Sunday, December 31, 2006

If This Is Goodbye...

The world is bigger than any one person, but at the same time, it isn't. Our perceptions and perspectives define how this crazy planet and its events unfold before our lives. Everything that happens, and I do mean everything, is completely and unequivocally subjective. From our wars, to our World Championships, to even our weather. It's all subjective.

To him, Iraq and Afghanistan represent the ultimate in America's attempt at "saving the world." To her, Iraq and Afghanistan represent an exercise in futility. To me, it's all just a fucking waste of money and people.

To him, the Saint Louis Cardinals winning the World Series represents a return to form for a long and storied franchise. To her, well, she doesn't care. To me, it just means that San Diego Padres weren't the best team in the league this year.

To him, snow is a great change of pace, a chance to test out the four-wheel drive and his underdeveloped survival skills he learned in the Boy Scouts. To her, the snow is a distraction, a sign that tanning on the beach is months away. To me, it's just a reminder that I'm not where I want to be.

2006 was a year of polarization. A lot of great events occurred, as every year, but the theme this year just seemed to be one of dividing. From the illegal immigrant issue to a political party falling apart because of a cabinet member. Wars, taxes, and the omnipresent stalwarts of religion and politics. We're further from being one nation, one world, than we've ever been. Traditional alliances, from countries to corporations, all seemed to break apart this year. And, in an appropriate twist, large pieces of the polar ice caps decided to break off. All in 2006.

On a smaller scale (well, to everyone but me, that is), my life also polarized. I've written about what happened to me enough, and I'd really like to move beyond it, so I'll spare you the details here. But, the point remains... my life was split, irrevocably. My family, even though I am physically closer to them than I have been since 1995, is further from me than ever before. There are one or two that I have actually become closer to, but my family, as a whole, is less and less a family, and more and more a group of strangers that I share a blood type with.

There was, admittedly, one bright spot for me in 2006. And it's as subjective a bright spot as something can get. No one in my life, including the bright spot itself, sees itself as a bright spot for me. But I do, and right now, that's all that matters. I'm terrified that it's going to disappear from me in 2007, and that's going to break my heart, but I don't really see a storybook ending to anything that involves me anymore. Life is essentially a wind, and we go where it takes us. Even if it's a dark place.

This past year was also the year I realized that mortality is a fact, and that it's waiting for all of us. Several friends were killed this year. Several heroes, too. People I'll never see again, or ever have a chance to meet. Gone. The ones whom nature took were the lucky ones. The others, well, they were braver men than I.

I was angry this year, of that there is no doubt. Angry, and full of hate. Along with realization of mortality, however, I also realized that hate is a very heavy emotion, one that I can not sustain for long. Neither can sustain, nor want to. I've been trying to bury hatchets, sometimes successfully, sometimes less so, but I've been trying. I needed 2007 to be the year I could cut my ties to my past. Unfortunately, thanks to some long-term issues, I know already that I will not be able to.

Ultimately, I don't know what 2007 holds for me, for us. Such is the irony of our existence... the ability to change the world, but the lack of foresight to do it. I don't know if I'll be around at the end of 2007, I will never again assume that I'll live through anything, and I don't know if you'll be around, either. I hope so, but hope only gets us so far.

So, if this is goodbye... goodbye, and thank you for everything I owe you thanks for. Maybe in a year I'll say goodbye to you again.


Anonymous said...

One day, you're going to figure out that happiness isn't a continent away. Happiness is sitting right there on your shoulder waiting for you to notice, but you're ignoring it so you can waller in the life you've created and put all your hope in something that doesn't exist. I hope in 2007 you wake up and realize that the only person who holds the key to your happiness and success is you. You, Jeff Golden, hold the key to your happiness and future. If you'll quit sabotaging yourself, you'll be everything you ever wanted to be.

Posted by Jessica Lynn on December 31, 2006 - Sunday - 10:44 AM

Anonymous said...

can i give the above commenter kudos?

Posted by **JEAN** on December 31, 2006 - Sunday - 4:40 PM

Anonymous said...

i learned about mortality several years ago, and worried about people i care about dying every second of every day for a long time; however, i'm not so concerned about my own mortality. i'm not saying that i want to die (although for many years that's what i prayed for), i just don't care if i do. not much scares me...that can be a good thing or a bad one. in my line of work it is good to not show fear but it also means that i have to be more safe than others. i'm good at not showing fear, but sometimes i slack off on being safe. so, if we make it thru 2007 fabulous!!!!! if not, well i guess it's good-bye for now. :)

also, i love that you touched on subjectivity. not many people have a true understanding of that word. thank you for bringing it to light!


Posted by you have no idea... on January 1, 2007 - Monday - 11:38 AM

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