A week from today, I’ll post my final post on this blog.
I’ve started to scroll through the archives, reading the first couple of blogs and noting my progress throughout. I’ve noticed where I’ve been sloppy and lazy with not only my writing but the concepts, and some entries are so deep and intense, I don’t even remember writing them. It’s interesting to have a year of my life chronicled on these pages. All of the vulnerability and honesty I’ve felt over the last 365 days, along with some remnants from the past, remind me of all that I’ve been through and how thankful I am to be where I am now.
My birthday is on Friday (guess how old? Anyone?) and I’m finding it difficult to comprehend the 12 months I just experienced. So much has happened and it all went by so fast. I’m not quite where I thought I’d be. I’m actually in such a brighter, happier and more stable position than I could have imagined.
When I started this blog, I didn’t have many friends at all — now I’m so thankful to count many wonderful New Yorkers and transplants as my confidants. When I started this blog, I lived in a miniature room posing as an apartment, where I shared a communal bath with two people — now I live in a lovely four-bedroom with three fabulous roommates and one adorable kitten. When I started this blog, I worked at a business magazine that wasn’t my style — and now I work for NBC, though I won’t reveal which of its properties. When I started this blog, I was happy to be in this city but I hadn’t found my way yet and I didn’t feel like I belonged — now, I know it’s home because it feels like it. When I started this blog, I had just met Mr. Unavailable — now he’s somewhere between Mr. Possibility and returning back to Mr. Unavailable.
When I started this blog, I despised the single life — now I find myself longing for it. When I started this blog, I could count more insecurities than qualities I loved about myself — now I’m confident in who I am, just the way I am.
I don’t know if the 12-steps work, necessarily. I based them off of AA’s program and since I’m not a real “love addict”, I can’t speak for what it really is like to overcome a sincere addiction to relationships. I also have to admit that I didn’t follow too closely to the steps, I just went about them haphazardly, moving onto the next step when it felt right, not by any certain number of days or by checking off growth on a mental checklist. I didn’t do everything I set out to do but I did follow my heart, and I though I waited a while to reveal certain things, I tried to be honest about everything with readers, with my friends, and with myself.
It certainly wasn’t easy.
Writing everyday not only cramped my plans and my style, but it forced me to dig deep into parts of my past and my present that I wasn’t ready to face. I made a commitment to post daily and I had to keep it, no matter what life sprung on me or how much haters wanted to hate. I didn’t allow their opinions to get to me and I stomached my own opinions of myself, no matter how difficult it was to face my own music. I told my story how I saw it, complete with run-on sentences and constant contradictions. I’m not perfect, neither is my writing or my skin, but I’m confident in what I have to offer. And finally, after putting up with lack-luster love, Ialso know what kind of romance I deserve.
And now, I won’t settle for less. A year ago, I may have stayed in a relationship just for the comfort. I may have continued dating and texting someone just to be entertained, just to have a body to lay next to me. But the space doesn’t need to be filled anymore, by Mr. Possibility or any man, because I actually feel just as secure without it. And if I have to swallow my heart and silence my thoughts to be someone’s girlfriend, I’d rather speak my mind to all who will listen and save that love for someone who can handle it. There are plenty of women who have always felt that way — but it took many prayers and paragraphs for me to reach that peace.
I still find lonely nights, though. I’m still in the middle of preparing myself for a heartache I think we all know will inevitably come. I still have ugly days and fat days, I still don’t always notice all the beauty I have to offer this world. I miss North Carolina sometimes, or at least it’s low prices and simple quietness. I still wonder if it’s in my cards to have a great love and if I’ll be one of the lucky ones who drinks lemonade while swaying in a rocking chair on a wraparound porch with my husband of 50 years. I still tuck away love quotes and photos, and when I’m feeling really down, I browse wedding blogs, torturing myself with visions of wedded bliss.
But now, it doesn’t upset me. It doesn’t break my heart. It doesn’t make me gravel at the base of heaven, begging for a partner so I can feel complete. It isn’t a desperate longing, it’s just a longing. A little voice that reminds me of what I hope for, a padded warmth in my heart that keeps me believing that if I never give up, I’ll find some schmuck who will love me to the ends of the Earth.
I’ll miss writing this blog every day, but part of me will be relieved too. I won’t think in terms of blogging anymore. My thoughts will just be my own, my experiences just adventures, not meant to be written into tangled sentences for the world to read. I’ll revel in the privacy that comes with invisibility, though I’m sure I’ll miss the feedback that always enlightens me. Maybe I’ll take a vacation from blogging but I won’t be gone forever — I’ll come up with something new, something that’ll keep me spirited and fulfilled. I’ll share some other piece of myself, of my viewpoints with the web again.
There really is no end to journeys, not even this one. The 12 steps will pass and the blog will end, but I’ll work every single day, married or single, happily in love or bitterly resentful, with or without children, in Manhattan or out of it, to be the person I want to be. I’ve accepted I’ll never be satisfied, I know happiness is always something you work for, not something that remains forever.
But I’m okay with that. I’d rather work toward the sweetness of happiness than to remain still and stagnant. I’d rather believe in love with all I have then to give up on it. It’s just now I know you don’t have to have love to be happy, and that just because you have love, it doesn’t mean you are happy. They both come and go, but if I work at it, I can always be happy and always have love all at the same time.
Because to love myself…is to be happy.