New Year’s Eve.

As a kid, my family generally rung in the New Year by playing board games, Monopoly and Risk were favorites. Sometimes some of my aunts and uncles would join us but mostly it was just my family and I. (Except for NYE 2000 where I vividly remember being an 8th grader, dancing on a coffee table singing karaoke in my pajamas at my cousin’s house at 5am…)

In my Christmas loving family, the song “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” showed up in rotation fairly frequently. I wanted very desperately to have someone want me to give them a kiss at midnight. As circumstances would have it, I fell in love with a man who really wasn’t in to holidays or staying up late and I’m pretty sure didn’t actually know that a midnight kiss with your love is a cultural trope. New Year’s Eve 2013 and 2014 I think found him asleep before the clock struck midnight. (I know NYE 2012 did but we all fell asleep because we were at the cabin and it had been dark for hours and 10pm felt like 2am.)

After my divorce, however, NYE has changed significantly. I read an Ask Polly column as night fell on December 31, 2014 and it all clicked into place. (This is not surprising because I have since realized that Heather Havrilesky is amazing.) I might have kissed a 23-year old visitor to Ridgway that night but what meant the world to me was hugs from the people who in the last three years have become a community family to me. I floated home believing at a deep level that my life would turn out in some fantastic fashion at some point. 

Facebook deemed it important to remind me of a post I made in the early afternoon of December 31, 2015: Sprocket and I had just summited Pyramid Rock near De Beque. My plan was to head home for a quiet night with SP and ignore the holiday. A comment from a friend on that post telling me to “come home.” It was the tiny push I needed. I loaded Sprocket in the Jeep and away we went. Tucked into the Jeep in the January chill, I realized my understanding that “The sparkles were everywhere and there wasn’t a hint of darkness to be found” was spot on.  I had feels about not being in Ridgway but I kept them at bay until the drive home.

My 2017 feels are similar to my 2016 feels:

2017 should be a mix of hustle and getting back to my regularly scheduled life thanks to the foundations laid in 2016. I’m so ready, bring it on.

2017 was different in one big way: I could see the results of my sacrifice daily. I lived #shedlife for one really cold week to welcome 2017, weekends until May (with more than a few weeknights tossed in), and just over two weeks ago, Sprocket and I moved into the house.

My lessons this year are so much harder to articulate. I’ve basically let this blog go fallow (sorry! hoping to do better in 2018!) because adventure has been thin (although I do owe you some Thanksgiving break posts). I’ve had to confront some of my lingering feelings surrounding F and what transpired between us. I’ve been too much of a sloth for my liking and have definitely had some feels about how my body looks these days.

2017, however, despite really just being a grind has really taught me one thing: I am powerful.

It seems so odd to say that. It seems conceited somehow but I cannot figure out any other way to describe it. I’ve lost track of the number of people who have looked at me and said some variant of “You’re a badass, you know that right?” (Holla Kat, Wanda, etc.) I do achieve the things I want. I’m still unsure of how to include other people in that drive but I’m here and I’m pushing forward.

I’m not quite sure how 2018 is going to shake out, I anticipate this being a year of settling in. I’m still working some, the better to buy some touches for the house. I’m taking an EMT class in the two night a week and a few weekend days; it’ll be lovely to be back to volunteering for my community by summer. I’m settling into the house which is wonderful but it feels a little slow going to settle in—I simultaneously feel deeply at home because I designed the space and also in transition.

2018: I’m welcoming you with a quiet joy in my heart. I’ll be here in Ridgway, just like the prior three years and I’m so grateful.

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