It’s December 31st 2018 and I just dropped off one of my first friends I made in Chico back at their apartment. It was new years eve and I had nothing really planned other than to just try and spend it somewhat meaningfully. I stayed with my buddy for a bit and eventually I let him rest while he prepped for the new year and new semester at school.
I decided to hit up another buddy of mine who still lived in town and we got together to and had a drink at the local pub “The Bear” and shared a few hard ciders. We talked about where we were going from here on out in life and I talked with him about how I don’t know where I was going to be going next in life but I’d give completing school back in Sacramento another try again.
As we said our farewells I walked back to my car and took a moment to gaze in front of this sight I was so used to seeing for the past two years of my life. It felt as if those memories, although recent, were already so far away from me. A kind of cheerful sadness passed through me, the type of sadness that you have from having to close a chapter of your life but leaves a cheerful aftertaste because you know that you’re leaving to become a better person.
I stood there for what must have been almost an hour thinking about how this might be the last time I see this place because the person who kept me grounded here was gone forever. I didn’t know it yet but that is when I started the grieving process over the loss of one of my best friends. I wondered about who I really was before I met her and who am I supposed to be now after she left my life.
I’ll be honest about it, I thought really hard about whether or not I should even continue existing. Because for the longest time before I met her, I was just a shell of a human being bounded to exist because I felt honor and duty to my family and friends to keep moving forward. I wasn’t built for greatness, I wasn’t special, I wasn’t the smartest, I wasn’t even the hardest working. I was a mediocre person trying what I thought was my best at “living” life when all I was doing was existing day to day to keep up an appearance for the people around me. I thought really hard about how empty my life felt without this person with me and how little drive I had to do anything now that I couldn’t share my accomplishments and victories with anyone meaningful. Eventually, I realized I needed to get going to make it back home in time to have a new year’s cigar with a high school buddy.
On the drive back I thought about how to continue my life more. I was wallowing in this addictive cycle of self-pity and defeatism. I gave in to the idea that I was worthless without even trying. It was incredibly easy for me to say extremely harsh things to myself and that self-abuse became addictive. It was so easy for me to tell myself that “I deserved this” and in a way, with my past, I almost felt like it was true. Tragedy was not new to me and having to deal with this loss felt like destiny almost. But as I listened to my music on the ride home, I suddenly fell into tears when I heard these lyrics below,
“She said I love you no matter what
I just want you to be happy And always be who you are
She wrapped her arms around me Said don’t try to be what you’re not
Cos I love you no matter what She loves me no matter what”
The song was No Matter What by Calum Scott and these lyrics hit me head on and for the first time in my life I thought about not what I lost but instead every single thing that I gained by meeting this special person in my life. I thought about how I was this terribly broken person just existing day to day and all of the sudden I ran into this person who saw everything I was and told me “I love you” regardless. I saw how I was truly blessed to have met someone so amazing and to have known her for as long as I did in my life.
I wiped away my tears and summoned up the courage to no longer sit here and mope about in self-pity. I took it to heart that it would do a disservice to the person she was to me in my life and in her life by sitting here in self-pity, unable to move forward because of what was ultimately Excuses. I would not spoil the memories we made by being unable to move forward.
I met up with my buddy and took a swig of my cigar as we talked about the coming year and what we’d do moving forward with it and how I wanted to truly make the best out of my life now. The clock struct 12:00 A.M. and for the first time, I felt as if though it would be a happy new year.