New year, new what?

This is my first New Year’s Eve alone…ever. I mean, really. When was the last time that I was completely alone on New Year’s Eve?

Even when I was a kid, I was home with my parents or my grandparents, or at least my brother. But not this year. Nope. I am alone and I chose to be alone. And it oddly feels good.

I’ve spent the day cleaning and organizing, uninterrupted. I shopped for a decadent dinner – freshly steamed shrimp with a salad and fresh baked bread – and a gloriously indulgent bottle of wine. It was a bit pricey for one person, but hey, it’s the new year!

I have taken my “lucky bath” with the silver dollar in it, too. That should prepare me for the coming year, shouldn’t it?

But then again, maybe not. The new year has so many promises, and yet so many unknown challenges. Not to mention that the end of this year is not nearly the smooth transition that I had hoped for or had ever seen coming.

As we get older, our goals and desires change and morph into something else I guess. What we thought was the answer is now an open chasm of questions. I just turned fifty this year and it has not been a smooth ride, to say the least. Challenges abound.

My marriage is at a crossroads of sorts, maybe it’s a “midlife crisis”? But for some crazy reason I am not afraid. No matter which way it goes, I will be okay and my kids will be fine. I think that I have been preparing for this my entire life, seriously.

Once, when I was at my grandma’s house sitting in the living room trying to keep cool by the air conditioning vents, I confessed that I could see myself married and divorced. My grandmother was stunned. I was 16. But for whatever reason, I could see it in my future and it didn’t scare me, because I knew that I could survive and make a life of my own regardless. And I would have children that loved and depended upon me.

So here I am, examining and weighing the path of my twenty year marriage, looking over the possible precipice of divorce possibilities, and almost welcoming the swift blow of what could be the end. Ready to react and to grow stronger. Ready for the next chapter, without anxiety or doubt. I want to live to be who I am, authentically, not someone’s cookie cutter expectation. I want to be loved for who I am, not who I should be.

And while I am a bit sad that it is my first New Year’s Eve alone, I pushed for it and made my choices. I doubt that it will be my last and I am certain that I will survive it nonetheless.

Looking forward to a new year with new possibilities and promises. A new year with a new story. And I wish that for you, too.

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