If there's anything I've learned over my reflective, two-month anti-writing hiatus, it's that I am, in fact, a very bitter person. I am, truly. But as is with every revelation that manages to get past the denial stage, I'm going to work at it, and I'm going to make it right.
For the past year or so, I've built up quite a load of resentment towards people, not specific people, mind you, but rather, the world as a whole. In fact, for the majority of 2011, I had pretty much determined that I hated people. I was content with my little circle of tolerable individuals, and everyone beyond that was not my problem.
I remember early on in the year, when local elections were being held deciding that, despite being old enough, I wasn't going to vote. I couldn't care less about the national election, let alone any less-important figure heads that felt the need to compete for a position of power that I also couldn't care less about. My parents and I fought about it. They pulled the "it's your right" card, and I responded with the "not voting is also my right" card. It ended with them deeming me un-American and me satisfied that I'd stuck it to the man by showing a complete disinterest in the state of our so-called society.
It really only escalated from there. I left the church that I'd attended practically my entire life, disgusted with the hypocrisy and manipulation that had taken root. All that I'd once held dear and respected, people that I idolized, people that I loved...they were all dead to me. And I was completely and utterly unaffected. Not even Kristen Stewart could have demonstrated the extreme lack of emotion I had at the time. School too became an object of scorn. As far as I was concerned, it was just another nuisance of society that I could live without, so I let my grades slip. I skipped class and knowingly ignored homework assignments. I did just enough to get by. Mediocrity wasn't so bad, I'd decided.
Eventually, I let my anger build, and it filled in all the holes left from the pieces of my life I was cutting out and throwing away. I shut people out, I cut people down, and I became a bitter, negative person. It felt good, to be honest, that feeling of having no obligation to be anything or anyone for anyone, no motivation to improve or be better.
But recently, something has come over me.
I started a daily Bible devotional, and every night, it encouraged that I pray for something I truly needed in my life, so I did. I asked God for the same thing for weeks: clarity. After that, I started changing my attitude, investing my time in other things, and not...hating people. I know that's not really much of an accomplishment, but hey, it's something.
As I progressed through my nightly studies, I became more optimistic, almost sickeningly so. It wasn't like a light switch, on/off change, but it was certainly tangible. At first, I wanted to diagnose myself with some mental/emotional disorder, but now, I'd like to think it was just God doing what He does.
I came across a verse, 1 Peter 1:3, that I've adopted as my life verse for 2012.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again to a living Hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Hope. Hope. Hope. What a word.
The verse reminded me that I've got a lot to live for, a lot to be thankful for, and even more to be, well, happy about. It's a far cry from the world-hating cynic I've been lately, and for those of you who've felt the affects of that persona, I'm sorry that I've been such a crap face. Truly though, I'm trying my best, and it will get better with time.