Way back in the day when I blogged on LiveJournal I made a tradition of writing a love letter of sorts to the year that was passing and the one to come, sometime on or near New Year's Eve. Here's the one I wrote at the end of '04 looking towards '05 (note the intentional lack of caps and playful tone. This was how I wrote almost all my entries back in the day.):
dear 2004. i had no idea you would be so playful, dangerous, full of surprises. while i was with you i fell in love, wrote songs, had hundreds of kisses with only one boy, got two kittens and moved into a whole new life without changing my address. while you were watching we signed a record contract, finished an album, started a video, played twice in nordstrom, toured the west coast, rocked bumbershoot, went camping, found hotsprings, and ended our time with you stronger than when we started out. i learned that boys will make you cry but the when the right one does it the tears are a different thing, entirely. i quit smoking while i was with you. and i got a new ring. i wish i could say i'll miss you dear 2004, but i've just met someone new. someone who promises travel, excitement, love, and even marriage. 2005 is whispering in my ear of white dresses in april, and suntans by june, and while i admit that some of the memories i made with you will forever be the sweetest of my life 2004, i can't say i'll miss you. it's time to face the future and i don't mind the stars in my eyes.
Looking back on last year's entry, I can see how my voice had changed. Maybe I grew up, or maybe it's just the result of the sacrifice of a couple twinkles from the stars I was telling 2004 about. Here's 2008:
2008 was tough and wonderful and heartbreaking and reassuring. It was a year that a lot of people will write about for a very long time, and I'm intensely glad to have lived through it and born witness to many of the bigger events of the world this year. On a smaller scale, I've learned tons this year about myself, my vocation, my marriage, and my dreams for the future. Some of it has been pretty damn hard. 2008 taught me how to just cry when I need to, and how grief isn't always a bad thing, and how struggle without reward both totally sucks and is somehow the stuff that life - wonderful amazing beloved life - is made up of. I feel that ultimately I will look at 2008 as a year that made me so much stronger than I was before. I'm just not there yet. I'm ready to leave much of it behind.
That being said - I've never been happier with my home, my beloved, my family, and my friends. I've never felt more optimistic about and intrigued by people both known and unknown to me.
How's that for a dramatic and vague recap?
2009 - I'm looking for a couple miracles from you. And much more of that beloved life.
As for resolutions, I do have some. Let's see...
- work my ass off to pay for this adoption
- work my ass off (literally) and exercise more
- spend a month without sugar, dairy, caffeine, and wheat
- blog regularly on my two public blogs
- start grad school in the fall (which means getting the d*#m application in asap)
- rest when I need to
- avoid delusions of grandeur (I am not a superhero)
- love on my friends more
I didn't do so badly on my resolutions, turns out! We did pay for the adoption and I did work my ass off. I did exercise more. I did not spend a month without sugar. I blogged regularly here, but not here. I started grad school. I got a little bit of rest. I do love my friends, although they're the ones who loved on me more, in my opinion. I was made fully aware that I'm no superhero.
Note the more, um, liberal use of language. These were posts made in a blog somewhat more private than this one - hence no links to them! But I always search back and find them this time of year, to remember where I've been and why I write.
This year's letter would be out of place on that old blog. This has been the year of the public adoption blog, for me. Last year at this time I had just started writing here, just taken our quest to build a family out of the private realm of our life and into the public realm of our life. Now, a year later, I have connected with so many lovely people through this that I feel very much that this is my internet home, at least it has been in 2009.
You were my Advent and Christmas both. I will always remember you first as my year of Jubilee, and second as the year when I got almost everything I had been waiting for. Other years made promises but you, 2009, delivered. I have to note that you didn't just deliver on the good stuff - you delivered us plenty of heartache and worry as well as our dreamy storybook ending that we couldn't have made up. You paid attention to the years who went before you, and kept the tradition of all the best stuff coming together toward the end. But you weren't all action, or just about waiting around. In between the waiting and the happening you gave me many golden moments: gardening with neighbors, Sunday night barbecues, twenty-five new friends under the age of 10, long summer sunset walks holding my beloved's hand, a week in Georgia with my mother and my daughter that I will never forget, and a Christmas where everything was new again. I wouldn't live you over for love or money, 2009, because the gifts you've given me are too good for nostalgia. 2010 isn't just a new year, it's a new decade, whispering to me tales of adventures big and small, from first steps to first words, from new roles (motherhood, leadership, other?) to old friends (you know who you are) whose presence in my life just gets more precious to me over time. Don't feel bad - more than anything, at the end of the day, you put some of that twinkle back, and I can't remember a happier moment than right now, looking ahead.
Happy New Year's to you, from this starry eyed mama. May the new year bring you peace,love and adventure, and if you are waiting may it bring you what you are waiting for. ♥