I lived a decade in this year.
I wished on stars under desert skies in Scottsdale, marveled at the power of the spring thaw in the swollen Ausable River, walked the brick-lined streets of Burlington, attended a Red Sox game at Fenway, rode a puddle jumper to Saranac Lake, tested the limits of my dignity, stamina and alcohol tolerance in Las Vegas, drove the Blue Ridge Parkway to Lynchburg, and caught a glimpse of the nighttime Manhattan skyline.
I lost my job, moved my sister into my house, and was issued a divorce decree in the span of ten days.
I formed a corporation.
There was a spring fling, a fall in the fall and too many maybes in-between.
Oh, yeah, and I found out that my Mom reads here, which was the last shred of anonymity I had in this space.
I wouldn’t change a thing. Not one minute, not even the hardest most awful minutes, especially not the hardest most awful minutes.
This year isn’t about what happened to me, or even what I did. This year is about who I’ve become.
One of those warm desert nights in early spring, on a patio under a heat lamp, I sat in the lap of a very handsome man who very graciously kept both my martini and water glasses full. We spent half the night in one chair and the other half on the dance floor. He gave me his number at the end of the night and asked me to text him when I got back to my hotel room intact, so he could sleep well. I sent a simple message about being back safe and having a great time, and he replied:
You are an incredible girl. You deserve the world.
At the time, I thought it was very sweet but rather odd and kind of silly. What I really deserve is the bitchin’ hangover and incriminating pictures I’m going to wake up with tomorrow. How, after a night of drunken chatter and dancing, is his impression of me that I deserve the world?
Oh, what a difference a year makes!
I’m not perfect, I’m not even close. I’ve made mistakes, I have plenty of flaws and scars and secrets. There is guilt, shame and doubt in my heart, and I allow my light to be dimmed by that irrational darkness all too often. Still…
I am incredible girl, and I deserve the world.
Most of the world I am free to strive for, to chase, to labor tirelessly for. That effort is one of my goals for the new year. To write more. To do more with my writing. To make the life I deserve, a life of meaning and freedom and just enough security. Claiming my rightful place in the world through intelligence and diligence and courage.
The sweetest things in this world, infuriatingly, cannot be earned or claimed. They can only be given and received in mutuality. I may never find someone who can take what I give and give what I take, and I would be lying if I said I thought my life could be full or my heart could be whole without it. Settling for less than what I have to give isn’t healthy or productive, though, and I don’t have to do it. In fact, it’s kind of my responsibility not to.
I am an incredible girl, and I deserve the world.
This year, I learned how to gather rain.
has started stretching wide
and her new conviction
no longer will she hide
she’s not branded
when prophets speak words of fire
the same love she gives
so she gathers rain
she gathers rain
to rinse away all her guilt and pain
she gathers rain
she gathers rain
to wash and cleanse and make
her whole again
- collective soul “she gathers rain”
December 28, 2010 6 Comments