Happy New Year and Shit

2010 is about to be history.  Gone, in the blink of both eyes.  2011 is on the way in, and she looks to be a feisty one.   I ruminated in my last post as to how fast this year went.  And, now as is my wont, I am looking back over the year to see the good, the bad, and the down right ugly. First, the good.  Well, I pretty much detailed that in the last entry and in the one previous to that.  But, I will just add that I am in a better place emotionally than I have been in years.  Decades.  My lifetime, probably.  And, again, it’s not necessarily because of different circumstances or anything like that.  It’s because of the hard, boring, tedious inner work I’ve done over decades.   And, I mean decades. When I think back to the person I was in my early twenties, she is unrecognizable to me.  Trapped in two eating disorders, but denying it, being someone completely foreign to me.  I had reinvented myself before going to college because I was such a loser as a kid, but the second incarnation of me was only better on the surface.  And, it caused me lots of pain as well. As incarnation 2.2 (the upgrade), I did manage to get an MA in Writing & Consciousness, so not all was a failure.  Alas, I also got my heart thoroughly trounced on for the second time and decided that love was for others and not for me.  I pouted and sulked a lot, if I remember correctly. I have written before about the lost 15 years, and I will do so again.  From the time I was 22 until the time I was 37, I shut down.  I hurt so much, I decided that the only way to survive was to go into an emotional coma.

And, survived, I did.  Barely.  Dubiously. But, I am alive today, so survived I must have.

I would like to say, I cannot emphasize how much Taiji has helped me.  I’ve been at it for almost three years now, and my emotional health has gotten steadily better since I started practicing Taiji.  It’s not because I have some magical Asian gene that allows me to do this shit by osmosis.  Believe me, I don’t have that gene. And, in addition, I’m lazy.  So, I haven’t practiced nearly as much as I should have/could have/would have.  I’ve been frustrated with myself because I know that I feel better after practicing, and I know that practicing Taiji puts me in a better place.

In other words, I sabotage myself.   I don’t do the very thing I know will help me, and then I beat myself up for it.  But, here is the flip side to that:  I finished the Solo Form.  I am doing work on the two-person drills.  I am moving forward, despite my stalling and crawling and whining and moaning.  I have learned to…not accept but at least deal with the obstacles I put in my own way by acknowledging that I do it, and then moving forward, anyway.   For example, I know that I will worry endlessly any time I try something new or controversial.   I don’t like it, but I have realized by now that I can’t force myself to behave differently.  So, I do my worry thing, and then I do what I need to do.  After much worrying.  And more worrying.  And no sleeping.

So, the lesson I have learned from taking Taiji is that, as trite as it sounds, it’s important to keep the overall arc moving forward.

Interjection:  I have been reading comments over at BJ on this thread.  Cole posted why this year was a shit year, and some people got it in their heads to tell him to turn that frown upside down.   Stop that shit.  Really.  It’s OK to say, “Yeah, sucks.  Hope it’s better next year.”  Or even, “Hey, here are some good things you talked about, too.  Remember?”  But, I was starting to get irritated at the determined optimists, and the optimism wasn’t aimed at me.   First of all, life is not what you make of it all the time.  We have much less control over things than we think we do.  Second, even if it’s true, take it from me, someone who is depressed does not want to hear about how much better his/her life is than some poor guy who got his dick chopped off by mistake (look at the update Cole provided).  The only way it helps my depression is that it makes me want to punch the talker in the mouth.  So, I guess mad is better than sad, but still, not productive.

Back to musing.  I used to make resolutions.  I kept them sometimes, and I didn’t keep them other times.  More often than not, though, I let them go by the wayside.  Then, I would beat myself up, and I would end up feeling worse than ever.  Now, yeah, perhaps  I made my resolutions a tad bit too grand (a hundred pounds in a month!  A novel in a week!  Being a superstar in every aspect of my life!  Yeah, I exaggerate, but only by a bit), but still.  I should be able to meet them, right?  Yeah, not so much.

