The moon last night looked like a Cheshire cat in the sky, smiling with golden good natured mischief & mystery. I listened to Alice Cooper’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy” & Hall & Oates’ “Rich Girl” loud in the car. My two favorite songs at the moment. I looked out at the streetlamps & the velvety cloak of darkness.
Just like last year, the transition of one year to the next occurs in the center of a sea of changes. Both this year & last year at this time, the sense of a major shift is pervasive. The kind of feeling where everything is changing; all the old ideas & beliefs & paradigms & personas & dynamics & status quos. Worlds open up – stars are born & die in front of you & then born again – everything circles around in the middle of a wind storm.
The seas are rough but able to be navigated. The rain falls hard but they water the flowers. The old things you used to be are slowly fading & shriveling & retreating back into the brush they came from.
Fears were created & fears were put to rest, & ultimately I still ended up with less of them, & more of them simultaneously. Uncertainty. The great fear still remains in the backdrop (happiness) but fears emerged to the front lines (breakdown). But the fears are all quieted in the warmth of humid nights, when it’s all wrapped up in a blanket.
Confidence was built. It was built in each hour I spent in front of those who would judge me & decide the turns my path would take, but I was still the one choosing to be there. Choosing to be judged, so that I may progress. It also showed its face when I actually started asking for what I wanted. I asked him & he said yes. I told them & they were supportive & encouraging. I announced it to them & they wanted to help me & didn’t care that I was turning away at the same time. I decided & they were there. I showed up, & spoke up, for the first time in years.
Showing up. That’s another thing. I watched as those around me were reluctant to take chances. To make choices. To put themselves out there somewhere they might fail. In most failures though, the failure itself is the only worst-case-scenario. If someone says no the world doesn’t stop spinning. & if you don’t try, there’s no way you can ever win. Showing up, in all ways, not just putting yourself out there but also showing up for your own decisions, owning them. Making choices & then making them happen.
I found a home & then it was gone. I reveled in my relief when I walked through your doors. Immediately you took me in. I found your embrace full of love & genuine connection & fun & it gave me something to do & I loved it. Knowing you made all the other things fade away. I thought that I would shrivel when you left me. I didn’t think I could do anything without you. You were like a drug. It was all about me depending on something other than myself & putting all my happiness in it & betting my whole existence on whether you liked me back. I need to stop doing that. When will I realize that happiness will never come from dependency on such anchors? It needs to be mine.
I found my people but then they left me. Slowly they walked out on me & the door closed. They never opened it again. I thought they were the ones that were supposed to make me feel the way I always wanted to feel. I thought the loneliness would go away. Sooner or later, one of us must know that I really did try to get close to you. I tried, & reached out further & more honestly than I ever had, & with deeper vulnerability. But despite finally putting myself out there & trying to make a connection, they turned their backs & went separate ways. I loved you but you didn’t love me back. & I will be okay with that. Somewhere out there I will find my friends.
Also, there were beautiful things. That moment sitting in the golden light of afternoon in the restaurant smiling & feeling like I belonged somewhere for once. New love & new forms of happiness. The home, the memories, friendship – they all still meant something, frozen in time, even if they were no longer the same glowing realms they had been before.
It was a year when I really opened up my hands & reached out & created. I feel like 2016 was like a big educational seminar, teaching me how the world worked & how to ask the questions I needed to ask. A year which required me to make decisions about who I was & who I was going to be. I feel like I learned more this year that probably any other year in recent history.
2016: a year of making magic & of deepening belief in magic, & one where despite some of the painful & darkened challenges that I encountered, I still made it. I survived. It feels like it was a year of growing hope, a stepping stone year, vitally important to be completed & triumphed over before being able to move on to the next open doors.
Open, a concept I tie to authenticity. I want to make 2017 a year of authenticity, & honesty, & freedom. & I want all of those concepts to tie into happiness, to tie into a grander & more wonderful & much more happy + free version of myself.
& so, I open my arms up & my heart up & I make the new year feel comfortable & welcome. I open my heart to let in all the new light through mosaic windows, & open my hands to new creations that must be made. The hope has been built up into a big glowing ball of light, & the music is on, & I am dancing, & I turn now to face the Newness, radical potential, happiness, magic, freedom. I stand tall & proud, looking out at the star-filled sky & the Cheshire cat moon & later, cheerful rays of sunbeams painted across my floor, & I say,
As 2015 comes to a close, & a brand new unwritten year begins, I am thinking back on everything which occurred in the past year & to be honest, I am so amazed & impressed by all that has happened, & all that I have become. I have evolved. It was the type of year that started out somewhat rocky, but ended with a more beautiful & gentle sense of closure than I ever expected to find. The kind of year that makes me feel like maybe I need therapy or a long vacation or mere time to deal with all the phases & changes I went through, but simultaneously the kind of year that makes me feel like I have been deeply, vividly healed. It was the kind of year filled such with influential growth & complete reinvention & beautiful epiphanies & gentle, nurturing, startling, surprising change & rebirth, that I can only hope that 2016 will offer similar (or better, even more beautiful & ebullient) opportunities for happiness & becoming myself that this year has.
A brief overview of some highlights from 2015 //
★ Completed my A Thousand Cranes series by publishing the 10th book in the series, & therefore the 1000th poem in the series
★ Launched this blog (!!!)
★ Completed many goals that I deemed made me successful, in my eyes
★ I learned an indescribable amount about myself : who I wanted to be, where I wanted to go in life, what I really wanted & really didn’t want, what my goals really were, & that I shouldn’t sacrifice my dreams in order to do all the things I was “supposed” to do. It was a year of stripping away the bullshit until what I was left with was a polished gem glittering with the authentic truth : the reveal was that all along, I’d had what I needed.
★ I finally started feeling comfortable being open with people & letting them see who I really was : ceasing to participate in boring small talk as a form of friendship or present a watered-down version of my personality just to conform to what others expect me to be or what I perceive will make me more similar (therefore “likable”) to them. A refusal to build a wall around myself, hiding in a way so that I am never vulnerable but also never loved or known. Finally becoming myself, & having the courage to do so.
★ Learning to love myself more. Learning to accept & see the greatness (& truth) in all the things that I previously found to be faults in myself. Finally being able to see myself as being good enough : always worthy of love & respect – knowing my thoughts & opinions matter, & that my choices are perfectly okay. Being able to see when I deserve better, & being brave enough to go after Better.
★ Happiness. Learning that happiness isn’t a weird elusive thing meant for someone other than me. Finally being able to say that in the past year, I have almost entirely overcome the depression & anxiety that used to be a constant shroud (although the process of overcoming has been going on for much, much longer); achieving a sort of healing happiness; finally feeling like things really will be okay, & that I am capable of feeling good about myself & my life, long term & so deeply & authentically.
2016, I am looking forward to all the magic you have to offer me; all the good things & bright spunky ebullience awaiting me. Here’s to us all, making this the best year of our lives so far.