A year ago, I had high hopes for the coming year. After some soul searching, I thought that I would be able to find the pieces to be able to put my life back together again. I would be able to find a new job, start a new career, develop some new relationships, strengthen old ones, become stronger and healthier, control my asthma, find my creative streak, and very possibly find some happiness again.

A year later, I find myself hardly any better than I was before. In fact, outside of a few successes, I’m probably slightly worse off than I was before. Still no job and still no money. I’ve had my heart broken, and lost a number of “friends” in the process. My debts are still unpaid and racking up interest. Over two grand was spent on medical expenses alone just to keep me breathing every day, and that still hasn’t been resolved. I’ve done more crying this year than I have in the past three years combined. And the last week and a half of the year was spent in pain because I threw out my back again.

I’ve had a few successes in this year, despite everything else. I had my first art show this past year, where I displayed three of my works along side other artists whom I’ve also recently met. I even sold one of the pieces. I guess you can say I’m now pro as an artist. I’ve met some new people, to help make up for the loss of losing other people I had counted as friends. I even decided to take a drawing class, just to help me get out of the funk of where I was. I even ended the year with one more art piece done and another personally designed Christmas card sent out to family and friends.

But still, in the end, I still don’t feel good about it all. It doesn’t help when I didn’t have much to feel good about anything I’ve done. Of course, this is all subjective. I KNOW that I’ve been kicking ass all this year as I have before, but I just don’t believe it. I’ve felt like a failure for stagnating where I have been, while I see others progressing and moving on from where they were before. I try to give it my all at times, but sometimes it ends in futility, and sometimes it goes unnoticed. Even though I have completed a few creative projects this year, I still feel unaccomplished because some projects took much longer than I thought they would, or because some projects are still unfinished. Even when some people compliment on whatever artwork I’ve been working on, I would just stare at the canvas, and use all the self-control I can muster to avoid punching through my artwork, ripping up the paper, and throwing the easel across the room.

I’ve had my heart broken this past year. After a few years since my last relationship, I decide to take a risk to love. And love I did. However, I also lost. And when I needed help getting over it, the people I thought who could help me just blew me off, insinuating that I should just brush it off and move on, as though nothing happened. Well, something happened. And I couldn’t brush it off. And my feelings were real, and I couldn’t ignore them either, even though everyone else would.

My grandfather, my Lolo, also died this past year. Though I’ve come to terms over the death myself, I’m still pissed off how very few of my “friends” actually came out to help me out. Sure, I’m a tough guy, and I don’t let emotional breakdowns cripple me for long, but damn! I lost the closest thing I had to a father figure, but not a damn peep from the people that I’ve spent most of my time with over the past year. So fuck them. I wasted too much time on people who didn’t give a damn, rather than on people who really mattered. I can understand forgetting a birthday or two, but to forget about me altogether when I didn’t want to be forgotten… well, I’ve had better years than this.

But despite all the setbacks and failures and losses, there were a few people who were still there for me. If it weren’t for those people, I might have done something really stupid and/or violent this year. In particular, an old friend, Adrienne, always helped me out during the most trying of times, even before she knew what the hell was going on. Three times this year, she would send me something from out of the blue, right after some depressing event I was experiencing. And three times this year, I was feeling better because of a friend who lived two time zones away. Another friend, Aileen, also helped me out when I had no one else to call, and also helped play the role of a mentor for me when I was still looking for some sort of direction both in my career and my art.

Now these two friends are embarking on their own new directions in life, and I wish them the best of luck in whatever they do and wherever they go. But they also serve as inspirations for me to pick up the pieces and to keep going as well. I know it won’t be overnight, and things might get worse before they get better, but even if I do lose hope, I won’t lose my honor and my integrity, and that what keeps me going day in and day out.

To all those who are still listening, to those that still consider me a friend, I’m probably going into this next year a bit messed up. I’m still angry, anxious, and depressed, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped trying to fix that. I don’t intend to mess up anyone’s good times, but I do need a little patience and understanding as I get through all of this. And I am grateful for everyone who’s still been hanging with me through all this. In the end, I’m still good to go to be a wingman, should anyone ever need it.

So good luck and best wishes to this new year. Keep your spirits up and keep kickin’ ass. And as for the past year… Fuck 2010.