I’m sitting here watching the light dance around the shadows, successfully avoiding them every time. The only sounds are mostly birds and numerous insects that I can’t even see, the odd rooster and the creaking of the bamboo trees. For a year that broke every plan that was made in it, I am ending it with a feeling of extreme gratefulness.
I have gone from living in an eternal dread of losing those who matter a lot to me, to appreciating each reprieve as a gift worth no money in the world, even if it is just for a few days before another scare shows its face. Every day, every conversation, every joy shared is something that I greedily cherish now and I keep wanting more. And every reprieve is almost like starting all over again. I now understand how dogs feel towards the people they love.
The one great benefit of most plans and wants not working out is that it slowly forces you to stop getting attached too much to them. I would absolutely love to see all of them come true, but the discovery that life has a lot to offer even when they do not work out has been kind of revolutionary. In hindsight, it sounds perfectly logical, but learning and living it has been one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn in life.
One of the biggest changes I noticed rather late this year has been that I like sobriety a lot now. I can imagine doing nothing with it as probably the best use of sobriety, but there is something extremely nice about being able to experience things without having an intermediary re-interpret it for me. Be it elation or exhaustion, knowing that what I am feeling is precisely what it is makes my life a lot better. I am certain that I am doing a pretty poor job of explaining it, but that is kind of the best I can do about it.
Every now and then, I do find that blinding moment of clarity where I am being as sober and as clear-headed as I can and yet also feel that I cannot control a thing in my life, maybe with the exception of how I want to be to myself and to others. You can see the pieces fall together in a random order, giving the impression of order and purpose, while an absurd approximation keeps it all going together. Yet, I do not feel perturbed by it.
In a lot of ways it brings me back to what I used to feel many years ago, that everything is meaningless and amounts to nothing. Most of our core beliefs are constructs that we frame to make sense of the chaos we call the world. My question then, to myself, used be “that being true, would you continue to do the things you have done so far, if they are all so meaningless?”
The answer then, as a means of flipping a bird to life, was an emphatic “yes”. That “yes” is still there, but the conviction behind it has changed. There is an incredible pleasure in being able to give love and receive it without a fear of losing it or a fear of being taken advantage of. No fear in the world prevents loss or being taken advantage of. And I do not want to be ever constrained by that fear.
As always, I am not sure where life will take me in the year to come. More than any of the previous years, things are far more uncertain, but I am looking forward to what is coming my way, even if it will be things I have not accounted for, or even things that I do not like.
Have a great 2018.