I started this post on the subway last night, thinking that I would put it up online once I got to my friend's house, before we began our low-key New Year's celebration. I figured that, for once in '09, I'd follow through with something I'd said I'd do on the blog.
I suppose that's kind of fitting, because 2009 was not the best year for me. I'm reminded of the '80s children's book, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day".
OK, maybe I'm being a little dramatic. But I did have a rather dramatic breakup, ending an almost eight year relationship. I also suffered from declining health all year, resulting in a four day hospital stay the week of my birthday. I went through the worst financial crisis of my life - I actually had to borrow money from my parents to pay my rent more than once. And the father of one of my best friend's - someone who I considered a friend - unexpectedly passed away. And that's just the big stuff.
On more than one occasion last week, I mentioned that I just wanted to get out of 2009 "without anything else bad happening to me," which is why I wanted to wait until the year ended before writing about anything. I thought I was going to make it through unscathed...until my brand new HDTV died yesterday afternoon at 3pm, ONE HOUR after I hooked it up.
It just wasn't my year.
I have cause for optimism, though.
Yesterday, on the subway, I was listening to my iPod, which was shuffling through my top rated songs, and up popped an old jazz tune by Charles Mingus, called "Freedom". It's one of my favorites, and it's the only song on the album that has lyrics. The words are actually pretty depressing - but the song struck a chord for me. Even though all of those bad things happened to me last year, I managed to free myself from some unhappy and unhealthy situations.
And I suppose that's what's got me feeling the tiniest bit of optimism for 2010. I feel like an astronaut on a spaceship just launched into orbit. Everything familiar to me has fallen away behind me, like the earth disappearing behind me in the rear view mirror. Ahead of me: the beautiful, great unknown of space, in all of its splendor and majesty. My future feels like a blank slate - anything is possible. If I wanted to pick up and move to Kenya tomorrow, I could. Sometimes when I think about that fact, it makes me sad, but most of the time I just have a sense of excitement and possibility, because I know that I can fully take advantage of any opportunity that comes my way.
One last note. I don't know how this blog factors into my future. The quasi-anonymity that I've got going on here can actually be stifling at times, and, even though I love writing, I hate feeling like I'm obligated to post here, especially when I'm not sure how many people are still reading. But I'm so close to the five year anniversary of the creation of this blog, and I feel very strongly that I should follow through to at least that mark. I'm going to go back to the attempted model for 2009: one quality post a week. I'll post on Wednesdays, with an occasional something in between. I make no promises for anything past February 3.
Hope that you all start off this new decade in a positive way. See you in a few days.