I love New Years. I always have. I've mentioned this before. It's a combination of things really. One, New Years was always the best holiday at my house growing up. Christmas, Thanksgiving, you can have 'em. Those were always full of stress. But New Years? Everyone would come over to my house and we'd play games and dance and pull taffy and stay up late. Some of my best childhood memories are of New Years.
As an adult, it's been the same. I trudge through the family holidays, every year trying to make the most of it, trying to enjoy the holidays despite how shitty they make me feel. I always hope the next year will be better, that I'll have someone to share the holidays with and that will somehow make me enjoy them. But that's never the case.
So every year I trudge through that much right dab into New Years. And, as I was discussing with a new friend last night, it's the most inclusive holiday there is. No matter what religion you are or what your family situation is like or where you live, you can celebrate. And I know it's a cheesy concept, but I love the idea of new beginnings. It's an arbitrary beginning, yes, marked on a clock made by humans, but it's an idea I find romantic. You get glittery and you kick the last year's ass out the door and you start fresh.
|All dolled up for New Years|
It's an idea I can buy into and which is so coincidentally relevant and timely for me right now. Right now I do need to start fresh, to start over. I did a lot of thinking during my Seattle trip and, subsequently, since.
I did some really cool things all by myself in Seattle, had experiences one just wouldn't have if one wasn't alone. I saw things on a different timetable. I was forced to rely on myself and on myself alone. I met people and had conversations that simply wouldn't have happened were I with anyone else. I made friends with the chefs and entire wait staff at a sushi restaurant. I had my palm read by a thousand year old Chinese waiter. I randomly met a lady who knew someone who I went to school with many years ago in a very small town in Southern California.
But most of all? I did a ton of thinking and I met parts of myself I'd forgotton. And I had the best sleep I'd had in...well, I can't remember how long. Have I mentioned how much I love hotel rooms? Nice ones, anyway.
And I came to some pretty profound, profound for now anyhow, ideas. I don't make resolutions, as I've said, but what do you know? It's a good time to make some changes.
Which brings me to month three of breakup recovery. I guess technically it's probably not quite two months yet but I'm honestly not counting that closely. It's about an idea, people. Someone called it recovery the other day in reference to another friend and I really liked that. Yes, bad relationships can be like addictions and then we detox and then we go through recovery. That's exactly how I feel.
Anyway, so that means by the end of this month, I should be completely moved on. And I can taste it. I'm so almost there. The hardest part is that just forgetting one person from your life who was previously completely entrenched in it is damn near impossible. And forget friendship. I have several exes who are good friends and he won't be one of them. I don't want to be his friend anymore. I don't want to even know him. But there are reminders everywhere, dammit. And there's facebook, which, even though we're not facebook friends anymore, I am friends with his friends. And then there are photos and books and TV shows and movies and a hundred million other things we shared which I'd really just love to disappear. But of course that's not reality. Of course that won't happen. Even if all the shows we watched together went away, for example (and truthfully, I'd be sad about that), I'd still have the memories.
So now I just have to set those memories aside until there are no more emotional ties. Until I don't want to punch him in the face every time I see something that reminds me of him. But the anger is good. It's better than the sad I was in and it will get me through this last phase.
I know guys don't deal with breakups like women do. I think I'm okay with that finally. I know he's out there getting blitzed and acting like he always does. But I'm just not that way. I gave up my heart and that's not easy to recover from. I'm giving myself patience to be who I am, because who else will but me? He never let me be myself so it's more important now that I claim back who I am.
Which brings me to my next epiphany. Being alone can be an awesome thing. I've always bordered on this and I've always enjoyed spending time alone. But I, in my heartbreak and my stress and grieving, had forgotten this. I'd gotten caught up in being left alone, which is so much different than choosing aloneness. I'm not talking permanent aloneness. I'm talking about choosing to experience certain things alone and discovering a different side of life only visible when alone.
Make sense? If you're not one to do things alone, I'm positive you'll have no idea what I'm talking about. But I'm certain that many of us miss out on so much because we're afraid to do certain things (or anything) alone. How much do you want to do but are waiting on someone else to happen? Yes, I realize that some things DO in fact necessitate another human simply on logistics alone. I'm talking about missing out on experiences because there is no one available to do them with you.
And I was forced to be completely alone this past Christmas. But instead of moping and pouting, which a chunk of me did want to do, I had an adventure. A small one, sure, but an adventure nonetheless, and one I would never have had if I'd been tied to traditional plans. This has given me the push to start having adventures again. It's exhilarating, picking up and trying out a new city all by one's lonesome, and during a family holiday to boot. I can't tell you how many times I had to explain to someone just what I did during the holidays this year. And they always looked at me like I was insane or with envy. I'll take either, let me tell you.
I'm sure, some day, I'll relish in the traditional commitments, but since I don't have those, I'm going to take adventure. And, quite honestly, even when I have a family (when, not if), I'll want to take them on adventures too, teach my children to love experiencing life differently from the pack.
That said, I've also decided that it's okay to not have to accept loneliness, which is differently than aloneness. I want to enjoy my alone time, sure, but I also want others around me who love and support me and make me laugh and who brighten my days. I've said before that I miss my friends and family in California so insanely much. I've been lonely. I have. And my best friend here has been amazing and, as always, I could never get through the tough times without her. I love her down to my toes.
But, as I mentioned before, I've found myself on a sudden friend drought. It's been awkward and frustrating and has put me in a bad state of mind. It's also never been my style to force friendships along. I've always made friends easily and always just let them develop organically at whatever pace should come.
Except that's just not working for me right now. I don't know why I've always done this because it doesn't suit my philosophies. I don't believe in fate or destiny or what have you so why do I leave my friendships up to the universe? I believe in making your own happiness, so why was I letting a huge source of happiness, one's friends, just idle? So I've decided that I will be lonely no more. I decided to be proactive. I made some calls and I'm nurturing some friendships here that were blossoming and I don't want to die and some that I'd always wanted but hadn't pursued. I also insinuated myself into a group of friends of friends who are all pretty damn cool, and, thus, had a total blast on New Years and met even more cool people.
I've also had a few romantic encounters recently which I feel like keeping under wraps for now, but which have been fun and make me feel all "Stella" up in here.
Which brings me to my next plans. I'm not going to accept any situations or people who bring me down. I say this every year and I'll keep saying it until I learn it. No more doormat Andy. I will start over. I will meet great people. I will bloom where I'm planted and I will replant myself if necessary. I will make my own happiness and I will not accept anything less.
I was talking with someone recently who has had a ton of health issues. And I thought to myself, Self, you know what? You're lucky. You're healthy. You have food and a car and a great job. In the grand scheme of things, despite the unluckiness of this year, you've got it pretty good, woman. I used to do more volunteer work. I used to give back and in doing so, gained perspective. It was my reality check that kept my first world ego in its place. I haven't done that in far too long so the next thing on my list is to volunteer more. I think we all need to remember how good we really have it.
I'll leave you here for now since this has been the longest post in recorded history. I still have to get my Seattle photos online, which I promise to share.