HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I don't know about you, but I'm glad 2011 is gone! By far, it was one of the most emotionally difficult and challenging years of my life. I won't go into detail, but I will say that 2011 was the year I woke up to the reality that I cared about and valued certain friends and family far more than they cared about and valued me. This was a painful lesson, but one I needed to learn.
I learned who I was merely an afterthought to, as in I was only thought of or cared about so long as it was "convenient," versus those persons who made it their business to stay in my life; people who checked in on me to make sure I was okay - physically and emotionally - especially as they had personal knowledge of some of the hardships I was facing.
See, 2011 was the year I really needed my support system. It was the year I REALLY needed to talk with, lean on and cry on the shoulders of those I loved and who I thought loved me. And when I wasn't ready to talk or open up because my heart wasn't emotionally ready, I just needed to know that my friends and family were there. Simply hearing the words, "I'm here if you need me," went a long way and meant the world to me (probably because I rarely heard the words, especially in 2011 when I needed to hear them most).
Funny thing. When you're going through a tough time, you suddenly notice with acute clarity who asks how YOU are; you notice who makes it a point to text / email / call so they can personally check up on you, especially when they haven't heard from you in a while; you notice who keeps inviting you out for get togethers so they can spend time with you, regardless of how many times you may say no; you notice who makes excuses for not keeping in touch or being in your life (sometimes blaming you) versus those who simply try to make it happen whenever possible; you notice who follows through when you FINALLY ask for help, no matter how small or big that request is.
In short, you discover who is THERE!!! And let me tell you, I can count on ONE hand who was there for me in 2011 when I needed those I loved most. Yes, the list is extremely small, smaller than I once thought it was, but I'm glad to know what names belong on that list and what names do not. As hurtful as this lesson was for me, especially when piled on top of everything else I was dealing with in 2011, I'm thankful for having learned it nonetheless.
How about you? Was there something difficult or challenging you learned or were confronted with in 2011 that you're thankful for having experienced?