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they say i’ve been making some reckless choices – i’ve been living my life differently, i’ve strayed from the norm – in the wrong direction according to my family. i’m not a kid anymore. i should be more responsible, with a steady job and money saved for retirement – i should be looking at wedding halls and baby cribs. and sure, i want that, but i want it when it’s right not when it’s easy or rushed, just because of some close minded belief that that’s how it should be. i don’t want to be cooped up in an office, working a 9 to 5, wishing for a sick day or the day i don’t have to work in a place i hate – making money to buy holiday gifts and not see a penny of it go towards a dream or ambition.

i’ve hit rock bottom plenty of times but this time is different – this time, i cut through the rocks and had them break skin – this time, i don’t want to fix things and fall back into the same old shit. this time i want to start from where i am. if i wipe out all of the drama and bullshit of this past year – i had a great year. i found something i thought i would never find, something i haven’t felt in years, i found someone – who may be completely unethical in her own past – meaning in how i know her and how she differs from me – but she has filled a void in me effortlessly. she gave life to a corpse. i hadn’t even realized how much of me died over the years. i used to be someone who wanted to save the world, who consistently pursued the wrong people and once attached, could not detach myself – i’m not that person anymore. i don’t do that anymore. i don’t justify the actions of toxic people and make them look better so the world doesn’t see how poorly i’m treated, while i try to fix them – or not even fix them but put a mask on them, making them look like the great person i want and deserve, when they aren’t and will never be that person. nor do i pretend a person isn’t as fucked up as they are. she’s fucked up and flawed, and because of that, she doesn’t shiver in sight of mine. i also don’t fantasize her faults, i take them as they are. our relationship is unethical because of who she is and who i am, because we’re less than lovers but more than friends, but she is the best thing that’s happened to me, throughout all of the chaos. i have found myself and my voice in the shambled bullshit of this year. i have chosen to save myself first, so in turn, i can and will save others. i have been placed before demons with razor blades coming for my blood and walked away. i walked away. i stopped living my life around money, working jobs i hate to get things i don’t need, and started to make a life for myself, that i love, from the bottom up. it’s difficult to understand how a person can find themselves through someone else but it’s what happened – it’s inexplicable but it’s true and the realest experience i ever had.

a lot of people say they don’t like me now, they don’t like the choices i’ve been making, as if i’m chugging shots of vodka while answering and transferring calls and entering go fuck yourself as the middle names of every patient i input into the system. now these are people whose opinions matter the most to me but i realized that while i want the respect and like of my parents and family – i am the only one who has to live with my choices at the end of the day – they merely have to tolerate me or push me aside like a stranger with pleasant civility. but i, i have to be okay with the life i’m living and with the choices i make, and so i’m going to continue on, but from where i am. i can no longer make the world happy at the expense of my own. i have to come first. i have to love myself first. i have to like myself. i know it sucks for a lot of people because i’ve made my mistakes and hurt people unintentionally in the process but i am unapologetically happy in the most unexpected of ways and i’m not going to hide that or sacrifice it. i’m not just alive anymore, for the first time, i’m living. i don’t want to die anytime soon but if i do, i want my list of adventures and experiences and the happiness, fun, and fullness to be greater than the vocabulary enriched intricate one line in some newspaper stating the particulars of my life to show who i leave behind-how i defined myself in some occupation i never really cared for. i never felt this way and i’m going to embrace it. i’m not giving up, i’m just living differently.