New Year, Old Me

It’s a new year again!

2016 feels different. I told Ian that last night, and when he asked, my explanation was brief: 2016 means it’s twenty years since I graduated high school. 

I feel old. But really, neither mentally old nor physically old. More how did things get this far old. I’ve lived more of my life after high school than before it. 

It isn’t a bad feeling, just mystifying. 

It feels like 2016 should be the Year of Something. It’s the year of the monkey by the Chinese calendar; I wonder if I could make that work for me. 

I know I sound like a broken record, but it feels different. I don’t know how to explain it. I’ve never had a New Year that meant anything to me; it’s always been the same old story. 

Maybe 2016 is the Year of Writing. I’ve already made a goal to publish a collection of short stories. And I have to work on Strange Bedfellows. 

Or maybe 2016 will be the Year of Nothing Special–a feat in itself. No major life changes, no upheavals, no panic and worry and stress. Is that what this feeling is? It’s possible. 

For the first time in a long time, I feel at peace with where my life is right now. I have worries, but they’re normal worries. I have stress, but it’s laughable to me to call it stress with what we’ve gone through the past few years. 

I’ve spent a long time telling myself that it’ll all work out okay, and I think, for the first time, I believe it. At least for a year.

I’m starting it off oddly; I’m taking a hot bath as I type. Skin-reddeningly hot: that’s not me.  

But I stood at the mall for eight and a half hours today, and my feet appreciate the Pecan Pie bath salts pampering.  

So I reflect in the water. 

One year ago, I considered who I’d like to be; I wanted to be hip. I still want to be hip, but I’ve done a pretty darn good job of hipping it up in the past year. I got a tattoo and several new holes in my head. I’m even stamping my nails and have nearly mastered the cut crease. 

Two years ago, I shamed myself for not writing. Two years, and I’m such a different person than I was then. When I read my words, I can’t connect myself to the person who wrote them. I’m different. And it’s good. 

Three years ago, I was hopeful; but again, I don’t feel myself in those words anymore. She was someone even farther back, and not just chronologically. 

Four years ago, my first New Year’s Day at this blog, I was stagnant. And there, finally, I do recognize myself; not because I’m the same, but because today so starkly contrasts with the New Years of yesteryear. 

I have always been depressed on New Year’s Day because nothing is ever new. No new beginnings, no new me, no new you. 

And today, I’m not. 

I like that. 

Nothing special can be pretty special, after all. Especially with fancy bath salts from the Bathhouse Soapery and Caldarium.