The holiday season ended properly for me at my sister-in-law’s New Year’s Eve party. It’s the one night of the year where I dedicate myself to getting drunk (which was successful) and meeting the New Year with an empty head (and stomach once I have recovered from the hangover).
A good part of the Tribe was there as well as a few new faces. The same stories and the drama were there as well as Rock Band and Telephone Pictionary. The food was good. The laughs flowed and I slept well and made it home safe in the morning after crashing on the couch.
But there was a sharp, vital difference this year. I looked around at all the folks several times over the night and one thought just would not leave my head.
“You are not part of this anymore. This is no longer your Tribe” I nodded and I understood.
And I drank to numb the matter of fact tone in my head and my absolute agreement to it. And I felt lighter as a chunk of my old worldview, my old personality, fell off my body. I tried to pick it up and slap it back on my body, tried to make it fit, but it wouldn’t stay.
I tried to be Sique (the load, rebel-rousing good time girl type intellectual type person) and it rang false. I acknowledged that and there went another chunk of the worldview. And for the most part, I was quite fine with that.
It was the little itty-bitty part of my heart that freaked out. That was the part that wanted to be numb. That was the part that wanted to slap the pieces of the past back on body which kinda felt like a raw meat suit like a FrankenChrishaun.
That was the part that cried when I got home and had a weird, paranoid text exchange with my sister-in-law between trips to the bathroom.
It was the part that was scared. It was scared because all the bitterness and anger was gone. All the drama that fed and defined me was conversation fodder and it was actually an effort to engage. Most times I was happier being silent. And still.
And that was the scariest part of the whole thing.
I am actually accepting that my worldview changed and the things that mattered, the people that mattered, the pastimes that mattered don’t really matter as much as they once did.
They are important. They make me happy. But they are not my happiness. They are not my everything (everything? EV-ER-RY-THANG!)They don’t define me. I can live without them if I needed to and would miss them dearly. That is crystal clear. What isn’t as clear is what replaces it. Or does it even get replaced. Will I be in another group? Does that matter? What the worst that could happen? Could I handle it?
By the time I could verbalize these questions, I had already cried a patch in my therapist’s couch. I got up off of my side, looked dead at him and asked:
“Is Grace going to be enough if I never gain back anything to make up for what I have lost?”
He smiled softly. We had had the talk about not giving trite answers and I could see him measuring his answer, which was the other extreme. I didn’t want to feel better; I wanted the truth.
He leveled his gaze at me.
“In time. It’s like when I asked if you were ok… what did you say?”
It was my turn to smile. “I will be”
“And you will…”
And once I calmed down I realized that … I am ok.
NYE was that last push out of the skin I had been in for years. I knew that I would change and I liked where my life was headed. But on many levels, I wanted my old life back, but it was always empty (the benefit of hindsight) and to keep on that path is to do the same thing I accuse other folks of doing.
Fighting to be the Queen Bee of Nothing. Fighting to lead a group that does not want growth or grace or to progress in any beneficial way. They just want things to be the same as it has always been; a world of denial. A world where there is no tactic too underhanded, no lie too boldfaced and no depth to deep to prevent the truth to reach the light of day. A world where pity and the guilt trip rule.
I’ve done my fair share and now I’m just done.
I don’t want pity. I want God’s grace and His love. I want my husband and children to be core of my life like they used to be.
I want this new path and all the fear and joy and labor and promise it carries.
I wanted the New Year to be fresh and filled with the people with the lifes I aspire to.
The ones who the very embodiment of kindness, faith, trust in spite of, and sometimes because of, all of their faults. Those who soldier on the path of discipleship.
Just soos you know… since I started on this article, I have gone to both Holly’s B-Day and The Regifting Party, the first parties of the New Year for me. I still felt really wobbly and unsure and kinda shy, but I didn’t have to drink to get through them, either.
happy new year…