Day One

No, JetBlue, playing (bad) club pop at high volumes at 5am is not ‘awesome’ or ‘trendy’ or ‘now.’

And so begins 2014.

One of the shit things about living so far from ‘home’ is the annual holiday-oh-you-want-family-time?-that’s-cute-one-million-dollars-now-kthnx price gauging. This year, it found me on an overnight from Portland (PDX) to Portland (Maine) on New Year’s Eve.

With a nice four hours here in Club JFK. Which doesn’t have a bar, I might add.

Since sleep or booze doesn’t seem to be in the cards, what better time than now to start my 2014 challenge.

NYE has never been a huge deal for me, but after this past year, I’ll take whatever excuse for renewal or restart that the universe is offering up. For all I want to shake off, or change, or ‘move on’ from, 2013 was a year of insane growth.

I left a stable job, moved to Maine, turned down PhD offers, watched my city’s marathon bombed, took jobs I never expected, learned to snowshoe up mountains, drove across the US, lost an amazing friend, moved into a once-in-a-life lake house with my partner, hosted a friend’s wedding, reapplied to PhD programs, and spent some good time with people I love.

Waiting for a plane back to Maine, for all its annoyances (there are birds in this airport. Birds.), feels right.

Is this where I wanted to be? I don’t know.

I don’t know if I ever expected the level of uncertainty that is a seeming constant in my life to be so, well, constant. I honestly never imagined the love and care and struggle and laughter and grit that comes from living with my partner. I didn’t expect to have my heart torn open by loss like this. I am amazed that I love what my life continues to offer up, none of it what I’d planned.

Is this what I want? I’m not sure I agree with the question. Because it is. It exists apart from my desire. It has all taught me to be more of who I want to be.

To be honest. To be open. To let myself rage, but try to rage-love, not anger. To try, always try, to expect good and maybe even great.

And on a canoe at midnight listening to city folk try to row an overfilled boat; and while watching the cold, golden sunlight hit two faces as they promise their whole selves to each other; and when jumping over fire in the Berkeley streets with Michael Franti; and being surprised with a Star Trek barhop, complete with t-shirts; and while making instant coffee in the back of a Prius while Yellowstone snow falls and bison rumble –  to know in these moments that amazing is possible.

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***

I’ve challenged myself to write every day for the year of 2014…we’ll see how this goes.
January 1, Stroke of Midnight: 
Where were you last night when 2013 turned into 2014? Is that where you’d wanted to be?

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