This is one of those years…a terrible year…a year that has defeated me once and for all. I am throwing in the towel.

And that’s not a bad thing.

This is going to be one of the darkest posts you will ever read on this site. But hold on because I would not share this with you on a site called Dante’s Optimism. You have to believe that this will end on a high note. I promise. But, this is going to hurt.

Look, I know when I’ve been defeated. I know when to call it a day. You can’t win them all. 2016 really kicked my butt. I’m tired. I am very sore. I feel like I’ve watched a Tyler Perry marathon.

I am convinced that no matter what happens the rest of this year, overall, this year will go down in my history as bloody. There is no point in continuing; I’m going to look forward to 2017. I’m going to save myself for that.

It’s like an injury, especially in a professional athlete’s world. Sometimes, a major injury wipes out your season. You spend the rest of the season getting yourself together; ready to get back in the game next year. That’s where I am at.

The other side of it is, if you try to play through the injury or come back too soon, you risk making things worse or at least extending the heal time. You must take a seat and avoid that activity until you are back to normal.

This year has been very painful. Very gray. Grey. I don’t know what the heck the preferred spelling is. I had three wins this year:

  • Got a car (for free!)
  • Reconnected with a sister who has actually been very helpful to me this tragic year
  • Got a job

Now, you look at that list and wonder how in the world did I lose in this year. I’m not going to mention it; it’s bad. I usually tell y’all what’s up. Not this time. The various tragedies…I have finally succumb to them.

I lost important people in my life; probably never to get them back. School is a joke. Church…what a shame. Everywhere I turn; there’s no real stability. I am sick. I am tired.

We are at a place where I have struggled to eat. I have not been able to write anything significant. I’m destroyed. Ruined. Trashed. Wasted. This blog nearly fell apart; as you may have noticed. I don’t even care.

Like, I don’t care. I just don’t care anymore for 2016. I’m not going to let it kill me. I’m shutting myself down. Screw this year. F it. I spit on its grave. I’m better than this year. I’m a strong individual. I will make it to next year; 2016 will die.

I’m telling you all of this because I believe that it’s perfectly okay to tap out. You don’t need to keep pushing against a brick wall. You’re not a quitter; you simply know where and when to focus energy to certain things.

I lied to people. “How are you?” “Good”. Nope. Far from it. I haven’t had a good day since…maybe March. There have been decent days; but I can’t say there was a day where I was “good”. Like, in a place where my problems weren’t a main focus at some point during the day. I have never been able to blank my mind, especially since it was a series of events over a wide range of areas in my life. No, I am not good. My best days since July have been “hanging in there”.

My life is forever altered by this year. I’m not the same person anymore. I am darker. I am even more anti-social if that’s even possible.

I remember the movie, What About Bob? In this very funny movie with superb actors Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss, a patient is told by his therapist to take a “vacation from your problems”. That’s what I need. I need to leave the problems alone and breathe. They aren’t going away; but I need time away.

That’s what I’m talking about when I say I’m done with year. Good riddance. I’m walking away from the worries. The aches. I’ve had enough.

And the worst part is: It’s all my fault. Everything that went wrong this year was all my fault. I did this to myself. I’m not blaming anybody. This was not my family. This was not God. This was nobody but me. As I look in the mirror, I frown.

I really became my worst enemy this year, if you wanted to sum things up. How do I defeat myself? I’m not sure. I ain’t killing myself, that’s for sure. I have to fight myself and win and lose. That’s going to be something special.

I don’t see how it can be done in a quick amount of time. I’m not expecting a quick turnaround at all. This is going to be a battle against a very stubborn individual. But, the thing is, nobody is better at taking me down than myself.

My family can’t do anything. Friends. Pastors. Nobody can overcome me but myself.

I love Dragon Ball (Z, GT, Super). If you know this series; just bare with me as I explain some common knowledge. Some of the main characters are from a different planet and are of a race called “Saiyan”. These Saiyans have a unique gene where, the more damage they recover from, the more powerful they become. Basically, if they survive a near death experience, they recover and become stronger than before that experience. In fact, one of the Saiyans asked a “team mate” to try to kill him because he wanted to bounce back.

What the heck am I saying (get it)? I am saying that that’s what I am hoping about myself as a result of this year. I hope I am stronger because of all of the garbage I dealt with.

It’s funny; this has been a monster of a year; but people have had worse. I mean, this is pretty bad. I wouldn’t wish this year on my worst enemy. But yeah, it could be worse. From a materialistic standpoint, it’s not so bad. Mentally, I’m in deep trouble.

Yet.

God is right here with me. I know for a fact He has been looking out for me. I connected the dots recently.

The thing is, he gave me that car and told me to pursue my long lost adoptive sister because He knew I would need these things later once the problems started. January was instrumental.

I needed the reliable transportation to go to and from work and other places. I won’t tell you the reason why this car is extra important; it’s too dark.

But, the biggest thing was getting my sister back. At the time, we didn’t have much of a relationship. When we were kids, my mom told me that I was to treat this girl who sat with my family every week in church just like my biological sisters. So, that’s what I did. But, we never had a serious relationship.

