“I didn’t write a birthday blog this year. I didn’t even try.” This is what I wrote a year ago on Lunar New Year, and it is again true this year: I did not try and I did not write.
There are things I wanted to say, but my words failed. There are things I wanted to do, but I did not act. I wanted to feel, but I was apathetic. I can’t explain or describe why this past year was so difficult. I’ve re-written this paragraph several times, trying to say something eloquent or meaningful. Sometimes, words have no meaning.
Maybe last year’s Birthday Blog anchored me to this strategic way of feeling, of organizing and planning my feelings, something that was not organic to me. I was in a new form of survival mode; I was existing. There was nothing terribly wrong, there was just nothing exactly right. I was lost, untethered to the reality I had built based on the expectations of others. I responded instead of reacted. I answered instead of replied. I attempted desperately not to feel anything, at all. I had fallen into such a deep despair and was prisoner to so much insecurity, that I was a puppet or a shell… I was nothing really, at all. So, there was nothing to write about. A puppet needs a script to speak.
I used to love my Late Onset Tourette’s Syndrome, this politically incorrect diagnosis I had given myself to explain episodes where I said the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time because I thought it and I just said what I thought. I loved that I was always uncensored, and more than a bit impetuous. The people in my life that truly loved me, loved this too, despite this or perhaps, hopefully, because of this uncanny ability I had to say the truth in a way that made people think about their own truth. Before, I didn’t need other people’s words, or thoughts, or instructions. I trusted myself, even when I was wrong. The mistakes I made, I owned because those choices were my truth. Without this, I was never really me.
This past year was more difficult, harrowing, hollow than all prior years (including the year after my father died) because I was removed, wholly, from who I was, not only who I hoped to evolve to become. It’s hard to reflect and write about a year you barely remember because it feels like someone else’s life.
I wish I could say I had a moment of self-actualization and power and resolved to be me, warts and all. But that isn’t what happened. What happened is, one day I was hiding, and he found me anyhow. When he found me, he expected me to be the same. And I realized, I wanted to be who I was before, the same as I was before – impatient, stubborn, outspoken, raw – something I had not allowed myself to feel, or want, or realize. So maybe, it was a moment of self-actualization after all.
It’s New Year, and so, I choose one resolution, one quote mantra for the year: “If it comes, let it. If it goes, let it.” For me, this means that to the best of my ability, I will willfully command myself not to control everything, including the desires and needs of others. I’m attempting, not very gracefully and a bit begrudgingly, to live a non-attached life; this is not to say I am UNattached or NOT attached, but that everything is impermanent. My purpose is to exist in the relationship for the time that it exists, without ownership or expectation, value what I have, and release what I do not need. For a control freak, neurotic, alpha female, this is no easy feat.
But, feeling more like myself, I am ready to try.