As shocking as this may be to some of you, I have a touch of the OCD. One of the little, seemingly inconsequential things that I’ve always fixated on and been bothered by is numbers, specifically odd numbers. I hate them. Except for numbers ending in 5, or single digits under 10. Then I’m okay with odd numbers. But please don’t set the volume on your TV to 17. Or your heater to 71°. Or your microwave to 23 seconds. Oh my gosh, just don’t.
This dislike of odd numbers carries over to dates as well. And last year, when 2013 was kicking my butt, I felt an odd pleasure in recognizing that I was right to dislike odd numbers because odd number years could clearly kiss it if they were going to treat me that way.
But at some point towards the end of 2013, when I was really yearning for the even-numberedness of 2014, I started to get some perspective. I wish I remember an exact moment, like a grand epiphany I had while looking out at some placid water or gazing into the eyes of a child, but I was probably just watching The Good Wife with my cat and the moment is probably better left forgotten. But the point is, I did have an epiphany of some kind and realized that while 2013 will not go down as my happiest year, it will go down as one of the most important. It was hard and I didn’t enjoy a lot of it, but I learned invaluable lessons about love, forgiveness, family, grace, faith, friendship, and lots of other words you see stenciled on plaques in living rooms.
A couple of years ago I had breakfast with two very wonderful people during which we discussed a very un-wonderful situation. Near the end of it I made the comment that sometimes it stinks to be a grown up because grown ups have to deal with difficult things. (So unhealthy, I know. I’ve been to therapy since then.) One of the wonderful people at breakfast agreed that being a grown up stinks sometimes, but said that it’s also awesome because you get to have breakfast with your friends.
2013 really stunk a lot of the time, but it was also awesome because it made me a better person. (But I’m super comfortable with the person I am right now, so no more 2013-ish business will be necessary for a long while.)
And to close, in the words of Kid President, “Life is tough, but so are you.”