This year has brought you back to a type of loneliness you’d thought you’d left behind a long time ago. When you think about it, thoughㅡ really take the time to look back and wonder about how you were feeling, doing, this time five or six months or a whole year ago, you realize something; you weren’t any less lonely than you are now.

Maybe even more so, you come to realize. You don’t stay up late lying motionless on the bathroom floor. You’re not in that same place, waiting for someone to come save you and justify your problems. You know that you’re the only one who’s there to pick you up; you’ve learned this countless times. You’ve always felt alone, you remind yourself. Just for a short time did it disappear, but that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to forget what you felt and act like this is a new wound. It’s not, dear. Your hurt is old as you are, maybe even older.

It’s not healthy to go around thinking you’re permanently broken and have always been this way. But it’s a hard thought to keep away from and it’s the simplest justification you can seem to find. 

So when New Year’s rolls around, and you haven’t found yourself like the rest of them, and you haven’t lived your dream like the rest of them, and you’re not in a place you even remotely like, you crumble. You’re always jealous of other people’s success, and there’s no better night to broadcast it. 

And so you spend the night with people who don’t feel real to the touch. But you guess people have never really felt real to you. 

And you wonder if maybe all this feeling sorry for yourself is a bit too self-indulgent. But when you go home and find the pile of other’s accomplishments sitting in your mailbox, you take the letters and open them tearfully. Feeling sorry for yourself is a bit too self-indulgent, yes, but you can’t help but feel more sorry for yourself when you realize society’s conjured and self-made around you would rather spend time curating their best moments of the year than bother checking in on a friend. 

And then you don’t feel so sorry for yourself. Just sorry in general.

Maybe this is a clue as to why you’ve always felt so broken. You don’t have enough accomplishments to stuff them into a letter and send them to everyone you know. Maybe, if you had something to show, you’d find yourself just like themㅡ sending résumés to people who don’t even own a business. 

But you’re thankful for the experience of not having anything to send. Because maybe it will help you, in the future, to not bombard the secretly broken around you with things that will break them further. 

And you’re thankful, mostly, to the few and far between people who do feel real to the touch. You hope your brokenness doesn’t scare their green eyes, or their fluffy black hair, away. You hope if society pushes you into an even more self-indulgent role that they’ll forgive you and reel you back in.

It’s good to feel good about yourself and the things you’ve done. But god, the jealousy it sparks is not a sweet start to a new year; a new decade. 

Here’s to a bitter one, dear. Maybe you’re still warming up to the world. 

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