l i l e p h y t e

January 1st, 00:23 | Mood right now for the new year? Fear

There is invariably one night a year (at least) when I, yes I, the atheist agnostic wiccan-inspired, half-Buddhist, patchwork-faithed mess completely representative of over-thinkers feeling the undernourishment of their souls, the shiftless, nameless ones who plague our world, yes, even I pray. That night could be Christmas Eve. It might be New Year's Eve (either calendar or Chinese) or a day in the middle of Lent, or a day with significance only in terms of whatever's keeping me busy at the moment (work, school, whatever). But at least one night a year, I will find enough sparkle in the world, enough glow to fill my heart and gush over until I feel the need to express gratitude in a prayer, and pair it with a wish -- to thin out the sparkle in that one night just a little, so I can spread it over the future, build a safety blanket over the people I love. I guess I keep hoping it'll be cumulative. Or maybe there isn't any such thought in the action until after, when I hit the analytical phase. Maybe at the time, it's just me, in the moment, forgetting for a few minutes that I don't believe in God, and talking to the sky the way eight year olds (hopefully) still do.

This year's night was Christmas Eve. It's the first Christmas at the new place and while some parts are more picturesque, I'm still not quite over the idea of a Yuletide with no (real) fire. Actually, this year there was no fire at all, artificial or otherwise. But the year always ends for me at Christmas -- part of why Boxing day always seems so drear I guess -- all those days until the New Year just a weird kind of limbo filled with half-sleep, half-thought, half-assed actions. There's something about Christmas Eve that holds a finality in it that has nothing to do with waiting for Christmas morning to finally come.

Long after I gave up looking forward to Santa's visits (honestly, I'm not one for Christmas presents; mostly they make me feel guilty) I still loved Christmas Eve. My parents would watch tv or go to sleep, and I would sit on my heels at the foot of the Christmas tree, not prodding at the pretty wrapped parcels, but just looking up at the haze of lights. Sometimes I napped under it. There's something so safe about a Christmas tree, about your Christmas tree. Maybe because we've had it so long, I know every ornament, every branch, the way it leans. It's a guardian spirit, a warm presence that protects me and ensures me that nothing bad can happen, that everything will be alright.

I don't know how, I don't know why. That's just the way it is. Here at the new apartment, the tree is less of a guardian. This year, I felt I was protecting it from the world. Soon, we'll retire it, buy a new tree. I worry that this reversal of roles is indicative of something more than just shock brought on by a change of environment, I worry that it shows something truly scary, like me growing up. Which is why when I patted the tree goodnight on Christmas Eve and hied me to bed, but stopped to pray, I felt so much happier. Because even if the tree does lose that safe feeling, the sky still has it. I'll always be smaller than something. (Never thought I'd say that in a relieved tone of voice.)

I'm not entirely sure why I'm writing all this out. I've been a mess of thoughts since Yuletide (predictable -- I do ridiculous amounts of pointed soul-searching between now and Chinese New Year) I just... haven't felt like writing. Or working. Or anything. As I said, the strange, vague time-limbo. I haven't even been able to call the Boy. Very, very stupid. I don't understand it. He's worried. I'm looking forward to seeing him again soon, and talking. It's been nearly two weeks since we've Talked. That's a terrible thing indeed, and especially for this season.

I've been thinking mostly about the coming year, about how much it suprises me that I really miss Mattsy's wish from last Christmas: that my new year (2003) be better than the last. No one wished that. And it's coloured a lot of my thoughts, ridiculously. I've half-convinced myself that 2004 can't possibly be as good as this past year has been. To be truthful, it's got a lot to live up to -- this year has quite possibly been the best of my life, to date. Nonetheless, that's a terrible thought to start the new year with.

I've been thinking about what I'll do after I graduate, about how that decision affects the Boy and where we're going to go, since we'll be Living In The Real World and thus probably shouldn't try to do this school-time long-distance gig and start pretending we're real grown-ups. How I'm deathly afraid that I'll make a decision based on him. Because even if that would be better in the long-run, I'm terrified of the idea that my future, mine, might in some way be affected by someone who is not guaranteed to always be in it.

I have to pause here and wonder what he'll think if he should read this. Except that I don't wonder. I know. And what can I say but that it's true. I don't know that we'll always be together, even if he believes it. That even though it feels that way a lot of the time, there's times when I don't feel the press of forever behind me. Part of the reason why chan's recent engagement (see? told you 2003 would be hard to beat) brings out my panic drive to be single is because I don't feel ready for that kind of commitment, and I really, honestly, don't think it's because I'm afraid. I'm not sure, and I'm not willing to chalk it up to fear, because on the days when I feel it, it doesn't scare me at all. It never has. The the days when I don't feel it... I want to know why.

I've been working on a theory encompassing both my nagging thought about singledom and my fear of commitment for right now. And it does have to do with right now, specifically, this year. This year is my year of decision. It's my year to take the first step on a path that no one else is dictating for me -- not parents (although they're definitely in there with suggestions), not school, and if I have anything to do with it, not the Boy. I'm not saying I don't want suggestions, I'm saying I want to know that it was me, all on my own, who eventually chose where to plant that foot. I realize fully that where the path ends up going may bear no relation whatsoever to where it seemed to be headed four months from now. Let's all remember that Alice is my formative literature: through the Red Queen's garden I now walk.

What I'm really trying to say is that I've always had someone holding my hand, and that even at times when I didn't think I did, I know now, that they were there. And this time, I want to know for sure, that no one is. This one's all mine. My battle, my choice, my fate.

Maybe the fact that I don't want to face this decision with the Boy says more than I think it does. I honestly think a large part of it is pride, and the need to know that if I regret something later, I'll know that it was my choice that led to it. But then... if I really understood myself that well, I probably wouldn't be so indecisive about what I want for my career (currently narrowed down to one of or combination of: pathology, G.P., pharmacy, teaching, acceptance into necessary schools notwithstanding).

Readings for the new year mirror what I thought (surprise!): that this year will hold good things, but in small steps; steady progress rather than windfalls.

I'm afraid of a lot of things, mostly relating to my emotional state and decisions there-related. I've no particular worries for my career. I'm fairly certain I have the willpower to work me through to something I want. I'm just afraid of misguided decisions in the "feelings" department.

...hmm. Not a very happy opening to the new year? I didn't mean it to sound that way. I do think it's happy. I'm just... preoccupied with my fear just now. We'll see how it shapes up -- the year won't take shape for another month yet... ;) Happy New Year, all.

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