Winter, Christmas, and What I Want from Life Beyond 2016

It’s cold and gray this morning.

That kind of December day in New York City where you wake to dripping outside, and I can feel the temperature by how the cold is resonating from the exterior wall of my apartment. But at the same time, the steam radiator is making it deliciously overheated in my bedroom, so I burrow in bed with Mitra and a too-thick down comforter, on the verge of being too hot.

It’s just right, right now. Were there another body in here with me, I’d be steaming and sweating and my bones would be on fire and in pain. But this morning, I’m blissfully cozy, and only rise to write.

I picked a coffee mug, this one given to be by the aunt of the man I dated for ten years, a long time ago now. I ponder if she thought I’d be in their family forever. I’d make a very different kind of wife than the one he has now. I imagine them all – massive families and babies upon babies – beyond happy together, though I’m kept updated of their challenges and struggles, too. I wonder how I ever fit in, me here with the life I still live in my New York, childless, unstable, money-less life; my coat closet still full of the fabulous coats his father gave me, the pantry of the platters and tablecloths and the standing mixer and ornaments and tiny statues and little mugs that everywhere remind me that I was a part of someone else’s family for what now seems like a short while but what was, back then… my entire life.

But I didn’t want that kind of world with him, and no matter how much I miss that family-–no matter how much a Dali mug, or the journal of the menus served as a cook in the Hamptons, or the vintage plastic square watch; no matter how often the token from a past lover or love gets lovingly or habitually use–replaces the face that none of the givers were the right fit. That I’m still waiting for the one who is. And that I’m okay with that.

I know this period is about studying the commercialism of the holidays. But, as per usual, this challenge has developed into becoming about something other than what I’d expected. And when I think about what I want this holiday sesaon, and beyond, very little about it is commercial.  It’s not a life with a house and babies which, well, those exes all have now or are on their ways to getting.

Here’s what I want, clearly spelled out:

  • I want enough income not to be afraid all the time of the money I need to spend just to live a modest, simple life.
  • I want to make that income in a way that doesn’t threaten my health and fulfills me. Specifically, through writing articles and books on a freelance schedule. Hopefully in 2017, more books than articles. Because the article hustle is exhausting.
  • I want a partner who I can feel inspired by, loved by, and safe with. Someone with who work and life can overlap, as work is a big deal to me and shared passions… well… they’re a turn on romantically. So a fellow artist or writer or intellectual. Someone who will teach me about love and safety and strength, so that I can take down some of these walls of proud independence I’ve built up so strongly around me.
  • Eventually, I want our little quiet house in the middle of the woods, where I can grow my vegetables and have my chickens and two goats and bees and write in the sounds of the woods and call it a life. Something simple and sustainable…. Lately, though, I’ve been seeing the stress that ownership causes. So this “want” is not one I’m pondering as immediately as I have in the recent past.
  • I want more health.  I need more money, stability, and quiet to get it.

That’s what I want. I can’t do any “more” than I am right now to get any of those things, but this whole period of doing “less” is actually helping, both with producing positive change in my body and in helping me feel calm with the absence. So until those things start pouring in, I’ll focus on being okay with what I’ve got.


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