Well, God told me early this year to befriend…re-friend…whatever…her. Little did I know she was going through some major stuff at the time. I ended up being her best friend and she was mine (my sisters are automatically my best friends though). We hung out a couple of times a week; just talking. Texted every day. Went out for lunch. All of that. We rapidly became close.

Then, tragedy struck in June and ever since then, one thing after another slapped me in the face. Family, school, and church were and are a mess. Through it all, the constant companionship of this sister actually helped keep me afloat. I had my parents; but it’s nice to have peers by your side.

It all finally clicked for me when she told me recently how much I meant to her, among other things. I had realized that both of us leaned on each other through some very difficult times. It was wise for me to listen to what God said. He knew she would need me and that I would need her.

The only reason why I am still physically here is because God. You can’t tell me anything else. This year is overall a loss. It will always be that way to me. But, I did get a lifetime friend out of it. I did realize even more that God has His hand in it even through the tough times.

Because of this year, I know better about God’s protection, which is very nice. This year really hurt. I am still hurting and I will never recover. I broke my ankle one time. It’s known that a broken bone heals; but it’s never quite the same. I will never be the same. The nightmares will continue. The tears will continue to flow.

2017 may be more of the same. I don’t even know. Regardless of what happens; it’ll be fine. That’s my point. That’s what you need to hold onto. It will be okay. The crap is very real. The struggle is very real. Don’t go out here pretending it’s not there. You gotta deal with it.

What I am doing is realigning my priorities as I race for 2017. I’m bracing myself for that storm. I’ve always been a weird and unpredictable individual. I have a very odd thought process and I tend to make decisions that make no sense. I say this because I already know my family ain’t gonna like what I do and say.

But see, this year changed how much I care about certain things. Because of the events of this year, I have decided what is allowed to take my attention. I finally pulled myself together to work this blog. I am in love with this thing and I have plans for this. Money is going into this; that’s how serious this is.

My sisters. Denae, Desiree, Andrea, Hadassah, and Nia. If you thought a chapter in my book dedicated to them was all, think again. Especially Denae, Desiree, and Andrea since I grew up with them; they will get a special eye from me.

Becoming a strong blogger and taking my skills to another level. I wanna do that. You know; I rarely proofread my work. I should probably start doing that, huh?

Basically, writing and my siblings are my top priority at this time. Whatever paths I gotta take to make my end dream a reality will be taken or I might as well just ask God to call me home because this is burning in my heart. I have to believe my purpose is tied to these things and if I lose these things I have nothing. I am nothing. This is because this is what God says I am. He says I am a brother and a blogger. I embrace this, even though this past year really shook me in those areas.

I recently submitted something to the Copyright office. Like, I am very serious. I am about to do some things because I am called to do them. Because I am called to do them, that’s what I am going to do. To quote my mom “you hope nobody has to die; but God’s promise will be fulfilled”. She said that in reference to my dad. My mom said God told her my dad would not lose his job many years ago. So, she held onto that. Let’s just say people were moved out of the way whenever he was threatened. You may have had a praying grandmother; but my dad had a praying wife.

Ever since I learned about that story as a young teen, I have believed that if God says something will happen, it’s going to happen. I don’t care who is in my way. I don’t worry about the fate of others. I let God take care of that. I must do my job to reach the place that God prepared for me.

I recently was tested. I was at my job interview. The manager said he would call me the next day at “around 12pm” if I got the job. As I walked out of the office; I had this strong sense that I got the job. I never felt this way before in previous interviews and even successful jobs.

So, I waited. 12pm came and went. I was very confused. I knew I got the job; I didn’t understand why I didn’t get the call. Now, this may seem extreme but I simply stated to God that “I guess somebody’s gonna have to die because I’m working there”.

I don’t know if anybody died, nor do I care. All I know is that at 4:30 that same day, I got an email stating I got the job and I nodded in approval. My boss called me the next day to confirm that I got that email. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

If we back up; my mom told me recently she was at another location for this same company and they said they were hiring. It just so happened this was around the time I applied when she told me when this all happened. We connected the stories in such a way that God told my mom I was going to get a job and then eventually He told me. But she likely didn’t realize it at the time.

When God tells me something, it’s a wrap, really. I have heard stories. I have lived them. When I tell you I am moving on to do something I’m called to do, I mean it.

That’s what’s going down.

I am giving up on 2016 because there is nothing I can do. Can’t change the past. I can’t be like Lot’s wife. I must keep moving forward.

I don’t know what you are going through. I really can’t know. But, first of all, it’s okay to retreat from the situation. Heal. Recover. When you come back, go all in. Never give up on God. More importantly, look for Him. Look for His hand. It took me to September to finally see His hand in it all. Look at the big picture. Analyze everything.

Whatever God told you, as you go through this tough time, do NOT LET GO of what He said or you will be lost. That’s the last thing you should be holding onto. Him. His word.

I guess that’s all I can say to you. I have been damaged for a while now and I will continue to be. I don’t know when I will recover. When I do, this blog will be the first to know.

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