(Image description: A waning moon in a dark sky. Photo from Pixabay.)
It’s the end of the year.
It’s New Year’s Eve.
I was going to write a year in review post (and I’ll do that eventually), but I thought for right now, sitting here on my couch, wondering what each of my community members are doing and feeling – I thought I would write about the pressure of this night. Because let me tell you, my pals! I am feeling the pressure right now!
If so, how are you managing it?
Do you have any insider knowledge to help?
Do you have histories of responding?
I’ll tell you a bit of the history of my relationship with the particular pressure.
In high school, I had the most amazing bedroom. It was painted a bright blue, and it was full of books and candles and song lyrics on the walls, and there was a little tea and coffee nook in the corner, and a fold-down desk where I wrote endless words, and there was so much love and pain in that room. Tonight, I am remembering New Year’s Eve moments in that room. Sitting on the floor with candles and a journal, writing goals and resolutions that would fix my life. That would fix the sadness and the loneliness. That would guarantee success, in whatever way I was defining success at the time. Mostly to do with writing a lot, being creative, sometimes about being a good Christian, sometimes just about being a good person. In all of these longings there was a desire for security, safety, stability. A strong base to build a life on. Safe footing.
I wanted magic.
I wanted that night – this night – to be magic.
I think a lot of people who are hurting want magic.
And in this moment, which echoes all those other moments, I can feel the intensity of the pressure. The desperation.
“Start the year on the right foot.”
I strongly believed that what I carried through this night would influence my coming year – that I had this one night to get it right, set the right intention, feel the right feelings, want the right things, be good enough, be calm enough, be strong enough, be generous and gracious enough, be good enough, be good enough. This night would set the tone for the year to come. Get it right.
Get it right.
Because if it’s wrong…
I don’t believe in the law of attraction. But on this night it shows up, demanding that I attract just the right things with just the right ways of being.
Tonight, I find myself again feeling the intensity, the desperate desire to find the right foot and be on it when the year rolls over.
Because although so much was accomplished in this last year, there was also so much grief and loss and fear and scarcity and anger and shame, and I do not want to carry this into the new year. I want a new year.
Specifically, I want the kind of year that I always wanted when I was in that bright blue room, surrounded by candles, writing with a fancy pen in a fancy journal.
I think that’s why I’m feeling the same pressure in the same way.
I want to feel stable, secure, safe.
I want us all to feel stable, secure, safe.
I want us to have a strong foundation to build our lives on.
I want us to have safe footing.
And I feel like on this long exhale of a night, it would take magic to get there.
I started this post feeling like a storm trapped in a bottle. I wanted to share that feeling, because I have found that I am often not the only one in my life struggling in the ways that I find myself struggling. And I think we are stronger together. I think telling our stories of struggle and responding to struggle can be a powerful act of community care.
As I wrote the post, I connected with a few friends. I watched an episode of Travelers. I felt my body, which is always aching. I felt my heart untangling from the intensity of desire for magic, and found myself wrapping it up in something softer.
As much as I am desperate to start this year on the right foot so I can summon the magic, I find myself remembering that the foot you start on doesn’t have to be the foot you stay on. And I am also remembering all the magic that we have made together, in all of our myriad skills of resistance and response, and our values of justice and care.