The Year of Yes…
New Year’s Eve: a day the world stops and reflects, intentionally or unwittingly, on the year that has passed. Some say a hearty “good riddance” to a taxing year, a year full of mistakes or loss or touched with the theme of sadness. Others welcome the new year into existence with a deep sense of gratitude and a joy carried over from the previous one. Wherever we find ourselves, there is always a sense of hope, a letting go of things that were and a leaning into the beautiful unknowingness of the new, not yet here, year.
I have never been one to make resolutions. In fact, I’m fairly certain I scoffed at the idea, prattling off something about how change should not just be considered at the cusp of a new year, but should be a continual process, blah, blah, blah. And while no denial can be made that there is truth to that belief, I think, it has also been a misguided excuse. At its core, it was a cop-out, a way to make sure that I did not feel disappointment.
If I did not speak out loud the dreams that so brilliantly pulsed in my heart, then I could not fail. I could pretend that I didn’t really want what my heart was grieving over, and that I was untouched by the disappointment. If I did not set expectations to be met, then I could not be let down, I could not let others down. I told myself that the things that were meant to be would stay and what wasn’t would fall away. As an idealist, this was my way of protecting myself from becoming sad and disillusioned with the realities of my own life. And as you might have guessed, by living with the posture of ambiguity, I have come to lose my way.
I am looking back on a year where the only thing I have decided on is that my favorite color is periwinkle. And while anybody who knows me, knows that this wasn’t an easy revelation to come by, it does seem terribly disheartening, or a bit laughable, if I’m honest, that it is the only thing I have come to know about myself in a whole year’s worth of days where decisions could have been made and different lives could have been lived. The one decision I did make, however unconsciously, was to live in the black hole of waiting.
Waiting to figure out what I want. Waiting for the right opportunity as a sign. Waiting for the right intuition. Waiting for the right lighting. The right context. The right timing. Waiting always to discover who I truly am as I’m changing. Waiting.
This time around, New Year’s Eve found me face down in child’s pose on my yoga mat, tears creating little pools at the base of my head. I thought, why am I crying? I should be celebrating! Everyone is celebrating! But I could not.
I was reeling, propelled into feeling by the sudden realization that I had spent the last year half asleep, that I was nowhere closer to understanding what I wanted from life or where my passions and ability and the magic was pulling me. The feeling-sorry-for-myself tears turned into a fervid urgency to do something, change something. I could not spend another minute in that passive, defunct, diminished position. My fingers involuntarily moved to a pen, mind aching to relieve it’s revelations onto paper.
Slowly and all at once, my mind was open wide with clarity. The past months of confusion and fear and stress-induced immobility faded into a blurry background, and what was left were the moments. Moments that I had missed in the night and in the fog, moments that were breathing new life into my lungs…
My habit of always beginning stories in my head
An introduction to a new friend who would later become a writing partner
Comments about my proclivity from people I value
An old high school classmate who believed even then that I would be a writer
My inability to go a day without writing something
All of those moments whirling and expanding in my mind, filling my forgotten attics with light, rushing in; swirling sounds and dusty colors rebuilding the skies and canyons of neglected corners of my dreamer’s soul.
I believed in magic again. I believed in myself again.
And I knew, deep in my bones, something that had been there all along. Something that had always come so naturally, but that I had never attributed significance to.
I am a writer.