I woke up today and as I watched Simone sleep, paint still on her face from the New Year's party at the children's museum, I realized that 2009 will likely hold more for me than my tired mind can imagine, but no matter, it must ultimately be good. Not good in that I'll enjoy it, or even that the year will be a happy one. Good meaning that I will inevitably gain better insight into the world, that if I put this year to use, it may hold within it knowledge that could help me to better navigate my way. Or maybe it will hold a greater awareness so I can figure out when I am lost as I have been so often lately. I do have a hope for 2009, and it's actually a really really big one. One that puts a knot in my throat and a tear in my eye to contemplate.
I hope that I start to find my way again.
I hope to find some pieces of me. Pieces that I thought were lost forever or maybe that I questioned whether they ever really were me. I hope to find the 'new me' not just the 'different me' I'm so disappointed with. The true me. I also hope to accept the parts of me that feel so foreign today, and I dare to hope to take what is new, even if it is painful or hard, even if it will be misconstrued by others; and to use it to make my way. The 'new me' need not be a worst me, no matter how many times in 2008 I've thought so. It's a me without my beloved son, it's not the old me. And it will still likely be a me that smiles less, laughs less; but what I dare to hope is that eventually it will be a me that loves more deeply, understands more fully.
So I'm 28, and I've just begun. I've just begun. In 2008, I found myself a stranger, stripped of all I had built up for soo many years. I can't describe how unsettling that was. My house of cards came tumbling down, and I found myself lost. Foundationless. And damn. I almost didn't make it.
Thoreau said that not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. I think many of us are lost, for most of us though, we don't even realize that we don't know where we're going or where we've been. It's not just being lost, it's knowing when you're lost.
So, I've survived, I'm surviving, today at least, and I must choose. Do I sit down, stay lost, do I wait for somebody to find me, or do I get up and find my own way? Will I find me in 2009? I don't think so. In fact, it may not be the year for me at all. hell, I may, in fact, search my whole life for me. But that doesn't mean the paths I take this year will not be worthwhile. Life is not just instrumentally valuable, it's not just made up of the things you tried and succeeded at. It's also made up of the things you put your heart into, and still ultimately failed at. Those things don't disappear, the ultimate failure is discounting all the love, and life, invested in something that was never and will never be realized.
The one thing I can walk away with, is that people fail. Everybody fails. I've failed. I will fail. But I've also succeeded. How will I define my world? By my epic fails, by my successes? I think we are all made up by both, but I think I'm going to focus on my success and, most importantly, instead of hiding from my mistakes, or not doing something because I'm petrified of failing, I think I'm just going to choose to fall flat on my face. Just like everyone does in life. I'm not going to be afraid, I'm not going to be complacent.
The fact is, I can wander down the path of life taking baby steps, hands grasping outstretched in front of me, like anyone, and maybe even 'succeed' in the eyes of others. But I'd much rather set forth on the path of life with an aim, even perhaps a foolish aim, like figuring out this world and how the heck I came to find myself in it. All with the knowledge I may never reach my goal, and that I will likely get turned around, misguided by myself or others, and never 'succeed'.
I just want to be able to say, before I die, hopefully when I'm old and gray:
"Somewhere, ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference."
And the one person who I will have to thank, the only person, is my sweet son, Myles. Myles is my guide; the meaning in his life, the impact it has had on me, the love we shared, the lessons he has taught me and so many others. I will be true, I will be me, and will live well, only so long as I remember him and what he has meant to me, and will always continue to mean to me. He will be my closest companion through this life; and though I wish he were here, right now, nursing or holding my hand, he is here in my heart, and that part of me I know is true. So that's where I must start from. 2008 is the year lost, on every level, 2009, I dare hope, will be the beginning.