Looking back over this year, there is so much to be grateful for.
It’s not something I’m good at: gratitude.
I often think of time passing as an ugly thing. For as long as I can remember, I’ve woken with my heart gasping, imaginary speedlines like in an animé, indicating time, activities, progress—lost. To quote good ‘ole Bush, “Everything zen, everything zen? I don’t think so.”
But when I actually take the time—force my heart to calm, not think about what I fear I’ve missed, what I yearn for, what I feel I’m owed—I realize: It’s been a Pretty Good Year. Here is, but a sample:
- Family. Reconnecting with some of them has been the smallest, most necessary part of Everything. Oddly enough, I have things like e-mail and social media to thank for some of that (see #12).
- My Love. Sometimes too powerful to name.
- Friends who hang on despite my reclusive nature. Thank you so much for your time, your patience, your low-key way of handling relationships—so different from my own.
- MC and SJ. Constants when Time and Tunnel Vision should have caused all else to fail.
- The youth at Center on Halsted. You entrust in us your health, your beings, your stories. Your courage makes obvious I have more than enough. I can always do more.
- Chinese lessons. You rock, humble Discovery Center. I will find a way to get back to you.
- angry asian man and Disgrasian. Thank you for showing us how it’s done.
- Poetry. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed you.
- Discovering, truly, for the first time, lit mags. How awesome you are. Just you wait: I’m coming to you.
- AWP. All communities celebrating writing.
- All the great art out there. Bands, writers, directors, actors…making it work, making it happen. Special shoutout to Laura Jane Grace for paving the way.
- Crazily enough? Social media. I’ve long been afraid of you, but you’ve made more possible than I would’ve thought.
Far from exhaustive, when I actually sat down and wrote a list—(wrote it: with my hand, a pen, my awful-awful handwriting that is mine and mine alone)—I couldn’t stop writing.
Looking ahead now, it’s hard not to feel someone turn on the gas in my heart. That prickle of sweat; of pressure. Alarm bells going off and jets of water dousing all in a hiss of heat and smoke as the office lays in blackened-beige ruin. I’ve long associated goals with failure. Like Time, which has been mentioned, what—six times?—so far in this entry, I am constantly wondering what it will take to Arrive. To feel completely my legitimacy as a person, as a writer. Even now, it’s difficult to admit how much that frightens me, how much I worry it tiny, like water over a smooth, eroding stone.
The specifics are elsewhere, but I will say this: my top goals for 2013 revolve around health and letting go. Action and gratitude. I have to believe that if I work on my outlook rather than on things, my writing and my life will improve. You heard it here first. Here’s to a wonderful 2013.