Note: I didn’t intend to post this, the results of a therapeutic journaling session, for a few reasons:
~ I feel like I’ve already bored my readers to death by writing about this last crazy year.
~ Speaking of readers, I have readers. Readers who will read this.
~ I’m still new to this full honesty concept, and it’s terrifying. (See above.)
However, reading other people’s “Mondo Beyondos” has made me feel so affirmed in this harrowing business of being human, and I want to share that feeling–that we’re all real, with jagged edges and soft, spongey hopes, and that these twelve-month blocks we order our lives around matter more than we might ever realize. So:
“What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2007?”
I’m proud of myself for jumping off the deep end into dream-chasing mode, for letting go of control and the need for stability. I found my secret stores of flexibility during a summer of three moves–the last, a one-week dash to another continent–and I found my secret stores of bravery during an autumn of jarringly new surroundings.
I’m proud of myself for saying goodbye to handwritten journals and a new hello to online publishing–exactly what I needed to kick start my writing again. Beginning with this impulse blog project in June, I’ve found satisfaction and resolution and incredible enjoyment through writing again. These increasing pages of text have helped me explore my voice and find clarity. Even more importantly, they have convinced me that writing is my love, my dream career, and thus my aspiration.
I’m proud of myself for learning how to care for two little girls at the same time. Despite all my previous assumptions to the contrary, I found the courage to leave the house… then to drive (stick shift, on hills, with Italian drivers, oh my)… then to run errands with both of my daughters in tow. I have been a good mother, as evidenced by the perpetual smiles on my girls’ faces, and I think they will love remembering these times through photos and wisps of memory and the letters I recently started writing them.
I’m proud of myself for digging far past my comfort zone to unearth new layers of honesty this past year. I’m also incredibly proud of my decision to stop regretting my past, my present, and everything about myself. It has certainly been a challenge for someone so accustomed to self-deprecation, but it has been freeing. I’ve found myself in the shower, mulling over blunders I think I’ve made, then pulling up short–No, this isn’t me anymore; I no longer regret myself. And perhaps this will turn out to be 2007’s greatest gift to me.
“What is there to grieve about 2007?”
I grieve that my relationship with God traveled beyond doubt and anger and simply dissipated. I need to forgive myself for leaving my Bible unopened on the shelf and my questions unasked simply because I didn’t want to face the pain.
I grieve that my relationship with Natalie moved into such rough territory. I need to forgive myself for yelling at her during bouts of frustration and for not giving her enough of my undivided attention.
I grieve that I spent so many days of the year battling depression… or not even finding the strength to battle it anymore. I need to forgive myself for being chronically tired, needy, human. I also need to forgive myself for letting the “shoulds” conquer my mind and saturate me with frustration. And I need to forgive those around me for not magically making me better or knowing the solutions that I can’t seem to find.
I grieve that I accomplished so, so little throughout the year–that I didn’t learn Italian fluently or finish my book or complete art projects or practice my instruments or cook new foods or exercise regularly (or at all) or make progress on reading lists or teach Natalie more or do volunteer work. I need to forgive myself for being one person, for being unable to multitask, and for needing so much sleep.
“What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?”
2007 was deep and raw and intense, dark chocolate with pepperoncino eaten from the blade of a knife. It hurtled between welcome adventures and terrifying ones; it pulled us far into the joy of close friendships and then slung us away. It taught us about generosity and flexibility and courage and communication, about how we face fears and changes and the future. And even though I know it’s okay to reel in 2007’s dizzying wake for a while, I’m ready to move on.
I declare 2007 complete.