2016. Pardon my profanity, but what an awful fucking year. Not just for me personally, but for so many people – on both micro and macro levels. Oy. I can’t even go there.
I’ve been shamefully neglectful of my blog, partly due to the website being broken for six weeks, and partly because the past few months have just been a whirlwind for me.
I feel like yesterday was October, and in a blink, autumn was over.
Instead of focusing on the myriad of 2016 negatives (I’ve done that enough in previous posts, and honestly – who needs to be further reminded of last year?), I’m going to ease into my 2017 groove with gratitude for the 2016 positives. It’s all about perspective, right?
2016 brought me new friends and new beginnings.
As stressful as it can be to work temporary job assignments, where you oftentimes don’t know when your last day will be, and the wages – quite frankly – are unlivable, I was guided to some wonderful people by way of the temp world.
I developed meaningful friendships that helped lead me out of some pretty dark places in my head.
One of these new friendships led me to a much better living situation with my sweet, quirky, entertaining-as-all-heck roommate, whom I love to pieces.
This roommate led me to my first permanent job in over a year, working for a New Zealand based company with an office here in the Portland area.
This job has led me to more new friendships, and a beautifully kind boss who sent me a lovely arrangement of flowers… simply for doing my job.
I celebrated a birthday, grew closer to existing friends, and strengthened the bond with my rescue pooch – the ever goofy and adorable Hippo Head. He’s my daily happy.
I spent Christmas in my Western Maryland homeland.
I reconnected with dearest friends and family whom I haven’t seen in years, ate and drank way too much, and was reminded of how blessed I am to have a tribe of people who love me – just as I am.
In the space of a single evening over Christmas, I had the time of my life. With a glass (or two) of champagne, I sat and watched a kind, handsome man cook dinner for me. He made chicken breasts stuffed with spinach and pepper jack, baked sweet potatoes with garlic herb sauce… and I caught myself wondering where he’d been all my life.
Someone I’ve known for years – a friend – who was once my biggest supporter while I foolishly chased after someone else.
Timing can be a real asshole, you know?
Not to go down the “what could have been” pathway, and not to romanticize, or place unrealistic expectations on the magic of a single evening…
But more so, to be open and receptive to the unexpected places where we can discover that magic. To embrace it when it comes, instead of running from it. To believe that I’m worthy of being the object of another human’s pure attention, adoration, and affection.
(Forgive the accidental alliteration, pretty please.)
I’m grateful to this friend, for giving me an evening of his devotion to romance – for showing me a glimpse of what’s waiting out there, if I can just stop being so stubbornly and vehemently insistent on self-preservation.
While I left him feeling sad, and wishing for more time – I also feel fortunate to have spent a lovely evening with a gentleman who knows how to treat a Hot Mess such as myself.
I’m reawakened to the things I want, and a bit shocked that at 34 years old… I can still feel those butterflies.
So, my friends, CHEERS to 2017. Even with all the stress and sadness and scary life circumstances that will always be lurking around unexpected corners, let’s move forward with hope and loving energy.
Let’s conquer this bitch.
I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions, but my intention for this coming year is to experience more magic – whatever form it may arrive in.
I want to be open to it, I want to feel it, I want to be surprised by it, and I want to be swept away in the bliss.
I can’t plan for everything, I can’t control the unexpected, and I can’t outsmart getting hurt. I have a sneaking suspicion I’m always going to struggle with these realities, but here’s what needs to shift –
I need to stop allowing this struggle to keep me from having the time of my life. I don’t want to wake up a year from now, still yearning for the experiences I have yet to be brave enough to face.
Part of me will always be cautious, and somewhat guarded… I will always harbor fears of heartbreak and insecurities about myself. I’m human, and I’m flawed.
But I want to be able to let the armor down when there is light trying to find its way inside.
With light, will come the magic.
So, I remain your faithful Hot Mess – in some ways messier than ever.
I’m still here, still fighting my dragons, still struggling with self-acceptance, still stumbling through this crazy journey we call ‘Life.’
And you know what? I don’t think I’d want it any other way.
With fighting, comes strength.
With struggling, comes empathy.
With stumbling, comes the wisdom to recognize where we can safely fall.
Yes… I choose the mess.