I fell in love with the girl of my dreams only to have her tear my heart out. I plotted to murder the man who took her from me. I celebrated what will be the first of many of my friend’s engagements. I spent months aimlessly looking for nothing to do and dated a girl just so I wouldn’t feel so lonely. I finally left Woolworths and started working as the Sub-Editor for a pretty cool music website. I cried watching Pretty in Pink. I constantly put on weight then lost it, only to put it on again. I watched over 1000 episodes of anime and can now partially understand Japanese. 2014, what a temperamental year you had been.
We’re one week into the golden age that is 2015, and initially I more or less feel the same about everything. I’m still an anxious wreck. I still apathetically lapped the food court four times today before deciding I didn’t want to eat out. I’m still trawling the internet for new music while guzzling beers after lunch.
Now don’t roll your eyes at the screen and think “Here Shay goes again, complaining about his bland middle class life”. Yes, I still feel all the things that I used to feel last year, but for different reasons. Yes I feel anxious, but only because working at Happy is important to me and I want to do the best job I can. Yes I lapped the food court four times, not because I was feeling apathetic, but because I couldn’t find a place that didn’t bathe their food in grease and a salad every now and then is good for me. Yes, I trawl the net for music whilst drinking beer, because finding new music and tasting new beer is essential for my jobs at Happy and Dan Murphy’s respectively.
Holy shit, have I changed?
To be honest I spent most of 2014 being a miserable mess. I mean, have you read this blog? The proof is in the pudding as they say, and this has certainly been one sad, misshapen pastry indeed. You know, girlfriend dumped me, no one would employ me, which all amounted to me hating everything, yada yada yada. I spent so much time watching anime between the hours of 11pm and 4am that the bags under my eyes started to look like Naruto’s sage jutsu markings.
These days I have a pretty awesome job, and I’ve started seeing someone new. But I don’t think I’ve changed because I’ve filled those two holes. It certainly hasn’t calmed the tempest that is my anger. What has changed is that I’ve finally started to open myself up to taking some much needed advice. I’m a stubborn bastard, so learning ‘life lessons’ is always a tough ask. But recently I’ve stumbled across three that are well worth remembering;
1. Not everyone will accept who you are.
Radi, the head honcho over at Happy asked me what personal goals I had going into the new year. I told him that I didn’t really have any personal goals, that just I wanted people to appreciate and respect what I did. As he stroked his beard, he offered me some wise advice, the kind a sage would deliver from the top of a mountain. Okay not really. He just very bluntly replied “You need to get that out of your head. No one will ever accept you the way you want to be”.
Yikes, so much for my personal goals. But it makes sense. I’ve spent my whole life stressing out wondering why I wasn’t as cool or popular as everyone else. It’s natural to want to be liked, but desperately trying to be liked by people doesn’t help that cause. Not everyone will accept that I’d rather do a low paying music journo job rather than work somewhere ‘normal’, or that I cut my own hair rather than make 30 minutes of squirming awkward conversation with a hairdresser. Silently worrying about these things won’t help me, just hinder. And it certainly won’t help me learn how to love, which leads me to…
2. Love isn’t owed to anybody.
When Liv broke up with me my sense of reality became warped. The sky was in the sea, the fish were where the birds should be. How could someone say they loved me one day and the next change their mind? It was something I obsessed over. It didn’t help that her parting words to me was that I “deserved to be loved”. That doesn’t really mean anything to me. For what it’s worth I’m a nice guy, but I do not believe for a moment that I should be loved, romantically or platonically, for that reason alone.
Love isn’t something you attach yourself to when it’s convenient or because you feel like you deserve it. Love isn’t a feeling, it’s a promise. It’s a promise to be the best you can be, for whatever the cause. It’s a promise to celebrate and respect. And it doesn’t always go both ways. And that can hurt. And it can leave you bitter. It can make you angry…
3. Anger isn’t the end.
Fuck I was so angry last year. I hated my job. I hated that another guy stole my girlfriend’s heart. I hated that no one tried to understand how I truly felt and patronised me instead. I hated that it took this blog for people to notice that I wasn’t always feeling okay. But thank fuck for Naruto. I watched well over 600 episodes of that show last year. So much that I’ve caught up to the current series that’s airing in Japan. For those who aren’t familiar Naruto is an anime about a young ninja who must deal with being the village pariah due to being the host of a demon fox that once attacked the village. The Nine Tailed Fox is an embodiment of pure hatred, who lives only to destroy. Yet despite all his struggles, Naruto does his best to keep the beast in check and be a good person.
It may be silly to cite a cartoon as source of inspiration, but this show definitely was the highlight of my 2014. No matter how low I felt, I always had the Number One Unpredictable Knucklehead Ninja to make me laugh and oddly enough relate to. Sometimes I feel that there is another person living within me, an entity made up of rage who wants nothing better than to hurt others. Sometimes I have violent impulses which I do my best to ignore.
When I discovered my girlfriend had been romanced by another guy I was furious. I was so close to begging my dad for money so I could fly to England and break this guy’s neck for taking her from me. It’s sounds like a grand exaggeration but I assure you that is the truth. I honestly plotted his murder. Yet hanging onto anger like that only managed to eat my up from the inside, and pretending I was fine didn’t help either. Naruto denied he was angry or lonely, but he always looked forward to the future in hopes of carving out his own life separate from all the bad shit that happened to him. Heck, if a fictional character can do that then I sure can.
Goodbye 2014, you miserable bastard. You swamp of sadness. You melancholy odyssey. I no longer need to feel down to feel something, I’m 24 now damn it. It’s time to create the future I want. To see with eyes unclouded.
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