tags: 2009, 2010, future, life, love, new year, past, present, self
Right now, if you’re like me, and I think a lot of you are, you’re thinking to yourself: Oh my GOD, 2009. You were something else. And not only that, 2009? Where did you go? I mean, what a goddamn year it’s been. How did it go so fast? Seriously: What the hell happened?
We’re all wondering how we got here. I know I am. So you probably are too. It’s the end of the year and that’s what we do. Every single year. It’s like each year goes faster than the one before it and we can’t keep hold of them and we’re left with that bewildering sense: Where are they going? How are they going faster and faster like we’re in the Millenium Falcon and Chewie just sent us into warp speed and please, can we slow down?
I suppose this is why we do projects like 365. Or end of year retro-/intro-spectives, like this. So we can stop, at some point, and sit and take stock. Maybe to be in the moment, sure. But more: to sift through the pieces that make up the past as we look toward the mostly unfathomable future. All those little stars zinging by us like streaks, the olive on our spaceship staying on by what feels like sheer willpower.
These pieces of the past: they are tiny instants that change us forever. Momentous occasions from which we think we will never recover, only to find ourselves walking upright in the blink of an eye, with a fortitude we never thought we possessed. Daily repetitions and routines we only recognize in recollection, peccadilloes and foibles and minutiae that come to define us as much – if not more – than how we tried to present ourselves, what we tried to construct as our unassailable identities, our well-crafted exteriors.
And that future: We would like to think we know where we are headed. What we’ll be doing. Who will be with us. Where we’ll be. But the truth is that we have only our feelings, about what we want, what we hope for, what we’re working toward. We have feelings about the people who surround us. And most importantly, we have the feelings about ourselves. More than anything, this is what will direct and guide us, from day to day, from year to year.
Try and imagine where you’ll be this time next year. Picture it! You can. But you also can’t. Not entirely. Because you can never know exactly where life will take you, what will happen, where you’ll go left when you should most definitely have gone right. Or where you very much went right and thank heavens for that.
So serious, I know. And it seems a little odd to write this, since my last post was about the end of another year – my 365 project. But even though I did my 365 during 2009 – even though my 365 encompassed most of 2009, in fact – 2009 was something different. We all demarcate time from New Year’s to New Year’s, whether we want to or not. As this crazy year draws to a close (can I get a finally? and an amen? and a THANK FUCKING GOD?), I had to say something about it. To myself, in a way, but also to all of you. Because I feel so disconnected from so many things – from blogging, from flickr, from twitter, from everything. This year has taken everything out of me, but it’s also given me so much. I’ve had to take a break from a lot to try and focus on so much else. Let me try and break it down.
I don’t know what you’ve experienced, but for me 2009 has been… a year.
When I told you about my 365, I was thinking of a year within a year. About photography, about life and love and learning. But about a specific project that I had set as a goal and had accomplished. Looking back at 2009 is different, because getting through a year isn’t about accomplishing a project, even one filled with amazing lessons. Getting through a year is obviously about much more: It’s about living. And getting through 2009? Was something else altogether.
2009 simultaneously feels like it was the best and worst year of my life.
I mean, how else to describe it? It was the year of getting your teeth kicked out, picking them back up and finding an amazing reason to smile, only to go through it all over again.
Finding myself with a very real physical health problem, one there was no mistaking… and working toward the very best solution, the best way to be healthy, with the best medicines, the best diet and exercise, and the best support network imaginable.
Losing the best little tiny friend I ever had in my life, her little green eyes closing forever in my lap… and still being willing to love a big dumb fluffy boy – who might not be my little girl but who will purr my face off just the same.
Spending a lot of time alone, but spending it feeling a powerful sense of loneliness… and then finding the best, truest friend I could ever imagine finding in my life (two of them, actually, if you also count my camera).
Closing one door I was unsure I would ever be able to even walk through… and finding another one open before me just a few months later, one that has helped put me on a path to real and true happiness – inside and out.
On the first day of 2009, you may remember what I asked for in the new year. I didn’t ask for much: I just wanted things to be nice. I asked for the year to go easy on me, to allow me to be surrounded by people who were happy and nice. And you know, while maybe I didn’t get 100% of what I ask for – 2009 wasn’t easy – I did technically get most of what I asked for. I was surrounded by happy and nice. In fact, I had an overabundance of that, and I will be eternally grateful for this as long as I live.
It allowed me to find something inside myself. Something that ends up looking like this.
Which is clearly something I’d like to find a lot more of in the coming years, y’know?
So I’m taking this opportunity to be logical: If I get what I ask for, it makes sense I should keep asking for what I want. And that means in 2010?
I WANT THINGS TO BE FUCKING AWESOME.
But of course, that’s partly up to me. It’s going to take a lot of focus, a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication. I have a feeling I won’t be around as much as I would like – here, on flickr, in real life, anywhere. There are some big challenges ahead, and maybe some changes to be made. I’m going to be take the amazing gifts this year gave me – and all the gifts from the years before – and I’m going to put them to good use.
I miss everyone a lot, but I hope you’ll stick with me. I’m going to need a little village now more than ever.
2009 taught me some big lessons – not just that it’s worth asking for what you want, but also that to get it, you’ve got to make it happen. So you know what? Let’s do this thing.
Happy New Year, everyone!