I have been away, and I miss writing. While some lovely things have happened since my last post, I continue to censor myself for fear of the many bad things overwhelming what I write. I still like to think I am too private a person to expose myself that much here. Still, I hope that in the new year, I find a way to balance my need for privacy with a need to write and say something. Writing has always made me happy and I need all the happiness I can get my grubby little hands on these days.
When I woke up this morning, I realized that 18 years ago today, I was lying in bed at my uncle's house, praying and hoping that I would be able to change my life. My parents would call to wish us a happy new year and confirm my return flight information. I hadn't made any plans to return, despite my promise to do so a week earlier. I had no intention of going home. My first 18 years had not been very happy ones, and I knew if I returned, they would continue to be as they had been. The trip to the US was unexpected and (typical of my father) unplanned. His sudden and early return home had been a God send. I had spent the week between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve thinking of what I could say to convince my parents to let me stay and go to school. I had never disobeyed my parents before, hadn't said no to any of their demands until I was 17. This would be on a scale that would undo all of my daughterly goodness. I was scared, alone, clueless and on a high that must come from doing something completely insane. And I did it. With that one call my life changed. Eighteen years later, I'm reviewing my life again. I have fallen short of many of the things I have wanted to accomplish by this time in my life. I have failed in so many things and occasionally succeeded. The victories have been sweet, the failures unforgiving.
I did not enjoy the year that I am about to put behind me. While some of my friends had great joys and beautiful additions to their lives which they have generously shared with me, I have spent the better part of the year torn and in pain. Sadly, I haven't been alone. I lost a dear friend who may never have known how much she meant to me. I still think of her daily, grateful for the little time I had to know her. I was abandoned by a friend who meant the world to me; and while I got him back, I cannot see myself as I was before everything happened. I doubt myself more today than I did before--and I was always full of self-doubt. I have had a number of friends near and far go through separations and divorces. Watching them suffer, I felt utterly useless and could do nothing but share their sorrow. Back home, there is unrest and chaos as the government that once pretended to follow the will of the people turned against them so cruelly that we have all passed the point of no return. I spent most of the year holding on to myself for fear of falling apart completely, and while I still stand in some form, I know I am not the woman I was last year. My sense of self has changed and the drained person I see before me is not what I want to be. I am trying to see it as a blessing in disguise--perhaps the person I was couldn't improve because she had to be rebuilt. Through this, I tried to find the strength to help others in small ways; in return I discovered new friends that helped carry me through some of my darkest days. For that, I am eternally grateful--even though I wish we had met under happier circumstances.
So with few hours left of 2009, I say good riddance. I will not miss the year that passed at all. There were historical moments, glimmers of hope and joy--but I was too busy trying to keep my head above water to appreciate them properly.
Welcome 2010. May you be gentler and more joyous than your older sister.