Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009.

I don't even know where to start.

This was a pivotal, difficult year in my life.

This was the year I finished a Masters program and thesis, squarely placing my career path in nonprofit development work. I wrote about girls' rock camps as a healthy youth development intervention strategy for young women. I thought on what music has been for me, and how crucial it was, is, and will forever be to me. I definitely credit music with my life, and I consider its production, creation, and performance an inalienable right to any young person (and for me, young women in particular) who is called to it. Any adult as well. It is one of the two strongest life forces I have ever, ever touched or tasted or known.

This was the year I had two animal companions with me. I needed to guard them while their owner went to learn things and discover and grow and feel peace, and trust - and also frustration, inspiration, confusion, friendship, passion, intrigue, rage, love, history, potential, promise, refusal, and the meaninglessness of any of our best laid plans. Those cats became such beautiful friends. I would tell them dreams. Once on a night where I sorely missed their owner, one of them literally held my hand. She held my hand!!! In her paw. I think of them often. I lost one of them and worked so hard to find her. She was gone weeks! It was awful.

This was the year I told a person I was in love with him and meant it with every fiber of my being. This was a year I did not apologize for doing so, and timelines and geography and distance and rules be damned, I did and said exactly what I needed to, when I needed to.

This was a year I made music with the kind of kindred spirit I have searched for my creative life. I had the kinds of practices that only two particularly suited creatures could have, and began to co-write lyrics - something I had never done. I wrote about things I was scared to even commit to paper. I could write about this and do so simply because of every single thing about this person.

This was the year I got two tattoos because this was the year that called for it.

This was the year I counted on my hands about twenty humans that I will forever and always be (non sexually) in love with. I tried to grow and challenge myself to be better to all of them. To break some of my bad habits. To be the support and love for them that they invariably are to me.

This year I turned down lots of unhealthy shiny things.

This was the year I met two women that reshape how I feel about creativity and passion: Mary Brown and Susie Ibarra.

This was the year one of the most important connections I have ever felt died and was severed. I mourn it daily. I am frustrated and confused by it daily. I also try to know I did the best I could.

This was the year I met a writer, musician, comic book genius, and crazy fucking kindred spirit. Just knowing he is existing in the world and fighting the despair that any thinking/feeling person wrestles with makes me feel more okay in the world as well. I spoke German to him and hugged him and we traded puzzlingly good stories.

This was the year I would make rash decisions with another person who probably does not realize how seriously I took him, how much I wished for the impossible, and how I really did wish we had crossed paths nine years ago. I would get to speak with him and be so enraged by his perspectives yet crave them. I would be honest with him about the messes I had followed and hope, on some level, that he would respect how much I offered. I would tell him I loved his last name.

This was the year I would meet the baby of my two musical friends, one whom I had known since we were teens. I would cry with relief at the incredible, gorgeous parents I know they would be.

This is the year I would learn that there are some people strong enough to hold me up and strong enough to force me to hold myself up.

This was the year I would observe.

This was the year I would actually listen when my mother said, "If you hate the cultural norms regarding women and what you are "supposed" to do, throw them away. Never look back. And never think of them again."

This was the year I would write bristling critique of a book that raised my ire, only to be asked to become a sex columnist by its author. She would also become a friend, and the best editor I ever had.

This was the year I would meet a creature containing possibly the most magic of anyone I have ever, ever met. He would show me words and sounds and surprise me by exactly when he chose to hold my hand. He would watch movies with me and understand exactly why they made me cry. He would ask me how my heart was and for real, it did not feel like cursory bullshit.

This was the year I would miss a fucking world of people spread so far across.

This was the year I would talk about things that made people uncomfortable because not talking about them was terrifying me more.

This was the year that nightmares would teach me things.

This was the year I threw my resume and heart across the country in hopes of direction towards a path I should take, a place that needed me, and fire and fuel again. This was the year that Philadelphia chose me, and I chose it, as a new home.

This was a year I would finally, finally see Elizabeth Elmore. Good. God. Damn. What a woman.

This was a year I would write songs with my past. Not Sisters.

This was a year I would tour again for the first time in two. And realize I still belong there and still have work to do.

This was a year the bands Thank God and Pygmylush would serve as a balm. This was a year I would remember I was my parents' daughter.

This was a year when I would encounter the result of a hell wrought upon a young man and his terrible and terrifying, simultaneous hunger for and inability to provide love. I would see his demons up close and I would run. I would find his past and I would learn how strong a 22 year old younger woman who is fighting to make sense of her reality can be.

This year I would meet with melancholy and Depeche Mode and feel understood.

This year I had my heart broken.

This year I had my life saved.

This year I would play drums to be human and to be an animal and to live in my body.

This year I would begin to try to be okay with quiet. To find and author inner sanctuary.

This year I would leave DC, one of my greatest loves of all.

This year I would feel absurdly, insanely close to someone across the Atlantic Ocean. This year I would plot for meeting this person. It would come as a gift and a beacon and a promise in gray, transitory times.

This year I survived. And created. And loved. And learned. And hopefully in its final hour, with so many people inside my heart and spirit, and one in particular in a more unique place than I ever knew existed, I will restore.


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