2013 hit me like a goddamn freight train. A head-on collision. Tires skidding, glass shattering, metal crushing. Silence. Then sirens. The noise never left for long, but the silence was just as deafening.
2013 was a roller coaster. The kind where even before the climb you could already feel the flip in your stomach from the fall. The kind that was mostly fall, anyway.
There were things that stuck with me through the ups and the downs and people who didn’t. There was pain I couldn’t shake on the sharp turns.
2013 was zero to sixty in a crowded room.
There is no contrivedly uplifting moral to this past year. I wish I could summarize what I’ve learned in some sweet little catch-phrase, but I can’t. Because the thing is that all those stupid cliches are bullshit.
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade". Fuck that noise. Make noise. Throw fits. You don’t have to make the best of a bad situation. Chug a bottle of vodka in thirty minutes then call your best friend over to help you puke. You’ll maybe feel better in the morning. But you’ll probably feel like shit, and that’s okay too. Sit in the shower and cry. Scream. When life gives you lemons, fuck shit up. Also, it’s all fucking lemons. First kisses will always harden. Every successful marriage will always end with one person watching the other die. There is enough food on this planet to feed every person, but not enough humanity to spread it around. There is not enough time to read all the books you will want to, or to listen to all the albums worth listening to. You will run out of chances to hug your mother. It’s all goddamn lemons. Throw a fit about it. Fuck shit up. Hug your mother.
"Laughter is the best medicine". No it’s not. Laughing about your problems is stupid and you will have more problems because of it. Get help. Do not be ashamed. Everybody needs help sometimes.
"Ignorance is[n’t] bliss". "Love is [occasionally but not always and really not even all that frequently] blind." "What doesn’t kill you makes you[r drinks] stronger".
It’s all bullshit. Unadulterated bullshit.
I am almost twenty years old and I have absolutely no idea who I am or what the fuck I want and that scares the shit out of me. This past year shook up everything I though I knew, chewed me up, and spit me out. I don’t know which way is up or where the ground is. And I sure as fuck don’t know how to take care of myself.
When my mom told us about her cancer, the room got really still. The air stirred quietly and we dared not disturb it. She was eerily content, spewing off shit about how “everybody is going to die, but not everybody knows how” and how “miracles do happen” and she “think[s] [she’ll] be okay”. Bullshit to it all.
She is not going to be okay.
"Life goes on". Bullshit. I don’t know why people pretend it’s not going to end. it will, it’s just a matter of when. My mother probably has incurable cancer. My grandmother is on hospice, dying of infection. I lost a friend to heroin-induced suicide. The brevity of our existence is not something we should ignore. Life goes on…for a bit, for some people, for now, for what?
So I guess all I can give you is a two-part question: What would you do if you knew you were dying? How did you convince yourself that you’re not?