Saturday, December 31, 2016

Facing the horizon




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,
Heather

****

With much thanks to the very talented Jennifer Barnaby for my portrait. To discover her work, you can find her on Instagram at @gustiafood

52 comments:

Loree said...

Dear Heather, it has, indeed, been an eventful year that has brought massive changes for you. I am happy to hear you say that it has been for the best. I hope 2017 will bring you good things, most especially a job. My wish is that we will hear much more from you during the coming year.

Unknown said...

Dear Heather, Thank you for this post, all the way from Colorado USA. Your message of hope has special meaning to me as I make my own life transitions. i look forward to you unraveling the promises of a New Year in your blog. Best Wishes in the coming year AND beyond.

Teresa M said...

I am so happy to hear you are ready to spread your wings again, dear Heather. All the best wishes for the coming year sent to you from the bottom of the heart of your devoted reader and admirer from Finland.

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

You sound very grounded and strong...you have fought hard to be here and deserve so much.
I thank you too for sharing your journey, and I wish for you a year of good things, a sense of security, and a new job!
Best wishes for 2017.
XO

RebeccaNYC said...

So happy to read this post! Onward and upward! how appropriate that Mister Heron was there...extend those wings and GO! Happy Happy New Year!

Judith Ross said...

Thank you, Heather, for giving us such an open window into your journey. It is often the little things that help us continue to put one foot in front of the other day after day, when life gives us an onerous or even unthinkable challenge. I'd listen to Mr. Heron — herons look prehistoric, even clumsy during take-off, but once airborne, they soar. Wishing you much happiness and good health in 2017 and beyond.

Bliss Bliss said...

Heather, you speak to my heart and I feel and been thru the same thing ~ I love how you write too!
Love that bag, LoL.....onward we go knowing all things are impermanent even if it last to the end with a spouse or companion ~ knowing that we can live in the NOW and present for all of us suffer as life is suffering ~ and we have the love of ourselves, nature, sweet souls that come into our journey, like YOU to Me ~ Namaste' and Happy New Year we GO......yippee ~ JOY ~ XO from Florida ~

Marsha Splenderosa said...

Yes, my friend, it takes a long time to actually understand what has happened. When I was divorced, and I wanted that divorce for so many reasons, it took me 10 years to finally get over it. I didn't miss the man, I missed the relationship. And, as soon as I realized this I met my next husband. The Lord was with me every single step of the way. Open your arms, your mind & your heart to new experiences. And as my beloved grandmother told me, "you cannot go forward without leaving something behind."

Mimi's Poor Blog said...

I do hope you will continue with your inspiring well written blog. Wishing you the best in 2017

Julie Bresette said...

Happy New Year Heather. Thank you so much for putting your journey into words. You inspire me.

Trudye said...

Like that beautiful white heron, you are ready to soar! So very happy to read this post coming from strength!
Excited to hear all about your holiday with good friends! It sounds like just what the doctor ordered!
Chin chin to a blessed New Year, dear Heather! Mwahs, T xx

Joan McKniff said...

Facing the horizon... then the photo. I thought " Stop. That says it perfectly for you, me, and I suspect many others. "

I am so glad you didn't stop this post. Didn't stop all you've learned, shared, experienced, let go off, grabbed on to - a driver's license and the less tangible, often more important. What a wonderful essay. Very best wishes for 2017 and beyond!

Judi of Little House said...

You DID end up with Santa Claus this year, after all! And, I am so very happy for you! This post of yours has brought me an incredibly big smile -I just can't tell you how wonderful you have made me feel! I was pretty sluggish this morning, wondering where my life is going and now I know. It's right now, where I can smile and rejoice in your rebirth and happy to be ok myself, as well!! I am trusting that big fat 'tomorrow ' will take care of us as we take care of it! Here's to a Happy and Healthy New Year! I love your portrait! You're a beauty!! Bisous, Judi

Laura said...

