Happy New Year, my little Buddhafaces! This is the first time I've woken up on January 1 and either not been still drunk or wildly hungover since at least the mid-eighties! I'm treating this as an auspicious beginning instead of beating myself up for being lame and crawling into bed at 9:30.
I can't explain why I'm feeling so fucking positive, but ours is not to question. I'm rolling with it, kiddos. I am inexplicably feeling as though the coming year holds promise and that I can accomplish anything. I have no idea where this sudden burst of optimism is coming from since typically my outlook is so bleak I could talk Elmo into jumping off the ledge if you gave me 20 minutes with that little red fucknugget.
I also gave myself permission to bask in 2015's accomplishments, which is something I never do. Usually my attitude is "Well, that's done…on to the next thing…" But I'm actually taking a moment to take stock of the 2015, which is disappearing in the rearview mirror faster than roadkill on a West Texas highway. After 2013 and 2014, really the year had nowhere to go but up. But look, yo, I did some shit:
I QUIT MY MOTHERFUCKING SHITTY-ASS JOB AND NEVER LOOKED BACK. Can I get an AMEN? I started out last year, in an entry much like this, talking about how I wanted to become more fearless and lead more of a life of general badassery. If quitting a corporate career of 16 years because you're sick of your once-decent-but rapidly-becoming-a-cesspool company and your sleazy bosses' sleazy bullshit isn't taking a leap of faith, I don't know what is. I wanted to be the kind of girl I used to be---the girl who sold all of her shit at the age of 25 and got herself all the way to San Francisco, California to start a new life. Quitting a job I hated but stayed at because it was easy and safe is a good start.
And now here I am. Granted, I'm self-aware enough to tell you I haven't necessarily used my downtime wisely. There has been some day-drinkin', pot smokin', and general slothery. But shit, for the first six months, whether I was aware or not, I was slowly decompressing. Then one day I woke up and realized I was living life like Peter from Office Space---cruising through life with relaxed shoulders and a smile on my face.
Granted, I have a safety net in my wife now. She is bringing home the bacon for a while and allowing me the luxury of venturing out on a new, hopefully happier, path. I would never be able to do this without her, which brings me to a second thing I am proud of accomplishing in 2015.
Salvaging my marriage. The Wife and I worked our collective asses off to get ourselves back to a place of stability. We dutifully showed up twice a month to pick off the unsavory scabs of our marriage so that they could heal in the open. And it wasn't easy. I said things that were mean and hard; she said things that were hateful and unpleasant. But both of us came together with a clear understanding that it needed to be done.
We're never going back to the first five years of our relationship---the heady days of staying out all night; doing drugs and drinking to excess with our friends; watching the sun come up; eating a greasy diner breakfast on the way home; falling into bed for languid, slow, sensual sex before crashing into a deep sleep so we could wake up and do it all over again that night. Nope, those days are over. We are adults now with adult things to do, like figuring out how to pay property taxes, running a small business, and worrying about whether my crown will fall out before my dental insurance kicks in.
I spent a long time mourning the end of that period in our relationship. Who wouldn't? Having daily sex, stuffing your facehole with drink and drugs, and delaying adulthood is FUCKING FUN---don't let anyone tell you any different---but I'm sick of feeling shitty because we're no longer the younger, more carefree versions of ourselves. It is what it is. I will be forty-fucking-six years old in 2016. I managed to put off real responsibility and boring adult shit until I was 42 years old. (For some reason, I have a very clear vision of the first time in my life I ever truly felt adult, and it was the day we got the keys to our house in 2012, so I guess I officially became an adult at 42.) Forty-two years of unbridled hedonism. That's an impressive run.
We were young and wild and free.
The Wife and I haven't always---and often still don't---see eye-to-eye about this phase we're moving into. She's a little younger than I am and not as ready to let that go as quickly. It's caused a lot of problems in our marriage in the last few years, but our gritty work during counseling got me to a place where I trusted her again, where I had faith in her, where I could at least see a future with her again. And, ultimately, THAT'S why I was able to quit my job---because she told me it would be all right, that we would figure out the next phase together, that we would make it work, that it was my turn---and I believed her when she said it. If I didn't have that faith in her due to what we'd accomplished together in therapy, I never would have been able to take that next leap of faith that I could give up my steady source of income to "find myself" like a goddamned hippie.
I STARTED MY DAMNED PODCAST ALREADY! FINALLY! I don't even know how long I've been talking about bringing my babble to the airwaves, and this year it finally happened! This never, ever would have happened---in any way, shape, or form---without my dear friend and producer, Thor. Thor has been like a hulking guardian angel in my life this year---pushing me, nudging me, cajoling me ever-nearer to my goal---a gentle man who saw something in my vision when I was telling him about it. Who understood what my flaws and weaknesses were and stepped in to pick up the slack so that I could focus on what I am good at: connecting with people; telling a good story, telling their stories, telling my stories; trying to find a little slice of happiness we can all enjoy; creating a little community of folks who, like me, are just tryna navigate their lives in an increasingly complicated world too and might appreciate hearing funny stories about depression, pain, life's bullshit, marriage, nudity, drugs, therapy, and general mayhem. He thought my message was valuable, and so he gave of his time and energy to help me get this up and running. And so I also consider that one of 2015's triumphs: finding a friend who believed in me who was also a friend who was so generous and kind. I'm glad we've gotten to know each other better this year, Thor. I owe you bigtime, baby! I'm looking forward to 2016 and what adventures we'll have!
"I am here because you broke something."
My boy, Thor.
God, I have so much more I want to say, but no one reads anymore and this entry is already too long. I've been thinking about---NOT RESOLUTIONS, DON'T CALL THEM RESOLUTIONS---for 2016. I find that as I age, my R-words get more and more ethereal each year. Less of "lose 25 pounds" and more "work on developing my empathy." Adulthood changes you in ways that are never mentioned in Buzzfeed listicles mocking how, after a certain age, you never want to leave your house or get out of your pajamas or make plans. What those lists don't mention is that those are but the outward displays of what's really going on, which is that adulthood makes you turn inward a little, become more introspective, settle into your own skin a little deeper, want to know yourself even better, and resolve to be kinder to the people who are important to you (and even those who are not) in an ever-crueler world. I don't give a fresh fuck if I don't get my ass squeezed into a smaller jean size by 2017. But I do care about who I am, what I stand for, what my mark will be, and how well I will love and be loved.
Here's to loving and living full-throttle in 2016.