Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy New Year!

Our lives are full of scheduled and unscheduled transitions: months, seasons, birthdays, anniversaries, aging bodies, relationships. My favorite transition is the new year. I've been in school for a very long time, so I've settled into a kind of routine for transition of one year into another. December is insane. I am unhealthy, scrambling to get things done, my brain and body aching as I type and type and type. Then it's all over. It's quiet and unnerving and I feel lost. I get sick or depressed, crash painfully, all the neglect catching up to me. But I can't give up yet. There is still Christmas to prepare for. So I muster some strength and do my Christmas things and then that's over. This year we had Christmas early because I was flying back to Louisville on Christmas morning. We had dinner and presents and fun (I cannot have the same kind of fun with anyone as I can with my mom and sisters). And then it was over and I could relax. It felt great and I think we should always do Christmas a couple of days early. 

And then we enter my absolute favorite time of year. The week between Christmas and the New Year. The time for reflection and renewal. I can sit and think, not about papers or research, but about my body, my food choices, my plans for the new year. It's my time for a real break. Yesterday I read a book. That is it. That's all I did. I read all day long. And it was a fun book too, not homework. On the plane to Utah and back I read my journal and wrote pages and pages, finally able to stop and reflect on who I've been and who I'm becoming. It's cold and gloomy outside, people are still gone for the holidays, and so I don't feel obligated to go out and do anything. I can just sit and breathe and plan.

2012 was an interesting year. I decided to let go of many of the things that brought me grief, guilt, confusion, pain, disappointment. As a result my life changed rather dramatically. I've distanced myself from places and people that made me anxious, and I've stopped having unrealistic expectations for the people I love. My values and ideals have shifted and I feel less conflicted. I got the bunny and moved into my own place and I haven't had to deal with the same painful bouts of depression that have marked my life for the last ten years. My low points are short and bearable. I'm not constantly disappointed in myself for not living up to arbitrary values. I forgive myself all of the time. I'm learning to really truly love my body, which is not an easy thing to do. In fact I'm learning that it's rather radical and political and awesome an completely necessary to having a meaningful and satisfying life. 

I had one real resolution for 2012, and that was simply to be okay. And I think I succeeded. I am okay. Nothing is lurking, nothing is pestering or bothering me, nothing is making me hurt, nothing is making me want to run away or hide. I'm totally, completely, satisfyingly, triumphantly okay. 

In 2013 I want to be more than okay. I want to be fabulous. That might sounds pretty cheesy, but that's what I'm aiming for: fabulousness. I don't want to hold myself back, and I won't let others hold me back. I don't want to stand in the corner because I don't feel like I'm allowed to be out in the crowd or in front of the crowd. I tend to be very bashful and shy and lots of things scare me, but I also know the value of doing things that are scary. For example, I hate people looking at me and I hate doing things in public, so that means I do karaoke regularly. And no matter how much I do it, it still scares me half to death. So yes, more of that sort of thing for 2013. I go back to teaching this year, which I expect will be terrifying and wonderful, and I'll have to figure out a research topic and gather up a dissertation committee which I expect will be less wonderful and more terrifying. At any rate, I think it looks like it will be a good year and I'm excited for it. 

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