Which path do you intend to take, Nell?' said the Constable, sounding very interested. 'Conformity or rebellion?'
'Neither one. Both ways are simple-minded. They are only for people who cannot cope with contradiction and ambiguity.'
---Neal Stephenson, "The Diamond Age"
Recently I have found myself looking back on the pain I have suffered throughout my life and this year in particular, when I had a miscarriage, got the measles, lost my job and relapsed into a Bipolar depression.
In retrospect, I realise that somehow I have walked away profoundly grateful, no matter the sadness I have had to deal with. Things could have been a hell of a lot worse. I could be dead.
When your tightly controlled little universe comes crashing down around you, you have to confront who you are deep down in your heart. I did not truly know who I was until this year. I did not know what I had in me.
Had it not been for the trials of this year, I may have lacked the deep confidence in myself needed to pluck up the nerve to face society on my own terms. All of us should be able to do that at some point in our lives.
I know now what I have to do with my life, and to do that there is a matter I must address that I have been neglecting for some time.