New Moon Rising
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, I felt guilty about the lack of updates here eleven months of the year. I would spend the first part of Holidailies apologizing for my inability to maintain this journal on a regular basis, and struggling with the desire to fill in almost a year's worth of news vs. describe my daily life in the moment vs. write about bigger topics that came to mind. No matter which choices I made, they always felt vaguely inadequate. I felt inadequate.
But you know what? Fuck apologizing. There's no shame in having a December-only journal, and if this is what works for me, so be it. There's no single right way to do this thing--doing it at all strikes plenty of people as weird, even now when "blogging" is about as mainstream as it gets. I'm not going to beg pardon for failing to meet standards that only exist in my head.
That pretty much encapsulates my new mentality in general. I'm done with constantly apologizing for my imagined failings, just in case someone, somewhere, is judging me (while pre-emptively doing the dirty work for them, for good measure). My default attitude about everything I do is no longer going to be, "Sorry!"
While we're at it, I'm also done with apologizing for my feelings. I get angry, I get frustrated, sad, hurt, irritated, impatient. I feel love, affection, attraction, revulsion, confusion. You would not believe--or maybe you would, if you know me well--how much energy I waste (mostly unconsciously) repressing, denying, hiding, and generally minimizing all of them. Somewhere in the course of my life I absorbed a lesson that I'm supposed to be an invulnerable robot. Other people, on the other hand, are delicate flowers reclining on a Victorian fainting couch, their feelings never to be questioned or disturbed, only fed bonbons and fanned delicately until any discomfort subsides. I cast myself as the butler or handmaid to the gentry who mysteriously populate my life.
I'm only just now starting to get a handle on where this sense of shame and inadequacy and second-tieredness came from. Meanwhile, I'm very very tired of it. So, fuck the handmaidery. I'm going to allow myself to have feelings, and even express them (appropriately, I hope, but if not it's unlikely to bring on a nuclear winter), without apology. Let myself be an actual, non-robotic human for a change. I think the people around me will be able to deal with it... and if not, well. Fuck them, too.
It's been a year of big changes for me, most of which have happened on the inside, and which are just now beginning to crystallize as the year draws to a close. It's been an almost alchemical transformation, as for various reasons I've had to rethink my entire sense of self in the past year or so. While it's not exactly been a stroll through the butterfly garden, I think I may finally be learning some important life lessons. This little After School Special moment may have come about thirty years late, but I've never been good at doing things on schedule.
I'm not sorry, but I am grateful. Holidailies is a ritual for looking back on the year and making sense of it all, taking time to reflect on where the various paths of this complicated journey have taken me in the past few months, think about where I might be headed, and just be still in the moment. I'm glad to have it. And glad this year of metamorphosis is nearly ending, so I can get on with my new unapologetic life.