This is a post that needs to be read more than once. The reflections, though poignant, are beautiful and full of hope. May this year be one of love and peace for you, dear Heather.
As I watch the falling snow this morning, I am reminded of how pure and cleansing the winter season can be.
Warm wishes to you as we enter 2017!

Stephen Andrew said...

Beautiful photo of you!! Speaking of not drawing lines in the sand, you don't need to give up *all* superstition! Some of it is fun and some of it is comforting. Beautiful post and happy new year to you! So glad you enjoyed some deep breaths! I'm very comforted by herons too.

Lesley UK said...

All I can wish you for 2017 is 'All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. Mother Julien, anchorite in Norwich many centuries ago, but still with wisdom to pass on. I'm not even a Christian (Pagan) but her words still resonate over the centuries to me. I hope in some small way this has helped

Rowan said...

Dear Heather, we all wish you the very best that the coming year holds for you. We have your back!
Best wishes,
Deborah - Melbourne, Australia

Unknown said...

To be strong iron has to be placed through fire....this year has been your forge....you are now stronger...

Ali x

eleni said...

Dear Heather, I caught my breath when I viewed your picture. Standing confidently, looking out to the future, was a beautiful and chic woman. A wonderful, well written blog and I admit I did shed a tear or two. I wish you all the best for 2017.

La Contessa said...

SOUNDS Like YOU have decided to "GET A LIFE!"
I wonder who said THAT.............
DRIVERS LICENSEE.........CHECK.
JOB...............YES!
THE JOYS THOSE TWO THINGS WILL BRING are MAGICAL!!!!!!!!!
YOU are on THE ROAD OF RECOVERY!!!!!!!!!
CONGRATULATIONS............and that leopard bag and black coat........STUNNING!
XX

Daniel Storto said...

Paint those nails girl you're ready for takeoff. I'm Coming Out. Diana Ross

Louise said...

Heather, this is such a beautifully written post; it bought many emotions to the fore. I wish you a wonderful year ahead, filled with opportunities, positive challenges and much love and laughter. Happy New Year!

Sandy said...

Yes, to that beautiful future you're looking forward to! You get it girl!

Sandy said...

Oh, and Happy New Year!!!

Jennie said...

Heather, please find a job where you can write. Today's entry is like a long prose poem. So glad the light is shining through. I think 2017 will be good to you.

simpleimages2 said...

A new year beckons and you are ready to embrace the adventure, bravely and calmly.
Happy New Year Heather.

Unknown said...

The photographic portrait of you, your words, and the heron (a Great Blue?) in flight...beauty, strength, resilience, wisdom, growing energy. You have travelled well beyond surviving. When you are ready, let us know more about your job search, just in case any of us can be of assistance. Happy New Year, dear Heather! With abiding love and admiration for, and confidence in, you, Leslie in Oregon (where we are having the great treat of snow falling tonight, with very cold, clear and bright days ahead)

Bliss Bliss said...

NYC ball coming down soon! Theme this year, KINDNESS ! yes indeed, Happy NEW Year to YOU & to ME & to ALL ! XO

Katherine said...

This is brave, and wonderful to read. I think the coming year will bring you wonders you can't even imagine yet, because you have opened your heart to them. Happy New Year, dear Heather, with love.

bonnie poppe said...

What a beautiful optimistic post. You seem to have turned a corner onto the right road. Its all very exciting, really. Lot of work, but the possibilities are endless and positive. Good work......
bon

Ann Lee Gibson said...

What a beautiful, year-end capper of a post. I'm so tickled for your friends' holiday generosities and your own generous appreciation and enjoyment.

You have an enormous gift for looking and seeing beauty. Thanks to you, I resolve during this next trip around the sun to become a less noisy, less critical observer and to accept and absorb all the beauty around me.

Maria Anagnostopoulou said...

Thanks for opening you heart to us, it helps us all. Things will turn okey again, its the flow of life. Crying and singing, calm and noisy, acceptance and rejection, you have a big heart. P.S. Your photo is very classy!

robin said...

