I am trying to unlearn being superstitious. As if the Powers that Be would really want to punish you for being so foolhardy as to walk underneath a ladder or so unlucky that a black cat would cross your path. I don't think so, no, that the world could turn like that. But when I looked back at my post from January 1st last year, I had chills run up through my hands. For I had asked the winds of change to blow over me and how they did. Or as a friend aptly put it, a tornado came through and wiped my life as I had known it to the ground.
This has been a year of letting go. Mainly of a fifteen year relationship with a man that I loved dearly and who I thought that I would spend the rest of my life with; so secure in what we had built together as to block my ears to the whispers that maybe the structure was echoing towards empty. Or at least not supported by the fullness of what love can be. While I did not choose this ending, I see now that it is for the best for both of us and I wish my former partner nothing but pure happiness as he starts his life again and for all that lies ahead. I am very grateful to be able to genuinely feel that too.
But I have been letting go - or trying to - of much else as well; such as those pesky monsters sleeping inside - thoughts burned into seeming truths, tricked up beliefs about my self that date back as far as I can remember and veils that cloud my vision that is still so hungry to see. I question, I poke holes, and I beg, sometimes nicely, sometimes ferociously, for answers that either do or do not appear.
For my life should not have drifted into smoke at the loss of a love, save that I had given myself over entirely to it. I know that there is a term for that now, it is called codependency, as blunt as it is to type it. But I can learn and live for me, once again. There are solutions, resources and different modes of being. That feels wonderful, if frightening at times. A foal on shaky legs, I wobble and totter towards my future, away from the comfort of the mother mare.
For now it is time to build. And I have everything to construct, or nearly.
But I feel fortified. For, just when I had felt burned back to bones and getting tired, I was given a true gift, of the once in a lifetime kind. Friends, real friends, decided to take me under their rather gilded but grounded wings for Christmas and then let me fly on their backs to remember what it could feel like. No expenses were spared and no opportunity to make me laugh left unexplored. We roamed through Menton, Monaco and into Italy. How I can't wait to share my adventures with you here. Not only did I remember little things, such as that I really do like to dress up every once in a while, but felt wide-eyed present and most importantly, felt open to a bigger breath of possibilities than I had in many a moon past.
There are no words for the gratitude that I feel towards this beautiful couple...nor, looking back over these past twelve months...towards the sense of community that linked my arms when I wanted to believe the lies of aloneness (that would be you)...let alone towards my family, who held me up so tirelessly and with such grace, when I had forgotten what love - for myself and others - felt like, when I was not capable of standing on my own.
This morning, I took the last walk of 2016, a motion that, even when forced, has continually brought sparks into what at times was enduring twilight, the steps feeling forward for me. And as always, natural beauty, which has been my most constant companion of this year, buoyed me up and out. With my steps, I eventually heard my voice and realized that I was not only speaking out loud but apparently praying, to who was listening, the Powers that Be. Earlier, I had wrapped my scarf around my head to protect my ears from the cold and I could feel that the material was wet with tears. And yet I felt lighter. Still letting go, then, and still asking for guidance. It seems smart to do so. One step. The next step. The next.
As I have written, I understand now that there are no clear lines in the sand, just millions of grains appearing to form them...and similarly, that, even when one takes a sabbatical from the practicalities of daily life for a year as I have, one is not given golden rules of wisdom that are fixed in slanted calligraphy either, no matter how much time one has dedicated to seeking them. We gain and we lose within each moment, with each breath, and what beauty that brings to our existence if we let it.
I will be alone tonight for New Year's Eve and that feels appropriate. So maybe I will get really quiet, or maybe I will sing loudly, or maybe a bit of both. With the turn of the clock, I will face the horizon. Actually, I am already. Amazingly, I feel ready to date again once my life is more in place, I am looking forward to what new friends I will meet. I need a job. Badly, so that is first up. All in all, it is time to pop out of the self-blown bubble that this year has been. I am here. What will the future hold?
As I turned back on the path today, I was startled by the waving white transparent wings of my favorite heron taking flight, so impressive in his size that I call him Mister Heron. I have not seen him in so long but there he was. And although I am trying to unlearn superstition, I have always taken his presence as a good omen in the past. That beautiful flutter of hope, rising again and again and again. With a hand over my eyes to shield the sun, I followed his course and I chose to believe it.
With all of my heart, I wish each of you the Happiest of New Years.
May 2017 be filled with discovery, fine health, splashes of joy and a return to the celebrating your unique self.
With much Love and Gratitude, always,
With much thanks to the very talented Jennifer Barnaby for my portrait. To discover her work, you can find her on Instagram at @gustiafood