Saturday, August 8, 2009

One Year Later

It's been a year and five days since I started this blog. I reread my first few entries today.

While this blog is not quite a mirror image of my life, it represents the past year pretty well. I need not to reminisce on the events of the past year, for that you can go back and read all of my entries. I will just say this: the past year has been quite a roller coaster for me. I would never have guessed in a million years that I would be where I am today. But that's what I love most about my life. When my life gets routine, mundane, and lacks surprises, I get bored, restless and depressed. I'd much rather ride the ups and downs than ride on the straight and narrow track.

A year ago I thought I was grown up. Turn out, I had a lot of growing up to do. At the very least, this past year has allowed me to do that. While I've lost a lot, I've also gained a lot. I'll spare you the details (and once again redirect you to previous entries) and simply state that I have reconnected with myself in an entirely new- and improved- way.

And thanks to this blog, among other projects, I have become a better writer. Just as in life, I have become a better person. The best metaphor I can come up with to describe this metamorphosis, is this: a year ago I was a Clark Kent. Today, I'm a Superman.

While I don't feel invincible, I feel stronger, more conscious, more intelligent and insightful, more respectful, less afraid, and much, MUCH happier.

I still have occasions of depression and anxiety, but I have learned to deal with them in proactive ways. I have most likely mentioned this previously, but I once had a boss who, despite having his head up his ass, was full of insightful idioms and epigrams. One that comes to mind is "there are no problems, only opportunities."

This has, in a roundabout way, become a mantra of mine.

Like many of life's lessons, this way of looking at problems is much easier said than done. It is a discipline, that even the most regimented individual can not follow 24/7. But the more you try, the easier it becomes, and the more positive and optimistic view you will have on life.

But having a positive attitude is not just about turning problems into opportunities. It's a way of life that I have stumbled across this past year. I had a bit of an epiphany the other day while helping out a friend with a problem; I RARELY complain any more.

When I thought about it for awhile, I couldn't even recall the last time I had a "decent" complaint. After a little self-investigation, I realized that I don't complain, not because I have nothing to complain about, but because there is no point. Complaining solves nothing and almost always worsens the situation.

Now, I know this all sounds like the BS we've been spoon-fed since birth: don't sweat the small stuff, glass half full, etc. And I subconsciously resisted all of that for years. But I think all of my "bad luck" and misfortunes have paved the path for me to fall into a life of positive thinking. It came down to sink or swim (as you can clearly see by reading my entries from the past year) and the only way I would make it out alive is to choose to swim.

But one year later, I'm not doing the doggy paddle. I'm doing Micheal Phelps style laps.