So.  I gave up on resolutions.  I threw them out the window.  Instead, I have taken to setting goals for the next year and planning the steps that will take me there.  For instance, I have a big problem with procrastination.  I need to deal with that.  Tomorrow.

So, I’m a bit melancholy right now.  But, that’s par the course for me.  I can’t help thinking of all the things I haven’t done in the past year.  I can’t help but wonder how life would be different if I have done X instead of Y, A instead of B.  I can’t help mourn the losses of the year (tangible or not) because this is who I am.  But, for the first time, I can say that I can look back and feel pretty damn proud of the strides I’ve made.  I’ve come a long way, baby, and I am going to do my damnedest to make it even further next year.

Happy New Year, bitchez.  May you find peace, love, joy, happiness, and all that other good shit in 2011.

12 Responses to Happy New Year and Shit

  1. Hmmmm…..

    I think it bears stating that there is a difference between being an optimist and being a Pollyanna. There seem to be an abundance of both over at BJ and Cole seems to struggle to please both types.

    What exactly is a MA in conciousness?

  2. kwAwk, you are correct about optimist v. Pollyanna. And, I think Cole was just messing with people by the time he updated. I thought I was a contrarian? I’m a piker in comparison to him.

    MA in Writing & Consciousness: The program was supposed to highlight societal and political sensibilities as they influence one’s writing. It sounded great in theory, but it was a hot mess in practice.

  3. Hey girlfriend! Been thinking about you a lot lately. I love your musings here, esp on resolutions, as I, too, threw that idea out the window a long time ago. I never kept them, and then I felt like shit about myself – which of course, gave me leave to comfort myself with whatever self-destructive behavior I was supposed to be resolving! – and then I felt like shit, and well, yeah, you get it. So I love the goal-setting idea. I know what I want, I know what to do to get there – so now I will set reasonable goals as step stones to achieving the end! And if I slip up, I’ll come crawling to you for comfort!! – or better yet, a kick in the ass to suck it up and get going again! I also absolutely hate it when people scoff at the “I hope 2011 is better than 2010” statement. There are some things that can’t be predicted, and an ill and ailing parent is not something that can be turned into a pretty picture with optimism. Could I have reacted differently? Yes. Could I have spent less time caring for her? Yes. But that is not who I am, and no matter how exhausted I became, I refused, then and now, to apologize for being me. So, here’s to goals, for you and me, and whoever else, and maybe our resolution can just be to support each other in our endeavors without attempting to change who we are in the process!! ‘Cause I love who you are Minna Hong!! Mmmwwaah!!

  4. Rose, how the hell are you? Good to see you. I see you completely understand the futility of resolution-setting. I’m glad you’re joining me in setting goals instead. And, girl, you have to do what feels right for you because in the end, there isn’t anyone else in your mind–if you know what I mean.

    I grew up hating myself, so I am not quite at the point of loving myself. I am moving toward neutral with some components of liking in there, too. Maybe one day, I will make it. In the meantime, I’ll gratefully accept the love of friends like you. Love to you, too. And, hell, I really hope 2011 is better than 2010 for you.

  5. Yeah, there’s something to be said for optimism, but not if it goes to pollyanna-ism. Honesty is more important, and healthy, as long as it doesn’t go to stewing. And definitely do whatever works for you, centers for you, whether that’s Taiji or something else. (Personally, I should play my guitar more… I used to practice what I was told was “Tai Chi yang long form”, and I should find a new place to do it. I find it’s easy to forget to do those things.)

  6. Hi, Batocchio! Good to see ya again on my blog. I will confess I have a tendency to brood, which is NOT healthy, but I still think it’s better than being a Pollyanna.

    Tai chi has done wonders for me. It really is a ‘come as you are’ martial arts. If you were in the Twin Cities, I would urge you to go to my teacher, but since you are not, I would just hope you find a teacher equally as good as mine.