Last and First

It’s 9:30 in the morning and still grey—Seattle, I love you and your gloomy skies.  It’s the cusp of the New Year and while I’ve been pensive for a while, thinking about what this year has been and what next year makes pensive seem a small word.

In a certain sense, I’ve finally found my footing. I’m stronger than I was a year ago in many ways and I’m starting to organize again—both poetically, artistically and athletically.  I’m in a place where I can host guests and have dinner parties.  I have a car to pick up friends at the airport and I’ve helped my company nearly double in size.

In another sense, I still have no idea what I’m doing.  I still don’t know how to occupy emotional space with anyone else. I still crush on boys that are wrapped up in their own stories or for whom the timing is just enough off that it’ll never work. I still have heartache and loneliness. I burn my dinner and I’m socially awkward and I have bruised knees and tangled hair and can’t keep my laundry folded and in order if someone were to pay me only for that.

In other words, same old same old. Just a person, as any person is.  I am starting to think, even more strongly, that we are all replaceable.  That sounds self-deprecating but I really don’t mean it that way.  It’s just—we’re all so similar, even in our differences.  One of the strangest things about my father dying was how completely specific and, at the same time, how completely impersonal it was.  My grief is unique but every single person on the planet will either go through this same thing or die and their parents will go through the same thing.  Biological parents, chosen parents, the family we are tied to with blood or the one we find for ourselves—we all lose someone or are lost ourselves.  It put a lot of things in perspective for me.  So, heartache. So what? So, love. So what? So strength or weakness or sorrow or joy. It’s all this big roiling mass that we dip in and out of as our lives weave our stories.

I don’t know what 2014 holds for me.  This might be the year I climb a 12a. This might be the year I fall joyfully in love. This might be the year I start publishing again.  This might be the year I don’t get another tattoo. This might be the year I break a bone, the year I really start to bike around the city, the year I learn to drive standard, the year I learn to love broccoli, the year I start using hot sauce.  There are so many possibilities—it’s just a lovely, terrifying blank page. I realize, in writing this, that I have no expectations.