New Year's Eve Ramble
I've thought about what the post before my birthday would be about. I've been in a little bit of a depression hibernation for the last few weeks. The inevitable doom and gloom of winter started freaking me out. I stopped being present and opted instead for mild daily panic instead. The faintest autumn breeze snuck by one morning and all of a sudden the only thing I could see was the darkness of winter.
But over the last few days, I've started to be less apathetic and melancholic. Enough to look around and realize (with a little help from my laptop's calendar) that my birthday is tomorrow. But that's tomorrow. Today is the last day that I will be 30.
Around this time last year, I was on the island Koh Lanta in Thailand buying myself a cake, a candle and a toastie.
Behold, journal excerpts.
"Being alone on this trip isn't any different than being alone in my normal life. But I've leaned into the solitude here in a way that I don't at home. Every day feels like a choice that I want to make. Something I choose for myself. I spent years feeling like I was a burden, that my loneliness was the punishment for staying with a man who forgot he loved me sometimes, that my loneliness was the punishment for leaving a man who loved me sometimes." September 14, 2019
"I don't think I expected this trip to reveal some unknown truth about myself. I was hoping it would reveal some forgotten truths, though. I think I forgot I have choices. That people can have choices in how they treat me. I think I forgot to choose myself for years. I don't think I could have chosen myself and accepted the last 6 years of my life. Or maybe I could have. Regardless, I've gotten so much practice listening to myself without guilt. Since I don't have anyone to consider on this trip besides myself and humanity as a whole. How do I keep considering myself when I go home? Can I keep this energy when I'm home? Do I even have a home?" September 15, 2019
I think about solitude a lot. I think about the fact that I am alone a lot. Not just in the "I'm single" way that everyone likes to discredit as valid (for anyone who needs to hear this, wanting a romantic partner isn't a terrible thing). My interior design aesthetic is "can I get it up the stairs by myself?", my cooking style is "googling how to cook for one" (which is really how to cook for many and how to save the leftovers to avoid waste). I can go days without hearing my own voice which is why I record Instagram stories sometimes. There's also a pandemic going on - so even if I wanted to be out here belonging to the streets - I can't. Solitude isn't foreign to me. But solitude that felt comforting? Solitude that I welcomed by traveling across the world by myself? That was foreign to me. But it's not anymore.
30 gave me the intimate relationship with myself that I had been avoiding for years. It helped me answer the question "do I even have a home?" The answer is yes. I am home.
I wonder what 31 will bring. Happy New Year's Eve to me.
Drink some water. Wear a mask.