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Monday, January 04, 2016

2015 IN REVIEW: Personal Reflections

Well, this is it.  The final entry that I'll write about the year gone by.

And this time, I'm making it personal.

Seriously, this is the personal reflections portion of the blog, where I talk about what 2015 meant to me, and things I hope for in the new year.

And, how do I feel about the year that has just gone by?  Well, on a personal note, 2015 was one of those years that started out terribly, but ended on a high note.  I suppose if you took the movie "Inside Out" as an example, the beginning part of my journey was made up of Sadness and Anger orbs.  Towards March and April, it was mostly Fear orbs.  Then around July, it was all Joy orbs...and by September we went back to fear orbs again.  As I closed off the year, I think I'm back to those glorious yellow orbs.

Interestingly enough, I never really felt much disgust over anything this year.  I guess the Mindy Kaling part of my brain went on vacation this past year.

So, I suppose that if I could define 2015 on a personal level with one or two images, it'd be these.

Yes, the SOLD sign and the key to my home.  In 2015, I became a first time homeowner, and I have to say, it's been a whirlwind of emotions. 

Ultimately, the day I got my key was the day my joy emotion went into overdrive.  Finally, I had something to show for my hard work.  Finally I had a place of my own where I could do whatever I wanted with it.  Finally I had escaped the apartment of doom where misery guts and abandoned dreams came to settle!  Not even Bing Bong himself would have helped make that building more pleasant to live in!  Definitely a lot of anger and disgust memories were added to my memory banks the eleven years I stayed there!

But as much joy as I felt in getting freedom, there was just as much fear over how I was going to keep this dream going.  Just the expenses alone that I went through this year in restoration, repairs, and bills have made me completely broke! 

But you know, they do say that the first year of home ownership is the hardest and that once you get past that, it becomes easier.  I'm six months into it now, and gradually it's beginning to get more stable.  It all depends on how much I want this house, and how much financial planning I need to do, and how much havoc Kathleen Wynne and her merry maidens of Liberal corruption hike up the prices of electricity and carbon.

(Normally I hate talking politics, but in this case I will make an exception and say to myself - how can these idiots elect someone who has nearly bankrupted the province I live in?)

Ah, there's that disgust shining through...followed by a little taste of anger.

Okay, let's change the emotional rollercoaster direction a little bit here as I talk about a little sadness here.  2015 started off on a bad note as I lost the last remaining grandparent I had left.  It didn't matter that she had been in ill health for some time prior to that, and that she didn't really recognize any of us the closer it came to the day she was still a sad event - and sobering at that.  When I was a kid, all four of my grandparents were still alive.  By the age of 33, all of them were gone.  It makes me realize that we don't have as long on this planet as we all would like to think, and it certainly makes you want to cherish the people who are in your life.

But one thing I did also learn was that sometimes people who find love sometimes get it right the first time.  Just ask my parents, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2015!

2015 was also the year that I ended up changing jobs - twice.  Mind you, they were only departments in the store I've worked at for years, but still...they are changes that brought forth fear.  But once I got used to one of the jobs, that fear turned into confidence, and that confidence provided joyful memories that I will take with me to my new position.  But, considering that I am a homeowner now, maybe 2016 is the year I start expanding my options and try to find a job that will be worth more in both monetary value and personal development.  The year's only four days old.  Lots of time to figure out a plan.  For now, I'll do what I can with what I have to work with.

And, 2015 was the year that I learned a very important lesson about life itself.  I learned that under no circumstances are toxic people ever to be allowed anywhere near me.  Toxic people just cause a lot of anger and sadness, and who really wants those two emotions behind the wheel of the decision making shuttle zooming around your brain?  Part of the reason why moving to a new place was so joyful was that I was escaping a place where there were nothing but toxic people.  And now that I don't ever have to deal with any of them again, I feel absolutely hopeful for what the future has to bring instead of dreading the worst.

Besides...spending time with toxic people makes one feel incredibly lonely.  And I'm tired of feeling that way.  I'm not saying that I'm going to head down to the local bar to buy everyone drinks.  One, I can't afford to, and two, I'm not quite ready to make friends with everyone.  But that said, I wouldn't mind finding a companion to hang around with - even if it's just to hang out on a park bench people watching. 

Yeah, that didn't sound creepy.  That didn't sound creepy at all.

So, what do I hope for in the year 2016?

Well, given all of the news regarding violent acts of crime all over the world, I would obviously wish for people to act more civil and give more compassion to others.  While we're at it, I'm all for logical control of firearms.  I wouldn't ban all of them outright, but I also wouldn't happily hand out bazookas to everyone in the street.  There's got to be a median somewhere that everyone can agree on.

I also am hoping that anyone else but Donald Trump gets elected at President.  Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bush...heck, even Achmed the Dead Terrorist would make a better choice!  I feel so strongly about it that from now on I'm not even going to mention his name in this blog at all.

(It's my blog.  I have the freedom to do that.)

On a personal level, the thing I want most for 2016 is to finally start standing up for myself and not let people walk all over me.  I've had too many people do that with me and take advantage of me - so much so that I was kind of numb to it.  If anything, this newly found independence that I developed in the middle of 2015 has taught me that I don't have to settle for less.  In fact, I won't settle for being treated any less of a person than I know I am.  I cut a lot of ties with toxic people that I do not regret at all, and I'm open to replacing them with people who are positive influences.

(This includes family members too.)

In a way, I'm sad to see 2015 end.  It was a life-changing year for me.  It's going to be pretty hard to top it.  But in 2016, I plan on enjoying the ride no matter where it takes me.

Look out, Sixteen.  I'm coming on strong.  And for the first time in a long time, all my emotions are in control!

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