Hello again. I feel like it’s been a long time…I constantly have thoughts that something is missing and I know that it’s my fingers touching keys on my laptop or the good old fashioned feeling of pen touching paper. I’ve found a few minutes to write a page here and there, but for the most part, I’ve been slacking. My absence isn’t for lack of inspiration either, it’s just lack of time management and lack of time to myself.
So, here I am. Finally attempting to wrap up a very educating year. There are only a handful of days left in this year of learning, and I’m going to spend them doing what I do best, working hard to make people on my airplane happy. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that feeling good is better than looking good, so I said goodbye to my four inch heeled boots and said hello to some Mary Janes, sans heel, that make me feel like I am doing the best thing I could have ever done for myself. If that was the only lesson I learned this year, I would say it’s been a very successful year. But it’s clear that I have learned a lot more. Especially in the last month!
December has been a really interesting time in my life. My boyfriend moved in, and let me tell you, letting someone in to all spaces of your life is a very tricky thing. It’s hard to know what to hold on to and what to let go of, in order to make space for something new. I struggle with knowing when it’s okay to go to brunch with friends, or have a cup of coffee at my favorite shop on my own. It’s hard to say what I need in order to maintain a sense of normalcy in so much change, without sounding needy or selfish or crazy. But I am thankful, I have a very patient man who takes up the space that I let him and challenges me to make sure that I am taking care of myself as much as I need to. Still, it’s hard. And writing about this feels so, so weird but I know that it’s something that I have to do. It is no secret that alcoholics are not skilled at intimacy, but I really didn’t think it would as tricky as it has revealed itself to be. The good news is that it isn’t all hard. Some of it is really easy and a lot of fun actually, so much more fun that I thought that it would be. Companionship is a really lovely thing and having someone to come home to at the end of a long trip is the best part of it all. Sharing my space is tricky, but sharing my feelings with him is not, and for that, I am truly grateful.
You know, at the end of last year, I had high hopes for 2013. I had big plans about what this year was going to look like for me. I should have learned in 2012 that my plans never seem to match up with what actually happens, but I’m a slow learner and plan away did I. My plans never match up with what happens, BUT I am always blown away with how much more I get when I let go and see what happens. This relationship only happened because I let go and let it happen. I may be a slow learner, but my memory is pretty good when it wants to be, and this is a lesson I hope that I never forget.
Really, it was a big and beautiful year. I can see it in my life and I can see it in a lot of your lives as well. Whatever is happening in the universe these days is scary and sometimes pretty fucked up, but it is also pretty magical too. Watching my nephew grow into a hilarious little creature, and getting to see firsthand every stage of development of my niece’s first year; these are magical, magical things. Going to a handful of music festivals with people I love? Magic. Seeing Stevie Wonder sing all the songs I grew up listening to on the beach in Alabama surrounded by some of the most wonderful people the world has to offer? Well, that was magic too. Camping in Big Sur with my first love and seeing one of my favorite bands cover one of my all time favorite songs? Getting to see The Cure with my sister? Finally getting to see The Postal Service? Hall and Oates? Magic, all of it. I mean it. Really, I am so lucky. So maybe I didn’t get the handle on my finances or my health that I hoped I would get this year…but I had a lot of fun, I fell in love, I saw so much music, and I did it all with really great people.
And then there was that magical weekend in the woods….I get pretty choked up sometimes just thinking about it. The people I met there, the difference between the girl that walked in to that camp and the woman that walked out, and the way it still continues to affect my every day life. I am more present, more aware, and capable of loving myself and others than I was at this time last year, and I know that I owe it all to a few hours of silence spent in woods amongst 300 other people. A switch flipped in me that weekend. The light inside of me got a little brighter, and I hope it never goes out. I really can’t wait to see what kind of relationships continue to develop with the people that I met that weekend. I mean, I’ve met a lot of awesome people in my life, but my world got WAY bigger that weekend. I feel so blessed to have been a part of a beginning of a revolution. One in which people look at each other in the eye, and experience life with their eyes and hearts, and make decisions based on mindfulness and true self-knowledge, instead of FOMO. I think it may go down in history as the only productive impulsive decision I’ve made in my life. Impulse or Fate, whatever. I’m just glad I was there.
As my friend from Camp, She-Ra, says… “I have all the feels”. And I really do. I usually have a love/hate relationship to this time of year and usually spend so much time thinking about where things went wrong, but this year, there is just too much good. I stood up for myself a lot, and asked for more when I felt like it was needed, and I chose Love over Fear more than once.
It was a good year. I’ll leave you with this quote that I believe is quite fitting…
“It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.”
― Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
Happy New Year to you all. I hope you have a place to call home, a warm bed to lie in, and friends to keep you sane when you need them the most.