Life never lets you know where it's going. Sometimes the roller coaster ride makes perfect sense and the scenery is beautiful if not awe inspiring. Other times its best to just hold on tight, and try not to throw up. To say that 2009 was the most difficult year of my life was an understatement. A car accident, the sudden illness of one parent, the death of another, unemployment, the near loss of hard earned graduate fellowship. My 29th year kicked my ass in ways I couldn't even understand furthermore anticipate. The road of life has worn me thin this year. The journey has been harder than any I have made thus far. I don't know what the universe was trying to teach me but I just had to do my best to listen and stay sane. Keeping going has really been a test of wills and an unearthing of strength I didn't know I had. With three months left until my 30th birthday, I'm in quiet reflection. What have I lost, this year? What have I gained? What has been my greatest tragedy? What has been my most rewarding triumph?
Looking back I realize that my primary relationship with all it's tumult, sacrifice and joy has been the most stable and reliable constant in my life this past year. Amid all the ups and downs of the last 12 months my relationship has been a meditation within the chaos of my life. A noisy, rarely quiet space, it forced me to concentrate and focus my energy to build the type of union I believed in...taught me to figure out in many ways what it meant to believe...and finally allowed me to transform. I examined the depth of my commitment to my partner...measured and took stock of it in a way I had not before. I learned what it meant to acknowledge that I had not been meeting expectations - both my own and his. I began to say I want, I need, I feel, I think and to own those statements, to voice them in the open, without subterfuge or camoflage.
Relationships, whatever their nature - romantic, platonic, professional - are work. We rarely talk about the work of romantic relationships but work it is. A partnership between us and the other, relationships leave us vulnerable, opening us to success and to failure. Last year I both succumbed to the perils of failure and was exalted on the wings of success. The entire time my partner has been with me, traveling the road at my side, pointing out potholes, navigating with me through traffic jams and detours, searching our map for alternate routes and embracing me as we reach each new destination. He's been my co-pilot reminding me ALLways why the trip was worth taking. I struggled. I cried. I tired. I grew. And in the end, I hoped.
In this new day may I remember that while the good is never simple and the bad is often too much to bear, the hopeful have the presence of mind to dare another day.