Thursday, September 10, 2009

My First New Year (Retro)

OK, so maybe it wasn't my first New Years...

In retro fashion, I'm looking back to a few "reclaiming childhood" moments that happened within the past couple of years. Each is centered on a specific holiday.

I used to joke about the curse that typically accompanied my celebration of the New Year holiday. People enjoy laughter, fireworks, and friends around this time of year. They reflect on the past triumphs and lows of their previous 365 days. They scribble down sworn agendas on how they are going to be a better person in an ornate journal that's later to be lost to the land where only dust bunnies dwell. It's a good practice to have-- reflection and projection and then celebration of the two. I've participated in this as any normal person has... it just seemed that I had my share of error on this day as well. It was almost as if the universe thought, "Oh darn. I didn't pack enough bad things into that past year so I better hurry up and meet my quota before the calendar rolls around." Ha! The comedy and tragedy was filled with everything from flash floods to cops, missing children to unintended explosions, homelessness to paranoia. I never dreaded the approach of a new year, only the end of the current one. Moreover, I commonly wanted a family to celebrate the holiday with and one that was free from hurt and drama and callousness.

As a young adult and well after I'd written off the familial dream of grandeur, I took up a second job in a local cafe. One particular evening shift was a little slow but I'd seen a few friendly faces walk in. Two of which were my friends Nick and Hannah. Nick and Hannah were an infectiously sweet couple I had truly grown to appreciate in the shorter time I'd known them. We chatter a bit about my newest side job as I took their order. I'll omitt the next details for the sake of shortening the story but the simple circumstance that arose was a bit of a defining moment for me. Nick and Hannah offered for me to join them on a vacation over New Year's. I immediately resisted.

I didn't like gifts. I don't like gifts. To me, this was a gift. My first instinct was joy. How wonderful would it be to spend a holiday away with this family? I didn't dare say yes though. I could feel myself drawing closer in friendship with this people and in my life close relationships always resulted in much pain. I didn't dare go down that road again. Strangely, after a little persistance I agreed. (I'm sure this was in part due to my propondency to please people.)

It was a quick trip to a seemingly alternate universe. I was able to relax. Now when I say relax, I don't mean that it was just nice to be away from town and my job. I mean instead that I was able to relax into my own skin. I was able to truly feel a loving, appropriate affection and return it. These were concepts I'd sadly not grown up with and appreciated all the more at this moment. We ate, we laughed, we played. I shopped with Hannah and watched sports with Nick. I fell asleep each night in tears merely thankful to be a part of something. (Not that I understood what that something actually was, but I was effortlessly grateful all the same.)

New Years came with apprehension. I don't know what I was dreading. I suppose that maybe the horrid curse was going to follow me and ruin Nick and Hannah's holiday as well? As the master ignorer I am however I blocked the fear out of my mind and tried to just enjoy each moment. We'd bought some small fireworks from a local store and struggled to light them in the wind. I selfishly had a feeling that could have cared less about the flaming balls of light but they were humoring me. In reality, I just loved the fellowship of the moment. That evening passed without episode. I remember drifting off to sleep not daring to shift my body to a more comfortable position in fear that I might upset the magical balance of joy in the moment. I'd made it through the first New Years I could remember that I completely enjoyed in peace. More so, I fully felt the meaning of a new year, a fresh start, and the beginning of a redemption.


  1. Propondency - great word! :) I hope this New Years will be your best yet! You have made an amazing life for yourself!

  2. Well, I'd have to argue with you there friend... the Lord's allowed an amazing life to surround me but thank you just the same. ;)