Thursday, January 6, 2022

Centennial Triumph

New Years has come and gone, thank goodness. It's all too easy to fall into the trap of self flagellation with countless questions regarding resolutions and goals. It's our collective tradition to take stock of where our lives are at as we turn the page on a new calendar year. New years seems the prime time to cast spells into the ether about our dream lives and best selves. How lovely it would be, to filter all the nasty and unlikable bits of ourselves! To wipe from the collective memory our mistakes and tragedies, regrets and rejections, a'la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

I find it such a bummer- all this obsession with what we are not and how much work we have to do. I think this is a huge part of why I've rarely celebrated New Years Eve (well...that, and I hate fireworks).

Though our lives are constant works of art, they do not necessitate constant improvement. Definitely not self-hatred. Try as we might, we will never be perfect versions of ourselves. Life will always get in the way, and opportunities to debase and defame ourselves won't go away. We can't delete every mistake and regret, or what ripples from them. There are literally no lessons to hold onto without them. 

In what author Yrsa Daley Ward calls the "tender, shocking business of life itself" we struggle deeply with making choices. We speak and act without thinking. Impulsivity can be medicinal, but it can also be terminal. To be human is to be fallible, FLAILING, extreme, contradictory, explosive, brilliant, and often annoying. As my friend Josephine said to me recently, "We are not cages, we are oceans."

This year my only resolution is to practice self enjoyment. I will continue to hold counsel only with those who welcome all of me and nothing less. For once I kicked my New Years off in style, surrounded by 4 close girl friends in a beautiful space with an incredible spread of food and drink. Did I also have to go upstairs and take a nap before the clock struck midnight because the red wine gave me a runny nose and I was experiencing a bit of sensory overload? Sure! Regardless, it was a beautiful and memorable way to welcome 2022.

"Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." 

-Leonard Cohen

And you know, because I'm deeply passionate about etymology and words in general, please allow me to remind you that a foible is quite literally 'a minor weakness or eccentricity in someone's character.' Without a handful of those, or stories of regret that allow inspiration for growth, you're bloody boring. Bring all of yourself on this journey. Anything else is a loss.

We seem to have a driving desire to annihilate anything that isn't good enough. The things that don't look or feel the way they're supposed to. I've always struggled with honest record keeping. I usually end up throwing away journals once finished because of negativity and criticism that makes me wince. These things don't feel worthy of permanent print. There's an urge to crumple up the bad days and toss them away. Yet, a journal is a necessary outlet for even the worst feelings and thoughts. Otherwise they live in our bodies, corroding us from the inside out- and that's no place for them either.

Somehow, when it comes to this blog I refuse to edit or dismantle even the worst of my  previous posts. In fact, I quite enjoy returning to the beginning and watching my progress. This is my centennial blog, by the way. 100 pieces shared! Something to be proud of. Something to leave alone and refuse to adjust, fix, or improve. 

Happy New Year, y'all.

"You are starting from yourself, and it's the self that contains all the answers. So you have to give up on the idea that you must go from A to B...The one reality includes everything in its tangle of experiences, and what we are trying to find is the experiencer who is present no matter what experience you are having."

-Deepak Chopra

1 comment:

  1. We are imperfect vessels, cracks and all. But your writing is the light that shines through. I'm always glean something of value in every post...a different perspective, something to reflect on, something to strive for.
    Box Canyon Mark


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