Last year I was at my cousin’s house in Goodrich celebrating New Year’s Eve. I remember having a great time surrounded by people I love and looking forward to a newer, better year. I was so optimistic about what 2017 would bring. I was excited about beginning grad school and working towards architecture licensure. I remember sitting on the couch and thinking: in 2017 I’ll have some accomplishments under my belt, I’ll be heading towards what I’ve always wanted for myself with my family and amazing boyfriend at my side.
This year, we are going to that same cousin’s house. I thought tonight would be nice. A nice time to be with loved ones. But, for some reason, I can’t help but hate this day more than I thought I ever would. January scares me but I thought that in 21 days I would feel this way – that January 20th is the day I had to be wary of. I’ve been preparing myself for that day for months. It’s like a cruel practical joke – you mentally guard yourself for a day coming weeks from now, only to find that on this day you have been ambushed and defeated.
Maybe it’s because I am reminded of how hopeful and excited I was on this day last year; that I am pissed off at how silly and ignorant I was. Maybe the idea of being in the same exact place as I was last year before all of this mess began sparked a sort of grief within me. I don’t know. All I know is that I hate this day.
And I know I’m not alone in my bitterness tonight. I know that some of you are heartbroken on this day. That is the reason I am writing this…as I cry and shake from doing so, I know some of you are doing the same thing. Lying in your bed, soaking your pillow with sadness and trying to prepare yourself for all of the fake smiling you will have to do later. If you don’t want to write it out or speak it out, then cry it out. I urge you to cry with me. To give yourself time to be bitter and angry and frustrated and to feel broken. Break. Just break. But don’t stay broken. That’s the point of this. I feel that if I don’t put this out that it won’t leave me. While others are cheering for a new year, my heart and thoughts will be with you who are begging for a new hope and a new start. I’m begging right there with you. I’m desperately wishing right there with you. My grief and my pain are right there with you. Jesus is also with us in our brokenness. He sees past our painful smiles and He knows our burdens, our worries, our despair. None of that is hidden from Him. No matter what it is we are fighting against tonight, we are not fighting alone. That’s what keeps me going…I know that there are others facing their own turmoil and that we can share our hurt to help each other get through it.
The worst part is having to explain this to your friends and family. To wish they would leave you be in your despair and let it pass. Maybe you don’t want to say it so I’ll say it for you…sometimes nothing has to happen for depression to rise up out of someone and drag them down. Sometimes, it needs to happen so we can climb out again a bit more refreshed. So, as polite as I can be about it, please stop asking “why are you crying”, “what happened?”, “are you okay?”, “what do you need?”. Because most of the time, we don’t know the answer to any of those questions. All we know is that it hurts and that hurt pulls us in until we can’t contain it anymore. We know you love us and we know you care but put your problem-solving mind away for a bit and just sit with us. Wait it out with us.
To the world, this is a day of joy and celebration and parties galore while they wave to the sky and happily kiss their loved ones.
NYE for the rest of us is a melancholic event we are dragged out to endure.
And so we will endure.
So, lash out now my friend so that you might smile like you mean it later.
And we will prevail.
Cheers to another year