Every once in a while, it is wise to stop and take note of where you have been and where you are headed. I rang in 2012 in a pretty dark place; 2011 had been a year of crumbling apart, of watching as my dreams slipped away from me. In late 2010, I was in an auto-pedestrian accident; the resulting anxiety forced me to quit grad school. I began to spiral downward in a maelstrom of anger, depression, anxiety, and grief. I grew angry; angry at the past, angry about the accident, angry about being forced to give up on a dream that was once precious to me.
Mormonism is not an easy religion to either live or leave. But I left and I worked hard to overcome my childhood and create the life that I wanted. I had faith that work would lead to a better future, a faith that I was able to sustain by denying the past. I dealt with my issues by stuffing them into a little box and burying the box with a big heap of denial.
Then, on the verge of arriving at a settled place in life, I was hit by a car while walking across the street, in the type of freak accident that people hear about on the news but never imagine will happen to them. I always believed that hard work would yield results. But sometimes something will come along and smash your life into a million little pieces. In my case, literally. My life slid downwards in a spiral of anger, anxiety, and depression as I questioned why this had happened. I lost my faith that hard work would yield a better life.
There was sufficient cause to be angry, both from the accident and from life. But anger is only healthy in small doses; in large doses, anger quickly becomes dangerous. A hearth-fire warms the house; a raging inferno threatens to burn down everything in its path.
And so 2012 was a year about picking up the pieces and putting them back together. I was lost and confused for a very long time; without a clearly defined goal in front of me, I lost my bearings and my ambition. But slowly, in fits, starts, and bursts of writing, I began to regain a sense of self. Writing provided clarity of mind and gave me the courage to start focusing on what I wanted out of life.
This blog, which developed as an offshoot of my writing ventures, has helped me find my footing again. I am grateful, in a thousand ways both big and small, for all of the comments, e-mails, and goodwill I have received since going public with my story. I look forward to writing – and reading – many more stories.
At the verge of 2013, I am scheduled to start school again. I have re-applied to graduate school for the fall semester. Maybe the path I have mapped out for myself will come to fruition. Perhaps it won’t; perhaps something else will come along. Either way, I am at a point where I feel hope for the future. I have faith that I am strong enough to handle whatever life throws at me. And so, I will welcome 2013 with the optimism that I have the strength and resourcefulness to meet whatever challenges may come my way.