January 01, 2015

A Year in Review, 2014

The best precursor to today’s post would be the post I made about a year ago. I believe that it accurately captures how I felt at the time—full of optimism and energy, with nothing but positive feelings for my future and the year ahead. Now that it’s 2015, I feel disheartened and quite melancholy at the way things have turned out. Therefore, the purpose of this post and my review of the year 2014 is to get my thoughts in order and straightened out as I move into a new year.

Let’s start with my birthday—September 10. It was probably one of the most uneventful birthdays I have had in a while. I turned 23, an age that doesn't really mean anything except for being a Miley Cyrus song. But come midnight of my birthday, with my heart pounding, I was only thinking about one thing—my ex-girlfriend.

Let’s look objectively at where I was in life on that day:
  • I had been working at Citrix Systems for exactly 15 months.
  • Living a debt-free life without any immediate financial worries.
  • Recently moved to San Francisco to live with my good friend Charles.
  • Started a self-improvement journey to learn more about web development.
  • Had traveled to five different US cities for work.
  • Went to Vegas with my good friend Raymond and came back about $1,200 richer.
  • Went to Europe with some of my best friends.
    • Accommodations all paid for using travel rewards points.
  • Went to two different major DOTA2 LAN events. (ESL One and the International 4)
    • Accommodations also paid for using hotel rewards points.
  • Lost about 15 pounds and worked out practically every day.
Yet the sole reason why my heart was pounding on the few minutes leading up to 12:00AM September 10, was the single hope and thought that my ex-girlfriend would call me wishing me a happy birthday.

Quite the conundrum. Anyone would argue that I had a pretty damn good life.

The reason why I was hoping she’d call me was that about a month back, I had called her on her birthday—breaking a self-imposed rule of no-contact. I even timed the time zones correctly so that I would call her at midnight of her local time. Why did I do it? I don’t really know. Probably a combination of my desire to talk to her, a glimmer of hope at rekindling any sort of connection, and some guilt at my treatment of someone whom I love. Unfortunately, I broke my rule further by calling her again about 23 hours later, leaving a voice mail professing my lingering love for her. So I had believed that she would “return the favor” and call me back on my birthday.

Five minutes pass, then another five. Eventually it dawned on me that she wasn't going to call at all. I don’t know why she didn't call. Maybe she hates my guts, maybe she didn't want to lead me on with false hopes, maybe she just plain forgot. No matter the reason, I went to bed with supposedly scabbed wounds ripped anew.

We broke up on April 13th and I promised myself a “grace-time” for healing—I would spend the summer moping around and being sad, but come mid-August, I would move to San Francisco and start a new life of self-improvement and chasing my dreams. You can ask my roommate, it worked initially to a small degree.

But I still thought of her daily, day dreamed about places we visited, the things we did, and the laughs we shared. I've tried numerous methods of healing: surrounding myself with others, burying myself in work / self-improvement, hitting the gym, going no-contact, writing letters without sending them. But I guess nothing heals quite like time does.

Let’s look at some more stuff that’s happened in my life since my birthday:
  • Went to Vegas again with my friend Raymond and came back about $1,000 richer.
  • Traveled to five more US cities for work.
  • Gotten laser eye surgery.
  • Redesigned my personal website.
  • Traveled to various places for leisure—LA, Napa Valley, Sequoia National Park, Florida, New York.
It’s been quite the hectic and adventurous year.

I wish I can say I've gotten better, but even to this day, I don’t know if I have. I am afraid of going to bed because I know I'll lie awake tormenting myself with thoughts of her. I remember feeling nothing but emptiness for the few months after we broke up. Today, the emptiness is still there, but it’s not a constant pain, but just sort of thing that’s just sitting inside of me. The emptiness from loss is just as much a part of me as are the memories of joy with her.

I don’t enjoy feeling this way. I don’t like being caught in crippling waves of nostalgia and pain. I don’t like Googling her name to scour the web for any tidbits of information about her current life. I don’t like using incognito mode to circumvent the fact that I blocked her on Facebook. I don’t like it when I see photos of her that mutual friends upload. I don’t like how a person who took up a single paragraph in my first 2014 post is now taking up the entirety of my first 2015 post.

I don’t really know what the point of writing this was. I definitely don’t have life figured out any more than when 2014 began. If anything, the only thing I've realized in 2014 is how little I know about life and how incredibly optimistic I used to be. So dear reader, I unfortunately don’t have any great epiphany or life-lesson here for you. I wish I did, maybe it would've saved you a year of anguish and emotional pain.

So until I learn that lesson, I can only take each day as it comes.

On a side note, I enjoyed reading this article. And this post as well. And this entire thread.
On a side side note, I wish a happy 5.5 birthday to my blog.

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