Compared to 2008, 2009 was a shock to the system through and through. If I could have foreseen all the changes this year would bring, would I have believed it?
Russians believe that the way you spend New Year's Eve is how you will spend the entire rest of the year. Last New Year's Eve was a cluster fuck, to say the least. Mentally and emotionally, I was exhausted from the holidays and was in denial about the state of my current relationships.
My relationship with Dave melted down in late May. My whole world was rocked by this change of events which I now feel, with the cocky wisdom of retrospect, I really should have seen coming. Despite the heartbreak, it was a positive change that needed to happen. It was like pulling 3 teeth, cauterizing a war wound, and having a lobotomy all at once - but I passed through the fire and feel cleansed and weightless now.
I spent the summer in meditation, a form of emotional boot camp. Pleasant at times, not at all pleasant at other times. I learned a lot about myself, and changed a lot of things that I didn't like. I observed many negative patterns in my thought processes that I still haven't quite gotten a handle on - it will take a lifetime of work to overcome, I think.
I reconnected with tons of old friends; connections left dormant and unsustained during the last few years of self-centered thinking. How could I forget so many of my friends so easily? And how lucky I am that they were willing to reunite! I've always been good at staying in touch with friends who are geographically proximate, but so bad at keeping up with the other friends I've met along the way. All these "reconnections" culminated in a fantastic Thanksgiving celebration in Boulder with old friends from Middlebury. So much fun! I may still be hungover, though...
And then I met Will, aka "Mr. Africa." The timing was odd, and I distrusted the connection immediately. I kept telling myself it was too soon and that I wasn't ready for a new relationship. But Will seemed different somehow, and just kind of perfect for me. As he once said, "Our weirdnesses are kind of alike."
So then I got scared because I didn't want to rebound with such a wonderful man: he deserves better than that! The only real reason I was hesitant was because I was afraid. I still have a paralyzing fear of getting hurt again so soon, a fear of again wading through the emotional morass of heartbreak. If I've learned anything in the last year, it's that love itself can dissipate (and quickly) whether you like it or not.
The more I analyzed my reticence, the more I realized I had to just throw myself into this. I refuse to live my life afraid of taking chances, afraid of risk. My new philosophy, after the milestones of 2009, is: if it scares me, I have to do it. If the only reason I don't want to take action is purely because it frightens me (and for no other sensible motive), then I HAVE to. I will spend 2010 leaning into discomfort and see where it leads me. And when it comes to love? I should never, ever hold myself back. What's the worst that could happen? I trust that I can survive anything.
This New Year's Eve was spent in the warm company of friends, safe and secure. This bodes well for the coming year, I think...