It’s taken me a few days to be able to write about it being a new year.
I wish to inspire you, but alas, I cannot.
The New Year depresses me. Every year, the New Year depresses me.
I read an excerpt from Melodie Beattie’s Journey to the Heart in my yoga class on New Year’s Eve:
“Beginnings can be delicate or explosive. They can start almost invisibly or arrive with a big bang… Beginnings hold ambiguity, promise, fear and hope.”
Beginnings scare the shit out of me. Beginnings can be unwelcome, messy and painful. Beginnings can be when one door slammed so hard that the front door opened and your cat got loose.
Don’t worry – Lotus (my cat) is fine. It’s just a metaphor.
Last year, I was here.
Last New Year’s Eve, I was here:
I was leaning against a stonewall of a house in the streets of Manayunk when I reached the culmination of the past four months of my life. Holding on to the wall with one hand, and my royal-purple infinity scarf with the other, I vomited. Then I vomited again. I felt the hand of the boy I had a massive crush on rubbing my back, hoping he hadn’t heard my last heave. My brain was racing for ideas on how to salvage the evening – how to not ruin this boys’ New Years Eve celebration. How had I gotten to this point? The answer lay, I believe, in three whiskey shots, a Pabst beer, hard lemonade, two orange juice mixers, and quarter of a bottle of champagne. But how did I get here – to the cold wall, and the soft touch on my back, and the embarrassment, and the eyes watching the youngest girl in the room spew up on her brown suede boots? “You look cute tonight, by the way” the boy said to me in the cab halfway back to my sisters’ apartment. I gaffed at him.
At that point in my life I was still putting two spaces after a period. A cute editor at a newspaper knocked that habit out of me. But I’m not really so different than the girl I was then.
This New Year’s Eve I went to bed before 11 and had champagne first thing in the morning.
Last year, two dogs in my family died.
This year, fate has three dogs, three cats, and two horses to bargain with – not to mention my whole human family.
This scares me.
Last year, I realized I never want to be madly in love, because mad love is fleeting. Instead I want this:
“When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No…. Don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But it is!” ~ Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Last year I started a project with my grandmother. This year I’ll finish it.
Last year I started writing for elephant journal and connected to many people from around the globe all in the name of the mindful life.
Last year I moved to a new city, I took some big chances, I made some grand mistakes.
I trained with Vinnie Marino.
I bought a wedding dress (it was on sale).
I ate a stinkbug (on accident).
My cousin got married.
Another cousin got married.
Someone close to me had a stroke.
I ate Brussels sprouts for the first time ever.
I started using a smart phone.
I took apart my computer… and put it back together again. (Thanks for helping, MM).
I took on an unfeasible task, and when it appeared that I was failing, my mentor told me to try harder.
This year on my New Year’s Day yoga class, I asked my students this:
What will be your word in 2012?
Later in the day I tried to really think of what my word would be. The first phrase that came into my head was: “Fear of the unknown.” And I realized this wasn’t right. The point of forming a word for 2012 is so you can manifest your best year yet – set intentions – form gratitudes. The point of finding a word is not to admit what you are afraid of…
I never did find a word that fit.
I’m not ready for 2012.
Both last year and this year I’ve found myself lying broken in a pile on my bedroom floor.
If I move forward then it means that I will also have to let go of looking back.