“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller
“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.” – John Ruskin
These daily affirmations and prayer have been the only things getting me through 2006. I came into 2006 on quite a high. A good job that afforded me national travel; other than my car note and student loans relatively no debt; good friends to enjoy travel, shopping trips, and just hanging out with; and the possibility of a romance that seemed to be on the right track.
Life is nothing but a string of decisions. Some decisions can make it better, some can keep it from growing, and others can change things for the worse. I made one decision in 2006 that seemed to take what was to be such a great year, to being the absolute worse of my adult life. However as I try to take something positive from this disastrous year, I have learned so much about myself and people around me. And these are my lessons from 2006:
The grass in Atlanta is no greener than the grass in DC. My job in DC was going just fine, but I saw an opportunity to work for the number 3 (if that) association management firm in Atlanta and jumped on it. After working for the firm less than two weeks, I was fired for what they said “wasn’t a good fit”. And that was the only explanation they gave and even had to give under the “work at will” law. So after leaving a job I was comfortable with in DC and relocating to what I thought was going to be a better life in Atlanta… left me unemployed for three months and once again back in debt. My lesson learned: Still trying to figure this one out!!
Friends come into your life for a reason, a season, and rarely a lifetime. Me and Harold had been friends for almost ten years, but me moving to Atlanta would be the first time we actually lived in the same city. He introduced me to his friends and I attempted to make my own. My first three months in Atlanta were quite difficult and depressing, and when I landed my current job it seemed as if there was finally a ray of hope. I called him to tell him things were finally turning around… to get a mild response. The weeks that followed had me feeling left out and alone. Only to get an email on his birthday saying that he can’t sustain this friendship any longer, with out any explanation. My lesson learned: The only thing in life you can count on is taxes and death. Nothing in life is forever… and don’t expect an explanation on why.
Dating is difficult and Relationships aren’t easy. One of the first people I befriended after moving to Atlanta was Kool. Kool brought two other people into my life one was Dominican and the Bee (more on him later). I actually met Scorpio before moving to Atlanta and what started off as a friendship led to dating and then… well nothing back to an awkward friendship. Dating Dominican and Scorpio was an interesting experience, of which prompted a few blog entries this year but most notably Must I Date Your Friend Too . My lesson learned: Dating is a process of weeding through people to find the right one to develop a relationship with. Patience for that right one is a virtue that I must work on.
If you are driving an X5 with no job… you are a crafty faggot. Like I mentioned above Kool brought two people into my life… the other was Bee. After numerous weeks and months of hanging out, hanging out every weekend kind of took a back seat to dates, kids, and jobs. And then my house got broken into and weeks later Kool’s house got broken into again. Long story short… the short bastard standing between us took advantage of two genuine friendships invaded our homes stole material things and left his dignity. I was always raised to do whatever you can to help friends out and if Bee ever needed anything, all he had to do was ask but instead he decided to play spades at my table, eat food I prepared, watch movies on my TV… all the while eyeing what he would be stealing later. My lesson learned: You never truly know who a person is, but always trust your gut feeling.
Lack of communication will be the death of any friendship. He is attractive, intelligent, and funny. And he was to be mine. Because of all the stress I was going through when I first moved to Atlanta… I pushed him to the side and got sidetracked. I looked for things to justify what I did but I was wrong. I fucked up something that could have been great. Looking back on it now, I don’t think either of us really worked that hard on making it the way it should have been. But I am a man and I admit my mistakes and wrongdoings. And today I sincerely apologize for my fault in this all and hope we can work on the friendship. My lesson learned: Just like a plant, friendships need nurturing as well.
2006 was one hell of a year… and I am claiming that 2007 as my rebuilding year. By the end of 2007 I want to be where I was before moving to Atlanta and back on the path to making my 10 year plan a reality. So I am leaving all of this strife, bad memories, and experiences of 2006 right here… because tomorrow as I embark on a new year and a new start.
I am hoping that each of you make your 2007 better than your 2006.