A beautiful blog post to start the year! To the fact of 2016 being a bitch, I say, to quote some teens I know: "same". I think we'll both chalk it up to one of the worst years ever, having gone through similar ordeals and heartbreak. So I hold your hand as we walk into this new year, stronger, as survivors, with love and faith and good intentions for 2017. I love you and Happy New Year!

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

A beautifully written retrospective of your year. Looking forward to following you as you step through the door of possibility that has opened and beckoned you forward. Happy New Year. Happy New Life.

Janine said...

Very best wishes for your future lovely lady...the world is all yours..xoxox

Bernadette MacGregor said...

Hey Hey, Happy New Year to you, and to all.
Love Bernadette

Victoria said...

Happy New Year, Heather. I wish all good things for you in 2017 and beyond. XOXO

Studio Maywyn said...

Happiest New Year!
Thank you for sharing your journey with such thoughtfulness.
Your portrait photo looks like the you that I read, strength showing bright.
Good vibes your way on the job search

Nathalie H.D. said...

I hadn't visited your blog in a long while, had been away from the blogosphere, and read your words with much attention. You write beautifully Heather, even of those difficult times you went through, but a wonderfully positive spirit flows through your writing and it's a joy to see.
You look very Parisian and very beautiful in that navy blue coat. I wish you all the best for the year to come, with renewed energy and lots of new opportunities.

Lorrie said...

Beautiful words, filled with hope, and a steady gaze to the future. Blessings and joy as you journey onwards.

helen tilston said...

Hello Heather,
You look fabulous and I am delighted to read that you have had a most enjoyable trip. I will be keeping you in prayer and believe you will land the perfect job soon

Happy 2017

Helen xx

Mardi Michels said...

Heather I don't comment often but I read always. I am sorry to hear about the huge, hard changes 2016 brought you but it sounds like you have a handle on life and you are being cared for by wonderful friends. I wish you a clear path full of light and happiness in 2017. Hugs, xo

francetaste said...

It's a new beginning. I'm confident that it will be a satisfying one for you--the can-do attitude that got you a driver's license will bring more and more rewards.
BTW, you are the picture of elegance in that first shot!

T. Dobbs said...

Happy New Year and may the force be with you!

angiemanzi said...

Heather. I wish you peace. You are on your way to finding it. Or maybe you are there.

Mumbai said...

To forgive is the best solution to heal your soul also the scars are still huge
and it will take a long time but you walk the right lane and for that I wish you
strength and a good spirit. I cross my finger for a new job which makes you happy. ...B.t.w. you look stunning in your stylish outfit

Gina said...

Congratulations Heather. I now feel that you can do it. You look fabulous! Ready to tackle whatever comes your directions. Go for it!

Silke B said...

Overwhelmingly many comments wishing you the best, cheering you to a happy new year!

Bonne Annèe et bon courage aussi de ma part!

I am sure you will find a beautiful fulfilling job. You are already at the right place for it and you know so many inspiring people down there that I am sure you will make it!

D A Wolf said...

Heather, you are, as always, eloquent, poetic, and exquisitely honest. You speak to so many of us who are less brave.

I wish you all good things, in 2017 and beyond.

Sending love.

Slim Paley said...

Wishing you much happiness in 2017 Heather! Like many of your readers I'm sure, I hope you find a job where your writing talents may be put to good use and appreciated! Here's to good health, adventure, time well spent with great friends... and perhaps some good dating stories to share!?! xx SP

Unknown said...

Heather, you are there. Like moving into the right apartment, in the right location, it's just that you haven't unpacked and placed everything where is should go, but, you are there. Honesty with self is "there." Many never manage it. You're facing forward into 2017! May the year ahead be a time of contentment.
@auntybellecracker

Lisa Southard said...

I dropped by to wish you happiness for the new year- some friends are right there and some are further, I'm definitely further but my wishes are no less genuine. There's a grey heron that lives by the river here, also a lucky sight - not superstition so much as being open to the wonder of it. I hope we get to meet one day Heather - better even than a heron is a strong and honest woman xxx