Monday, December 28, 2009

Reflections on 2009

Its that time
The time when I naturally look back at the year past and guess at the year ahead
and see what I discovered in between
2009 was kind of a tough year
there was a lot of growth and a lot of sadness but also some exciting stuff too
maybe its just like every other year, though i think 2007 really took the cake for a life-changing year.
2009 started with a party in New Jersey with Mike's friends from high school and college.
all of which are either married, married with children, married and pregnant or engaged
its easy to succumb to that artificial pressure when everyone around you is naturally moving into that chapter of life, but Mike and I did not succumb and instead found this really fun middle ground.
The early part of 2009 I just remember being sick, so sick that I almost had to get an xray of my lungs for a cough that hung on for four months
but as soon as spring reared its head and the cold defrosted, so did my sickness and i learned just how essential sunshine is for my southern californian nature
in may, i performed a poem with carmen that was the hit of the night at my work's talent show and something i felt really proud of
over the summer,
mike and i decided to move, rather abruptly, giving up our spacious, extremely affordable living situation in jersey to move to a tiny apartment in brooklyn we are finally settled in
in august lindsay moved away and then mike and i went to st. john to visit friend and hang out on a beach for a week
when we came back , my brother and father came for a visit bringing both of their girlfriends.
this trip cemented any notions i had of my family still being dysfunctional.
we are but in a loving way.
amazing that after years of therapy and self help groups and extraordinary life lessons, we are all still creatures of habit, we are all still in a daily battle with out fears and weaknesses, which begs the question if it is possible to break a pattern that has existed in familial cycles for decades.
i finally get my act together and decide to apply to grad school and at the same time i get a promotion.
i learn more spanish and start to understand conversations on the subway, but then lose the focus and time to study with grad school applications.
i write 60 pages of a possible memoir and a forty page fiction manuscript.
the whole year i battle a painful foot injury that is still trying to heal, but at least i finally got help.
i lose weight. and for the longest time in years, it stays off for longer than a month and i actually get back to the weight i was my senior year of high school.
i step on the scale today and i am three pounds heavier.
2009 was about patterns. patterns within my family, within my friendships, within myself. and even some within my relationship, but thankfully that is the one place where things have continually grown and amazed me.
i feel older at the end of this year. a lot older than perhaps any other year. and yet still not exactly sure where i am headed but not entirely clueless either. it feels god to be out of the woods.
i feel more self-assured, more confident in my writing and in the choices i have made over the last two years.
and yet i miss my family more than ever.
i attempted to mend fences that had been incinerated almost eighteen years ago.
but even more important i let go of the whatever the outcome might be.
the more important things is the openness to try it.
i have a lot more to learn and a lot more courage to gather.
but what matters most is that i'm still trying. and so for 2009, for the first time ever, i am giving myself a pat on the back.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

the holidays

sad shit happens around the holidays
and every christmas, after decorating a tree, if i have a tree that year, i sit back and stare at the hypnotic lights and find myself reminded of all those sad things
christmas was always hard for mom which subsequently made it hard for us
when i was eight i found her sobbing under the christmas tree and watched her rip off a miniature tree from the nativity set and smash the roof of the stable where little baby jesus was born
now, i can find something comical in this
but at the time i was just scared that now she ws going to go to hell
when is was fifteen, my father had just been forced to close his business and was in a fight with the city of los angeles.
on christmas eve, after leaving my aunt rose's house, a drunk driver side swiped us and ran a red light
my father, who at the time was a lunatic constantly walking the fine line of sanity, followed in pursuit and chased this drunk driver around crenshaw, cursing at him
thankfully, we never caught the guy. i'm not sure what my father would have done
but i have to say that was not the first chase i had been in the car with my dad
though he is funny and loving, and worked through a lot of his "issues"
he will always have that armenian temper that makes us all anthonys
two christmases ago, tom died just before christmas eve
and i felt my heart break in half
but i happened to be going to denver on christmas, tom's home town
because of this i was able to give his eulogy and say goodbye to the man that saved my family for all these years
this christmas i unpacked a christmas ornament that i made tom but was never able to give him. it still has his name on it.
it was the first ornament on mike's and my tree and damn it looks good
last night after flipping through these memories, each brought on by a different light, mike pulled me close to him on the futon and we admired our tree together and fell asleep
i think this year is going to be a good one