The past year has been very difficult for me. I made a careless and hurtful remark on Christmas Eve 2012 and, despite numerous attempts to apologize and make amends I have been ostracized. It has torn me up in ways no one will ever know. I pray constantly for the person who once loved me and now hates me. It really hurts.
My health has been precarious. I have lost almost 150 pounds and still have about 25 to go and those last 25 refuse to leave me. I go to the gym three times a week, eat healthy and try not to obsess over how I look but I am still a fat, ugly chick trying to be acceptable in world that values what it sees and rarely what people do or are - until they make a mistake, and then everyone from Bill O'Reilly to Keith Oberman become the standard bearers of proper behavior and good character.
I have struggled with the cross of loneliness, having come to the conclusion that being open to the Sacrament of Marriage means very little if men do not find one attractive.
The job has been a heartbreaker. I am finding myself overwhelmed with the prospect of trying to provide services to people with too little help and shaky resources. I have been accused of trying to take over from a higher up when that was the last thing motivating me in any way, shape or form. I leave my office most days near tears because the ability to do a good job is no longer measured in output and production; rather it is measured in my ability to get through the day without running screaming into the parking lot or being talked down from the roof of the building.
I lost some dear friends this year. I said good bye to people who have sustained me with love, laughter and support for more than 20 years. It was difficult to say good bye.
Everything I have written so far is absolutely true. It has been a rough year. Yet, I am grateful for 2013 - grateful because I discovered somethings about myself.
1. I am stronger than I thought.
2. I do not need to eat chocolate to survive (though an occasional piece is lovely)
3. I may WANT to be loved by Creatures but I do not NEED to be loved by Creatures.
4. My spirituality is fathomless, but worth exploring.
5. All those hours of theology study pay off.
6. Niners are great - winning or losing.
People like me often make the mistake of thinking that life needs to be smooth as silk in order for one to be happy. The reality is, if one is a Catholic, we know that we are called each day to pick up our cross and follow The Lord. We know that suffering has a value, that emotions do not need to rule our intellect and that faith and reason go together. While I often become impatient with the two types of moral relativism I see (I don't believe in God or the It doesn't matter what I do, God loves me) in the world I understand more than most the necessity of love and tolerance. I may not always practice those virtues well, but I hold myself to a pretty high standard so when I fail believe me I know I am failing.
I will never not love my family - even when they stop loving me. I will never not show up for work determined to do a good job - even if the definition of such eludes me. I will never stop being a practicing Catholic - even when it is no longer politically correct to be one.
I learned all these values I hold dear from life - my experience, strength and hope is my foundation.
Hey, I am really really THANKFUL.
Have a wonderful day tomorrow, people. God bless you all!