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Wednesday, January 24, 2007


With this post, you all are up to date in my writings. It might be a while before inspiration strikes again, but tell your friends to come read and, in the meantime, send me inspired vibes...Enjoy.

December 2006

We used to put a wreath on our door. Our Christmas trees used to tower over us on our parlor floor, over 8 feet tall, painstakingly decorated with ornaments generations-old. And piles of presents would gradually appear under it over the days before Christmas. When we got a plastic tree the 2nd or third year after moving to California, I felt cheated and homesick. The tell-all pine scent of Christmas in New York and the brisk cold outside, the stepping lightly over icy sidewalks, replaced by the scentless, warm, sterile Christmases in California. I could feel the loss of seasons in my body that first year. Where was winter?

Now I walk down the street and see Christmas lights appear on doorsteps and in front yards the day after Thanksgiving. And the hat tree outside a front door I don’t even use in a New York City apartment is festooned half-heartedly with a glittery garland. I feel like the year (or maybe it’s years) has passed me by. I don’t know if I’m any different at the end of this year than I was at the beginning. I used to be able to tell. I could name the ways in which I had changed. Would write them down every New Year’s Eve because I felt like a summary of the year duly noted an ending and a beginning.

I don’t know when the holidays became a day when I wanted to avoid family instead of a day when I craved them. Even when I knew how difficult family time would be (because there were years when it always was), I anticipated Christmas movie revelations, snow fall on Christmas morning, hot cocoa, pancakes, and presents, pure joy as I discovered gift after gift that I had requested on a long list before the holiday. The reality ended up being waking up too early, awkward silences at gift opening and an afternoon we didn’t know what to do with, followed by a quiet, often-tense dinner, and trying to find places for several tchotchkes I had no use for and stuffed animals I was too old for in my room.

It’s hard to believe the magic of Christmas really ends at a certain age until you have kids of your own. What a waste of a holiday for those 15 or 20 years between when you realize there is no Santa and when you have to create him yourself. Can those of us that were denied the magic so long ago, who figured out that everyone was just pretending to be happy, who knew that the scenarios portrayed on-screen in holiday movies never really happened, really be expected to do anything differently, anything better, when we have our own families?

I am a little less jaded when it comes to New Year’s Eve, even though I’ve only had one or two celebrations that are really worth talking about. I still fall for the sentiment of New Year’s. The idea that the old year is over and the new year is full of great potential, so much possibility. I feel like I’m young enough that that still makes sense. I still have a chance to make the best of the year ahead, to prioritize and analyze and move forward, without too much backtracking or regression.

That doesn’t mean that I’ve always celebrated well or even felt particularly joyful or excited on the day itself. I often, in fact, feel like I haven’t changed enough, like I haven’t worked hard enough, like I’m not where I imagined I’d be at the end of another year. And I used to have to write it down to make sure I remembered, gave myself credit for all the ways I had changed.

I stopped doing that last year. When I was fed up with writing a laundry list of how things were different than they had been the year before, of patting myself on the back for growing. I was 22. I was supposed to be growing. It was the first time in almost 10 years that I hadn’t made any hopeful plans for the year ahead. In fact, I wrote something along the lines of “Good fucking riddance” to 2005.

It seems to be my general sentiment for time lately. Good riddance to the 6 months I worked on a show that I felt achingly uncreative working on. Good riddance to the month in which my mother left my abusive step-father and spent basically on the lam. Good riddance to the 1st year I had survived out of college. Good riddance to another volatile holiday spent with my brother.

Now we’re up against another holiday. Another year has passed. I can’t believe it. This one went much faster than I expected or was ready for. It didn’t seem like there was enough time to change. I was too overwhelmed…with work and family and trying to regain my footing. Of course, in light of one of the tumultuous years of my life, my instinct is to say good riddance.

But I’m still young…maybe this year I’ll try to be a little more hopeful…

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