I attended a Christmas party on Saturday night, at which a peculiar, eye-opening and unexpected thing occurred.
I am not speaking of drinking games, nude twister or exorcisms (I once attended a party where someone attempted an “intervention exorcism”. I couldn’t make that shit up if I tried).
What took place was an outpouring of honest admissions of struggle.
We were all standing around the kitchen, helping the host with the dishes, when my friend Emma (who is a reiki-master-slash-soul-reader – yes that is a thing) suggested we each share what we were grateful for in 2013 and what we looked forward to in 2014.
Keep in mind, I mix in circles of comedians, immaculately groomed gay men and their hags, so sincere emotional expression is a rare happening. There was an audible exhale from about 5 of us and then variations on the statement, “I am grateful that it is nearly over” were expressed. I found this both surprising and reassuring.
It turns out this year has been a bloody tough one for a lot of my friends. I had no idea of that fact; I thought it had just been me struggling. My mates (as is the case with most people) tend to only post the highlights of their lives on Facebook and leave the tough stuff for the sleepless nights.
When it was my turn to express what I was grateful for and what I was looking forward to, I found myself momentarily paralysed by the thought of having to find something positive to say about the past year.
In terms of shit years, I’ve had an absolute belter. I am not going to bore you with the details but the headlines are:
1. Marriage ended.
2. Lost best friend due to said best friend making up that she had cancer.
3. Lost house.
4. Lost job.
5. Moved back in with my parents.
Now, I know there are people in the world with far bigger troubles than I but it’s all relative right?
To be perfectly honest it’s feels like someone placed a fucking grenade in the middle of my existence and I am now wandering on the torn up field that is my life, trying to put the pieces back together that just don’t fit anymore.