Jan 19, 2023

Back on December 31, 1999, everyone firmly believed that when the clock struck 2000, the world was going to end. Y2K. Y2K was going to shut down the world and mayhem and anarchy would reign around the globe. That was the general fear. Like many, I scoffed at the notion of the sophisticated world literally shutting down and people scampering through the streets in chaos. But in the back of my head, I thought..." but, what if..." I was 26 at the time. I had just recently accepted a job as a page designer for a newspaper in San Angelo, Texas. I had a family. My two sons were 2 and seven months old. While I was not completely naive to the world, nor jaded, there was a moment where I thought we could all wake up to a strange new environment on January 1, 2000. So my young family buckled up in our tiny house and as the minutes ticked closer to midnight, there was a moment of bracing. And? And besides some fireworks going off in the distance, the new century came in with nary a whimper. Y2K came and disappeared forever. When I opened my eyes on January 1, 2000, I felt relief. Relief for a splendid future that lay ahead. Since January 1, 2000 to January 1, 2023, a lot of change has happened. The world has sped up, and shrunk at the same time. We've seen so many events change humankind, I don't have the time nor the inclination for the history lessons. I divorced, remarried, had two daughters and found myself struggling to get my emotions in check more than I care to count. But the most tragic and frustrating part of life in 2023 is one cannot plan ahead. Life is delicate and unfair. One minute you can be on top of the world, the next, your world crumbles. It happens fast. People don't care about each other like they once did. We are a society of what have you done for me lately. What can YOU do for ME. Steve, it's always been that way. No, it hasn't. Because 23 years ago, I didn't have to worry about tomorrow. I am a firm believer that life is about forks in the road and taking one fork leads you to a unknown destiny. What if I took this path instead of the one I took that led me to where I am? But I also know that people can dictate your future. I have seen it and experienced it. And it happens fast and the reprocussions are swift and harmful. But this post is not about bemoaning and pity. It's about rising from the beating and taking a step. And then another. And another. Until you have traction again and the person who inflicted the damage is left in your rearview mirror and you continue to move forward. The reality is, the person who tried to bury you is meaningless. They have to answer for their own shortcomings. If fighting for them means to inflict and hurt, good luck because while you may see some quick success, the devil will eventually come for you. I choose to walk that path where the people I care about are rewarded. I don't need loads of cash or a fancy title. I need my daughter to go to bed happy and wake up safe every day. That's my drive. When I closed my eyes just after midnight on January 1, 2023, I smiled because changes are coming and the new year will be a year of resolution. Unlike 2000, I don't get to dictate a future ahead. What I can dictate is not allowing the people I met in 2022 to continue their toxicity. Like Y2K, they came and quickly disappeared. 


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