New Year’s Eve, 2016. I’m feeling a mixture of Thank-freaking-god and Wait-I’m-not-ready! right now. So anyway. January (started in December) reflections:
4-What is my best memory of 2016…my best memory…you know what? For such a crap year, I actually have quite a few lovely memories. In April, my mom and stepfather took Miss M and me on a dream vacation of her childhood. So many happy and funny moments with my brother and sister-in-law and friends Robin and Jeff (and Nana! Nana makes my heart happy, and this summer I’m going to start interviewing her so we can write her biography). I had some amazing dinners out, I had moments where I knew I was tremendously blessed and adored. It did try its hardest, and it did bring me some really quite dark and angry and WTF?! crazy moments, but 2016 also brought me some deep moments of love.
…isn’t that how tragic loss usually works, though: once on the other side, we forget a lot of the bad and remember mostly the good. Human defense mechanisms are probably key to our survival.
5-The last major (MAJOR) accomplishment I had was waaaaay back in 2004 when I got my master’s degree. That was a buttload of work, let me tell you. The next major accomplishment will be actually being published somewhere. Then starting AND FINISHING a book. And the piece de resistance will be when I get Miss M out of my house in one piece, graduated from college, established in a career, and not in jail or addicted to meth AND paying her federal and state income taxes relatively on time. But mostly: when I get her out of my house in one piece.
And also, can I add that I think a major accomplishment has been living on my own for almost a year and a half and I’m stronger now? I still have moments, far too many moments, terrible horrible agitated horrendously appalling moments, but then again these moments continue to teach me a lot. I think. And maybe they just are who I am (see number 7 below), and if you are to love me on any level, you’ll just know it’s not you it’s me. That’s not a cliche; it’s literally me. When I crawl back into the light, we can talk and I’ll cry and apologize but still be mad at you or myself about whatever but ultimately just know I do get it just is what it is, and I have zero control over anything or anyone…some days not even myself.
Living authentically. It’s a doozy.
6-Most people who know me will tell you it’s my phone connected to data or WiFi. But those people only THINK they know me, because no joke: it’s my coffee pot, people. And my hair dryer. And make up. And books and Netflix. If I had to sit around all day without caffeine and dirty hair and no make up with no stories to think about, what would be my purpose? Phones and WiFi aren’t going to fix no purpose.
7-Can people change…well, I think yes but only superficially. Like, they can take deep breaths and choose NOT to start screaming at someone (me, on Monday). Or they can stop and think and decide typing up and sending the email isn’t going to fix or change anything in the long run. That kind of thing. They can control their urge to have sex with someone because it would be complicated, etc. They can choose not to call someone a name or storm out of the room mad.
But ultimately the desire to those things will always be there, whether they act on them or not. And so no. I don’t think people ever really change, they just learn to mask certain undesirable traits or behaviors. And that’s really important to understand, I think, before you decide to go into a cohabiting relationship or, god forbid, a marriage (which is all legal and crap and really really difficult to extract from physically, financially, and emotionally). Know your people and love them as is, and be ready to stay with them forever knowing how they’re going to be when they’re completely hormonal, decide it’s not worth taking the meds anymore, or for whatever reason give up trying to mask or not act on their natural behavioral instincts.
(Writing that last paragraph makes me want to be alone forever – not just to save myself from other people, but also to save other people from myself.)
And (just skipping around because I feel like it), number 21 is: Today I wish I had more __________.
Money. But only because it’s New Year’s Eve and I need (yet again) to go to the supermarket for champagne (me) and sparkling grape juice (Miss M) and breakfast-for-dinner foods. My girl requested her last meal of 2016 be waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, and sparkling orange juice. So mommy’s having mimosas and Miss M is having sparkling orange juice. And we’re going to wear red underpants and eat 12 grapes before midnight. (Google it – it’s A Thing.)
And tomorrow when we wake up, we will face 2017 with bravery and more wisdom and less patience for jackassery. Soooo much less patience for jackassery.
Be careful out there, Internet. And Happy New Year.