky to call you her partner. You are loyal and thoughtful, you are kind and sincere. You are a rock, and one day a woman will have the key to your heart, but do not go giving it away freely. Words to live by really. It is an amazing thing confidence will do to a person. And I can say that I have it. Some call it cockiness, but it isn't. To me, cockiness is just spouting off at the mouth. Confidence is knowing that you can back your shit up.
Yes, you had a bad 2008, but you are still alive. You have come so far from where you were in March. Remember the nights out drinking so that you could forget and dull the pain? Yes, those are gone. Remember the constant crying because you could not believe what was happening to you? Yes, those are gone as well. Remember doubting yourself everyday, thinking that there was something inherently wrong with you because you felt that no one really loved you? Those are gone because you have come to the realization in 2009 that you must love yourself first, and then everything has a way of falling into place. Word. Yup, no more crying, and no more feeling sorry for myself. And amazingly, things have fallen into place better than I could have possibly dreamed them.
Now, look at what you accomplished in 2009. You quit dipping. Yes, I know that it wasn't easy, but it was time. Not to mention no woman really wants to kiss a guy with worm dirt in his mouth. And look at it this way, by quitting dipping, you saved $1,750 this year on just not buying tobacco products. You were able to bank that money and help yourself pay down the large debt that you incurred to get the divorce finished. So hats off to you buddy, that was a major step. Um, yeah, about that. No, I didn't quit dipping. Yes, I know it is a fucking disgusting habit, and yes I know women do not find it attractive, and blah blah blah. It's not easy to quit. However, I will say that the more time I spend with any woman I am dating, the less I do it, and there have been times that I have gone considerable amounts of time without one. But then I get bored, and I do it again. I also don't want to consider how much money I have spent in the last year on it, but I imagine it is somewhere in the ballpark of $1,500. So, I am quitting, next year. I swear (psst, I have good reason to that doesn't just involve my health).
You also got to know who you really are as a human being and as a man. You know who you are and what you want, and I think at this point (if you were lucky enough, because let's face it, you need to be lucky in this one) you might have even met a woman who you want to be with for the long haul. I don't tell you this because you might actually have her in your physical presence, but more because you know now, without a shadow of a doubt, in your heart and in your mind what type of woman you want to be with. And that is important. Yup, learned all it. Damn I am, as I would say in a Bostonian accent, WICKED SMAHHT.
Also, look at you now you sexy beast. You made it a point to get off your ass, stop eating everything that tasted good that wasn't good for you (well, you did have some cravings that you gave into, but since it wasn't every day, you get a pass), you lost weight, got toned, and are healthy. No more not shopping at stores like J Crew and Banana Republic because the clothes they have do not fit you. No more feeling sorry about your appearance. Fuck, no more feeling sorry about yourself. Did it take a while to do it? Yes, but all your hard work paid off now didn't it? I am pretty proud of you (or is it proud of me?) that you did this for yourself and you did it on your own. Did you have some inspiration, yes, and you know who that was because you want her badly, but don't get too ahead of yourself there sport. Inspiration is good, but you didn't get all weird and shit, so high five to that. I mean, don't you feel better about yourself when you go to the beach and take off your shirt? Yeah, I know, you are still hairy, and the back wax was not the most comfortable thing in the world, but shit, you look good, enjoy it. The tan looks good on you. Ok, so this didn't exactly plan out the way I had hoped. I got so busy with dating, and working on the house, and my regular job, that I barely had time to sleep, eat, and shit, much less work out on a daily basis. However, I was running up to 3 miles a day, and that was quite an accomplishment. Furthermore, I was lifting weights like a crack fiend and put on a considerable amount of muscle mass, so, I am more toned, and it has improved my overall attitude toward my body, but there is more work to be done. And I think I will be finished by October 2010.
Now, was 2009 a challenging year? Of course it was. You were trying to find your place in this world, and everything was in essence new to you. That was ok, and there was nothing wrong with that. You had some tough choices to make, but you felt good about the decision making process that ultimately led you to make your decisions. You always knew that life wasn't perfect, that there would be challenges, but one of the things that you learned the most this past year was that those challenges are not the end of the world. Things did get better with time. You are a happier and more emotionally healthier person you were during 2008, and that is a grand accomplishment. Fuck yeah it is, and fuck yeah I am!
You also stopped being a pansy ass and stood up for yourself, what you believed in, what was important to you, and who was important to you. You have always been a shy man, and there is nothing wrong with that, but in 2009 you came out of your shell and let the world in. Little did you know just how much you were going to let the world in, but you are where you are now and your life is fuller and richer for it. This is true as well, and I did just that. I definitely did some things that I normally wouldn't have done, and I can say that both my personal and professional lives are better for it.
Now, I really do not know what else to tell you other than I am proud of you. There are obviously things I am not telling you now because you don't need to be told some things for they are better off left to the imagination and discovery. Call me an asshole for that if you will (you'd be calling yourself one idiot), but such is life. There is no road map to it, so there are just some things that you are going to have to figure out for yourself. Fuck this bullshit, I want a road map! Particularly when it comes to dating (which by the way, I am having a ball with).
Now, stop reading me. You are in Hawaii and that beautiful brunette you have waiting for you to go down to the beach and kiss to a new year is waiting for you, and trust me, you do not want to keep her waiting. 2009 was good, 2010 is going to be even better. (Hey, I can hope for you that this happens while you read this, I mean, I am you, and I can dream just as well as you can). Ok, so I am not in Hawaii. In fact, I am back in DC. But, tomorrow night, when 2010 rolls around, I will indeed be kissing in the new year with a beautiful brunette. 2009 was a good year. If 2010 is any better, and all signs are pointing toward it, then life is indeed, good. In fact, life is very good.
Stay tuned, my next letter to myself comes tomorrow....