lathriel: (lovely)
[personal profile] lathriel
Sweet, gentle, 2013. You were just an observer. Just a witness. A reader of billions of stories, watching as our lives unfolded during your--relatively--fleeting existence.

I can't blame you, 2013. You did not create the situations that disturbed us, that broke us down, that threatened to ruin us. You did not make anyone's choices for them. You did not reveal dark corners of anyone's heart. All you did was give us the space to exist in, to process, to heal. If we chose not to make good use of the 8,760 hours you offered us, you are not to blame.

In the shadow of your calendar year I saw people thriving. I saw people living--truly living--unlike ever before. I saw myself distinctly, maybe for the first time since I became this version of who I am. I saw people buckle under pressure, crumble under the weight of grief. I saw people crush their grief down into a cage of disinterest and entomb it in walls made of humble righteousness. I saw people break apart, only to rebuild themselves as stronger, better, happier.

In 2013:

-I let go of my hipster pride and watched Doctor Who, and loved it (until the 11th doctor came). It changed me as a human being, and subsequently as a storyteller.

-I was fired from a job that I allowed to drive me into the deepest, darkest depression I have ever experienced.

-I wrote a novel that I can only describe as a mindfuck, and I'm shamelessly in love with every character and every scene in that book.

-I came to realize that my own emotions are valid, necessary things. I came to realize, too, that my thoughts are not superior to my emotions, and that is a hard thing to accept--one of those things feels like control, the other feels like an absolute free-fall.

-I came to realize that I don't actually know myself at all.

-My marriage to the man I had once *known* to be my soul mate dissolved into two selfish parties--one selfish because she had already given all that she could give without losing herself completely, and the other selfish because it was his utmost intention to protect himself in all things--emotionally, intellectually, egoically.

-I started to question everything I know, everything I've felt, everything I've trusted since I became an adult.

-My friends and family supported me when I came to them for help.

-I spent Christmas in the English countryside drinking wine and eating way too much good food and watching terrible BBC productions of various ghost stories.

-I came to understand myself and my loved ones a little bit better

-I came to understand that I know absolutely nothing at all

2013, you have been as good a year as any in that you are just a measurement, a swatch of a lifetime, one in a series of manageable time frames encompassing events that we may choose, or choose not, to reflect upon.

Good bye, 2013. I hope you grow brighter in our collective memories, because that's all that one can hope for the future of a year already past.

I see 2014 on the horizon. I can't recognize its face yet, but I think I can feel it learning to breathe.

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Madeline Franklin

April 2017

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