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.
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.
They were gone, and she didn’t think they were coming back. Her parents, that is. They’d pulled over on the side of the road for her to go potty, and while she was tugging her pants back up, she heard whispering and then felt a dozen tiny nicks from the gravel on her skin, kicked up by the tires as they sped off.
But she didn’t really care. They were just parents. Plenty more where that came from, right? Still, it was a bit of a downer to lose her fruit punch that she hadn’t quite finished drinking. That annoyance was what caused her to put her hands on her hips.
After a minute, she huffed and started walking. Soon enough, a small red car pulled over and a concerned woman rolled down the passenger side window to ask if she was lost.
“No ma’am,” she politely answered. “I’m not lost, but I am in need of some new parents. Do you know anyone on the market?”
The woman was taken aback. She’d never been spoken to in such a way by a child. The sense of it fell a bit outside of her experience.
“It’s okay,” the girl said, when she didn’t receive a response to her query. “I’ll keep looking. Have a nice day!” And she continued walking.
The woman was even more confused. Had she just been dismissed by a kindergartner? She shook her head and went about her business. Someone else could clean up that mess. She gave the girl a wide berth as she pulled her car back onto the road.
The girl whistled as she continued on. It was a newly acquired skill, and she hadn’t quite got the hang of keeping in tune yet.
Today is CD1. The last one for a while. Because this is IT. I’ve got the right drug cocktail, I’ve got the right fertility fetishes (not that kind of fetish, dirty minds!), I’ve got the right mindset.
I have to wonder, though. Can you have too much of a good thing? Can I be too positive and optimistic? Wouldn’t it be kinder to my fragile little psyche if I were a little more cautiously optimistic? I really did stop to seriously consider this, and do you want to know what I came up with?
I don’t care.
It may be kinder, but I don’t care. It may be more logical, but I don’t care! I don’t care if I’m too positive, I don’t care if I’m too optimistic. I don’t care if it’s good for me, I don’t care if it’s bad.
I have spent my entire life trying to be prepared for the worst. Guess what that has taught me. Go ahead. I’ll give you a minute.
Trying to be prepared for the worst has taught me that it’s impossible. If the worst does come, you’re not ready for it. The worst is, by definition, pretty darn bad. The worst is actually worse than you thought it could be. And since the actual worst is worse than the worst you made any kind of plans for, you’re screwed either way. You’ve either wasted your time worrying about the bad tomorrow that never came, or you’ve been slapped in the face by your biggest nightmare times ten.
Well, I quit.
All that’s done for me is make me feel bad about myself. I’m tired of feeling bad about myself, and there’s actually plenty of reason for me to feel good about myself. I’m going to focus on that for a while.
So if you’re looking, a spot has just opened up for a Negative Nancy, because I’ve thrown in the towel. No benefits, and you have to train yourself. No pay, but if you’re really good at it, you can make others miserable as well as yourself.
See? It’s working already. I put a positive spin on negativity!