For the longest time, as long as I can remember, September was the beginning of a new year; sometimes a new era. As an adult, I recognize why this is (apart from a new school year, which was always important and exciting to me), and I see myself changing more from Tishrei to Tishrei than from January to January. Secular New Years don't mean as much, perhaps because their celebration is so... secular.
So, as we're coming to the end of another year in the Jewish calendar, I feel like I ought to have something compelling to tell you about the last year. A year where I:
- battled my own demons
- struggled with my health
- watched my father wither from pancreatic cancer
- prayed very hard that his suffering would end
- told him that I loved him and would see him soon (that was the last thing I said to him)
- stood in my living room not knowing what to do when news came that he had died
- dealt (at least partially) with the aftermath from that
- sold a home and moved to a new one
- enjoyed developing a new relationship (I can't leave that out, as said relationship has become very important)
- enjoyed continuing to cultivate existing relationships (which I also can't forget as they have kept me afloat as much as anything else has)
- made new friends
- lost my beloved daughter very suddenly and very nearly become lost myself
Those who have been reading my blog since this time last year have followed this journey and often complimented my words. Because of that, I want to be able to say something profound; that I learned something from all of this suffering. But if I did, I don't know what.
Whether it was telling my dad that it was okay to be scared that he was about to die, or holding my granddaughter tight so that maybe she could feel some of her step-mom's love coming thru me. Whether revealing my secrets and deepest pains to Captain Jack, or leaning on Ten and weeping; or seeing Nine for the first time in years because we missed each other. Whether I was making art, dancing, cooking, fucking, or getting more tattoos, I don't know what the lesson is.
Unless there is no lesson. Unless there's no reason or purpose except just to have had those moments and they exist for their own sake not for some greater purpose. The moment. Now. But if that is it, how do you deal with it?
I promised the new people that I've met in the past year that I wouldn't hide who I really am because I was scared. I held myself in the moment, telling my dad it was all okay; holding Pony; being held; telling those I love that I do love them. Being afraid isn't enough of an excuse to ignore the exhale that may be your last, and maybe that's the lesson. Not being "good enough" isn't an excuse to bury yourself in shame. Someone seeing your giving nature and taking advantage of it isn't enough to take you away from the people you haven't met yet.
This past year I gave up on being aloof, and instead fell in love.
I gave up on starving my body, and was able to feed my soul.
I gave up on trying to control the outcome and was simply present in each crisis, continuing to breathe even as someone I loved was progressing toward not even being able to do that.
I gave up on money, on struggle, on trying to fit in and be cool.
I fought for love, for art, for freedom, for those vulnerable moments where you see yourself thru someone else's eyes and realize you're not really that bad.
Nothing about me is the same as it was a year ago. I'm barely the same person, and I'm not even trying to hold onto who I was before. I'm not struggling for catharsis or meaning anymore. I don't need other people to understand how I feel, or approve of who I am or what I've become. I'm simply going to put on my diadem, take my throne, and perform my duties as Empress.
And if I have learned anything in the last year, it's that I don't fucking care if you don't like it.