And so it begins…again…
*Michael Fassbender by Georges Biard [CC-BY-SA-3.0(http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Given how many of my Facebook friends have posted about 2012 being a terrible year, I feel a little Pollyanna-ish about being quite satisfied with 2012. It wasn’t without its failures, such as not being anywhere near my goal weight and, in fact, being on a weight-gaining trajectory that I can’t quite seem to reverse. Which is disappointing from a vanity standpoint, but also because I was so public about my Weight Watchers progress and my exercise regime. 2012 also wasn’t without its uncomfortable moments of being jealous of other, younger writers or couples who are madly in love or a crop of new moms. And my relationship with God took quite a few steps backwards. And then there were the health challenges—my lungs are not yet miraculously healed and the fibroids colonizing my uterus have doubled in size, so I perpetually look about seven months pregnant, which was, I think, a huge factor in derailing my weight loss efforts because the skinnier I became, the more protuberant my abdomen was. Oh yes, and did I mention that after being fairly successful with my vlogs in 2011, I crashed and burned several times when trying to resurrect my blog for 2012?
That all being said, I am heading into 2013 with a high degree of optimism. First of all, some time around my 42nd birthday in early January 2012, I stopped being miserable about being 40 and single and childless, and found myself basking in the wisdom that’s apparently the payoff for being a woman of a certain age. At the beginning of 2012, I also stopped defining myself purely as a poet, embracing the work I do at the NEA as part of my writer’s life, and generally expanding my vision of myself as an artist. Turns out that letting go of that specific definition of myself meant I was invited to join a monthly poetry workshop, I published my first theater review, I was quoted in the Washingtonian from one of the blog posts I actually did manage to write, I dared more at work in terms of the interviews I went after and the stories I planned, and, believe it or not, I actually did write poems every day for a month, the bulk of which will ultimately be the core of my next manuscript.
Last year I also took a good look at why I wasn’t in a romantic relationship with someone, and confronted the decades I’d spent keeping myself safe, closed up tighter than Fort Knox, while at the same time having crushes on only the most unavailable or uninterested of men so I could lie to myself about being open. I still haven’t perfected the art of smiling at attractive men in the street, but I am meeting more people and I’ve had a bonafide date with a couple more in the pipeline, I think.
I don’t expect 2013 to be a cake walk. For one thing, my uterus is going to become intimately acquainted with a surgeon some time in early spring, which will hopefully be fine but in the worst case scenario could lead to the hysterectomy I’m desperately trying to avoid. And though I’m confident I’ll get back on track with losing weight, I’m not looking forward to the tough love I’ll have to show myself. And my determination to get more of my poetry out in the world will mean a whole lot more rejection coming my way. And yeah, despite my best intentions, I just may crash and burn in this whole blogging thing again.
But I think what I learned from 2012 is that I have to be open and I have to dare, and I have to keep pushing forward even if sometimes I’m fighting my way through quicksand. If I’m not failing on a regular basis, then maybe I’m not risking and daring enough.
So—what are you going to dare to do in 2013?
* Yes, I do plan to be even more in heart with Michael Fassbender this year than I was last year. You may want to alert the Guinness Book of World Records cause this crush really is that big!