Occasionally you come home after an evening with someone you care about, and realize - again - that you don’t know why you care about them.
It’s not that the person isn’t a good person, because they truly are. It’s that tonight you were - again - reminded that you never feel very good while you’re with them, and that you definitely don’t feel good afterwards. In fact, you often you feel worse, or simply, numb.
And you are smart enough to know that one of the reasons you have the friends you have, is because they bring joy to your life in some way. So if this friend doesn’t, why are you still here? Evenings such as this one aren’t doing you any good, bringing you any joy, or serving any purpose other than to suck the life out of your Energizer bunny batteries.
So next time your treacherous heart tries to convince you that you can hang out with this person, your brain-that-brims-with-self-respect will - again - zap you with it’s acid reality check. Your stomach will twist with that familiar ughwhyamIhereagain anguish and you will - hopefully - recognize it for what it is: an electric fence that reminds you to stay away from something that never makes you feel better about yourself, only worse.
2014 tells me that’s unacceptable.
I suspect that like me, many of you want the same things year after year. My constant desires are relatively simple things: a job I like, patience I don’t have, a real partner. For many of us those are steady, almost universal desires.
We treat each new year like it’s an overgrown tooth fairy, ready to stuff the things we desire under our pillows, as though it has some slightly mystical power over our lives. We ask the new year to answer the questions, and hope it will resolve our problems. It’s a wishing well: c’mon new year, gimme what I’ve been wanting, let me hold what I’ve been chasing, hand me the love/job/life I’ve been lusting after.
Poor tooth fairy.
This year I am asking things of myself. More than I did last year - last year I was settling into a new neighborhood, getting used to the world of advertising, and getting over a heartbreak. It was the year of acceptance, of settling into what already was.
This year, I’ve made peace with where I am. This year I will answer the restlessness in my mind, the curiosity that makes me feel like I should be doing a lot more than I already do. I want to create something new for myself.
So less talking, more doing. No more judging myself in ways I would never judge others. More deep breaths, and patience. More feeding my soul: more creativity, more art, more dance. More giving. More saying less, until I know more.
This is the year to let my inner become outer - something - I can’t name it yet.
Who knows what this year will bring? I do. Sort of.
In 10 days my daughter will turn 10. It’s just a pairing of even numbers, tidy and symmetrical…10 and 10. But it feels huge.
10 years and ten days ago, we lived in Dublin, I was married, and although I knew I was about to experience something that would change my body, my marriage and my life as I knew them, I couldn’t wait.