Someone told me last week “2015 has really been your year.”
It stopped me dead in my tracks.
This year, my year? You are joking right. Let’s look at the scoreboard.
This year where every hope and dream I had for the future was set on fire, and the winds of change swept up what ashes remained and scattered them until they were just distant, bizarre memories of someone else’s life. This year of letting go, of turning pages, of closing books. This year of broken promises and the understanding that maybe I am not kind or compassionate or selfless. This year I broke open my life and dug out the rot with my bare hands and vowed to build something new in its place. This year I can count my losses and they are staggering. I lost people. I lost friends. I lost family. I lost dreams. I lost the life I never thought I’d lose.\
On Monday afternoon I picked up Maggie and we started southward. I looked in my rearview mirror and caught her looking back too.
I have put on a brave face through this season of change. But seeing her looking out the back glass struck a nerve: this was the final move. As I pulled onto I35 south, I realized then more than ever that Oklahoma was no longer my home. The home that I had built was no longer where I belonged. I never dreamed that day would come. Perhaps I am not content yet with a past I regret, but life is moving on and I too must go with it.
I looked in the mirror this morning. What I saw staring back at me was resilience.
I am older now. Wiser and kinder now. I have a thousand times the capacity for compassion, and yet half the capability for sympathy. I have twice the heart, and less than zero patience. I am comfortable in my weakness and I have found the most amazing source of strength.
I looked in the mirror this morning and staring back at me was the glimmer of the woman I always wanted to be. I curled my hair and put on red lipstick and black dress and some power shoes, and I drove to a meeting to do a job I absolutely adore. I talked to friends that through the course of this year I have chosen as my family. These friends this year pushed me and picked me up and pushed me again. Through the darkest days of my life they sat beside me and said simply “I will love you at your darkest, and we will rise again.”
I looked at this woman staring back at me with a few more wrinkles surrounding tired eyes, and I saw so much happiness that for the first time was built upon the solid foundation of my hopes and my goals and my dreams instead of upon the opinions or needs of someone else. I saw independence. I saw what the other person saw when they told me that 2015 had been my year.
I surveyed my week.
I surveyed the month.
I surveyed the year.
I could choose to look at 2015 and tally the long list of things that I have lost, or I can count my blessings and call them by name.
2015 has been my year. 2016 will be too.