Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year's/Old Years

This stormy weather out there reminds me of my years in New York: the sound of the winter winds howling outside, the balls of hail bouncing off of the window panes, the air so cold that the minute the door opens to the outside, you’re already shivering. I am thankful this only lasts a few short days here in Jerusalem. The cold makes me cranky and my body moves slower. I hate cold drops dripping on me. Yet there is something endearing about being forced to get inside and spend some quiet time at home. Instead of wandering around town, the cold weather pushes me into the space that I’ve created for myself. Whether I like it or not the winter tells me: "Go be in your own space and enjoy it." Apparently I have difficulty with appreciating what I have.

So here I am: my warm apartment, a snuggly new pair of Old Navy pajama pants, and memories.

Ten years ago. New Year’s 2003. New York City.

I was young and clueless on so many levels. Looking back, I had so much going for me: a decently-paying job, a beautiful apartment in NYC, wonderful friends and a caring, affectionate boyfriend.  I shouldn’t have had a worry in the world, but at the time I was too uptight to realize that. I had (and still have) this talent at looking at what’s missing; what’s not perfect; what’s not there. So much so that I sometimes completely overlook what actually is there. What actually is going right

If I would’ve known then what I’d be like ten years later, would I have made the same choices?

Would I have said goodbye?

Would I have left the only man that I ever truly loved?

That evening, I had bought a bottle of sparkling grape juice along with a sleeve of small plastic cups (I had known that it was illegal to consume alcohol in public spheres; if nothing else, I've always been responsible and terribly socially conscious.) Boarding the A train, I set out for a 1.5 hr subway ride to JFK. I had encouraged him to go to London with a group because I felt it would give him clarity, inspiration. Maybe that was my way of giving us both some space. Likely it was a combination of all of that.
Somehow I had timed-out the journey accurately enough that I caught him just as he was boarding that same train. The doors opened, I was thrilled. Exhilarated to see him,  and proud of myself for having such damn good timing. 

We toasted a Happy New Year on the subway car back up to Manhattan, celebrating with a group of strangers, probably student-tourists trying to save a penny by not taking a taxi to the city (like us).

I recall being happy; lonely; happy. Always riding this see-saw ride, navigating between being in love and fearing the future.  Being in love, and yet always wondering what else, who else may be on the horizon. Somewhere better, someone better.

Ten years later, I look back. I see that life is about choices.

Nothing is perfect. No one is perfect. There comes a time when we all choose. Priorities. And we have to somehow deal with those imperfections called life. We grow, we make progress, we learn. 

Most importantly I am learning to be present and appreciate what I have in life. In many ways I am a perfectionist, and I'm damn good at avoiding things I don't think I can do perfectly. 

My desire is to be cherished. To cherish. To value the present and embrace the wonderful man who lays next to me. To build. To bring inspiration and meaning to those around me. Priorities.

I had that. I could have had it for longer, but I was too uptight to realize how good it was.

Then again, maybe memory is playing games on me. After all, I was not stupid or blinded. Yes I loved, and I was loved, but there were problems, issues. I had issues. I couldn't commit. I was scared. I certainly wanted to build back then, but my foundations wanted to be built halfway across the world. 

Ten years. 

Celebrating New Year's with memories from the Old Years.

But overall, delighting that this storm is bouncing off my window sill in Jerusalem.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013. May it not suck.

New Years Day.

Spent it like every average Israeli: by going to work.

It was my 1 year anniversary at my job. Did we celebrate? Nope.

Actually, that's a lie - someone did offer me some nice scotch so five of us had a lechaim/Happy Hour at about 4pm.

In some ways 2012 was nice. I reached my goal weight. I visited my dream destination: The Grand Canyon.

So perhaps now it's time to make new goals for 2013.

I have to give it more thought.

But considering how 2012 ended -- with me spending most of October-November-December in a depression, waking up and going to sleep crying -- I'm going out on a limb here to say that I pray that 2013 is better.

I pray for clarity. For satisfaction. For a normal, healthy work environment.

For weight loss and feeling beautiful.

For health and healthy family relationships.

For a productive stint in therapy (4th time's a charm!)

May I stay away from sugar - it makes me crazy.

Here's to a new year, new thoughts, a new, fresh start.

Happy 2013.