There are those years that stand out among others. The years that, when referencing a time period from your past, you judge it by when it was in relation to THAT year. Well, it must have been in ’98 because it was the year after I graduated. That was in 2006 because I know I wasn’t engaged yet. 2011 was one of those years for our family. And, without the full benefit of hindsight, I already know 2014 will be a marked year.
2014 was the year we lost Dave. A year of weeping. Of absence. A year of desperation.
2014 was the year my marriage changed. Despite our ages, this is the year we grew up.
2014 - the very end of it, after many months of wrestling - was the year I let a dream go. And also a friendship. Two friendships, actually.
In 2014 I felt a deep well of guilt for everything from the way I spend my time to my white American privilege, and I also decided to dispense with guilt entirely, as it rarely means much without action. I’m still working on this one. We all are, I suspect.
After what I perceived as so many personal failures in 2013, this year I was more readily able to admit that I can’t control everything, I’m incapable of being superwoman, and that I muck things up fairly often. The only person to whom this was a revelation was myself.
And so, in the last twelve months, I’ve let myself be vulnerable towards the people who love me (which was scary), and to total strangers (which was less so). Those raw muscles are too weak to be called strong, but they’re in motion, which is something.
I tripped and stumbled into 2014. My steps were unsure. I batted away a lot of old and new fear. I feel different on this last day. Simpler. Less walls and less tumbleweeds. Like I’ve cleaned out my closet and agonized over the keep, donate, toss piles.
Who knows what a new year holds, but I’ve always liked the fresh start of it. Let’s leave behind here what we should, and carry with us only what matters. To the purge and to the future: CHEERS.