As eager as I am to slam the door shut on you, I want to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you for all of the humbling lessons and for showing me ways to hold myself up and that when things don't work out, pain can be the bad tasting medicine that pushes us to where we need to be and that the twin pillars of the empty nest: silence and being alone, are uncomfortable, but still, they are not a tumor.
Thank you for catapulting me in a way I never imagined, into a new job that I never let myself dream that I could have. You found me a new place to live where life is smaller, but beautiful in it's simplicity. Thank you for my commute on I-95, which has taught me patience and to slow down and to be kind because the person ahead of you might have just lost their dog.
Thank you for ricocheting me back to my partner and for showing me that sometimes we find what we are looking for in places we couldn't have imagined in a million years, and that the unimaginable place might be what Dorothy spoke of in The Wizard of Oz- your own back yard. Thank you for surprising me with answers that were so close that I could not see them until my circumstances insisted.
You taught me to resist my craving for oblivion in the many dark, sweet ways it has presented itself to me. Now I am learning to sit with this new quietness, and I can hear what's important- and that is this: If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves. If we can resist the urge to numb or run away or be busy, then we will be rewarded in small things done well and with minimal regrets.
You threw me curve balls and I swung and missed but eventually, I learned to force open my eyes and look at the ball and guess what? I hit a few. I found my way to home base.
I lost a few people and that stings. But just like a cauterized wound, each day helps my wounds heal. I feel the sweetness of having loved and lost. At times you made me feel raw and bruised but also it was like some barrier inside me was kicked down and I learned that if you knock me down, it might be easy to stay down, but that I need to land on my back, and that if I can look up, then I can get up. It doesn't take any effort to be a loser, but the only thing you needed me to do was to get back on my feet and that has taught me that my biggest enemy is sometimes myself. You taught me to let it go. To be kind. To keep it simple. And that today is the only important day. And to just do it.
Thank you 2013. Now here's your hat.