14 January 2019

Random actual update. :)

Happy New Year, y'all!  I hope you had as great a time welcoming the new year as much as I did.  Welcome, 2019!  You were anticipated!

There are so many great things I've got to look forward to this year, I don't even know where to start, honestly.  My year started out rather well, New Year's Eve I made the decision to get my first couple of tattoos.  They are on my left hand, and they look great!

The one on my finger is from the Bible, it's a verse in 1 Peter 4.19 that reads:  Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with God's will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good.  (NRSV).  There are some people who have been part of my 2018 that know full well what's been happening and how bad that year was.    That was certainly a year I learnt who my real friends are, my fairweather friends, and the friends who were there for the initial bad stuff, but fell off the face of the earth because something better came along.  Ah, well.  The other tattoo, 'Just Wa;t,' that was something my brother and I discussed.  I won't go into the full details of the reasons behind it, but let's just say it means not to settle, to be patient.  I barely felt either one, the 'Just Wa;t' one tickled a LOT.  The top of the 'W' where it's at that little joined peak in the middle did hurt a little, but other than that, I barely noticed outside of the tickling feeling.  haha  The little bit on the bottom part of the 1 in '1 Pe' hurt a little at first, but after that, was a piece of cake.

That night, my friend and I sat here waiting for the ball to drop (apparently, we were tuned into the WRONG YouTube thing, because we didn't see a ball drop!  haha), we were swapping stories, sharing some laughs on Facebook Live.  We have this little thing we do that we started a couple months back called 'What's in my Cup?' and it's really just a video podcast of us just talking about whatever's on our minds.  That night, we sat here and had a lot of laughs, even though we didn't realize it was the new year until a couple minutes in.  Ah, well, it was still a blast.  As we were wrapping up our 'What's in my Cup?  New Year's Edition,' I signed off with this little poem I found that really resonated with me:  The old year is worn and tired.  Time now to kiss it goodbye.  Take with you its wisdom - the authority and the power of all you have learned.  Remember the past year with love, but let go of its despair.  Live the year that lies ahead with fresh energy and hope.  Be strong, have courage.  It is time now for something new.  Isn't that beautiful?  I don't even recall where I found that.

So, here we are, another year.  2019.  Where the hell did the time go, huh?  This year, I opted to ease into things, just to carefully but calmly walk into the new year with an open mind and an open heart.  I'm not quite sure when this tradition got started, but I know that one year, Shawn and I had decided to assign ourselves a word for the year, a goal to work toward, and one as a couple.  Well, even though he isn't part of my life anymore, the person who gave us the idea still is very much a part of my life, so I'm maintaining the tradition and she did reach out and ask me if I'd come up with a new word for this year.  I told her yes, I had.  'Contemplative.'  For those of you who don't really know what that word means (I mean, it's not one that's really tossed about in everyday vernacular, is it...), it's just having a mindset of really thinking about things you encounter.  Good, bad, indifferent, whatever.  Not obsessing, but just thinking about what's what, about the experience as a whole, and if need be, taking it apart a little at a time and working through the how's and why's and all the in-between stuff that comes along with it.  There's been a lot of meditative thinking on my end the last few weeks of ol' '18.  Why not carry that mindset into the new year, right?

Last year saw some people I thought were worth my time hand me the scissors to make the cuts to sever ties.  I saw some other people in at least one person's life sever ties with that person, too, for not-too-dissimilar reasons as mine.  I have come to the mindset that it's for the best, and while yeah, sure, it hurt, I remain unsurprised, unfazed, really.  It's unfortunate, but what can a person do, right?  I'm not one to stalk a person and make them like me.  If you like me, you'll make time.  Don't make me feel like some stalker drunken prom date The Morning After.  I don't do that, and I don't appreciate being put in that position.  It is what it is, and these two people, well, one of them, is welcome to come back and repair the breach she has caused.  The other one, he has made his choices abundantly clear that his real friends do not matter insofar as when he got back home last year, he pretty much shut everyone real and good in his life out, myself included.  I'm not okay with it, but it is what it is.  Again, what can I do, other than what I have been doing: praying, forgiving, and just handing him to God every day.  Not unlike the female that made it abundantly clear my position in her world, even after I reached out to try to talk to her.  I am done carrying the weight of everyone else's meanness.  I will, from here on out only carry the weight of my own indiscretions, I will confess them, I will do my penance, and I will move on.  I intend only to make Jesus happy.  If others are happy with me, too, then great!  If not, well, at least I've made God happy with me, and that's comforting in and of itself.  It is what it is, as far as I am concerned.  I have no desire to hold my breath for anyone.  This year, there are going to be a lot of changes.  I am doing no more initiating and being put into that position of being made to feel like I am interrupting a great time, I am done being made to feel like I am irritating and in the way.  I figure if people want to talk to me, to visit or whatever means of communication, then it's no secret how to find me.  It is not a resignation, not really.  It is a realization that to some people, I matter, and others, I don't.  Those that have shown that I don't, well, it's just one of those things.  I had a whole life before she came into my world, and I'm doing fine without her now (better, if I'm honest), so... it's fine.  I mean, it really isn't, but when things like this happen, it really gives a person pause and curiosity to wonder if their presence was a self-motivated reason of sorts.  This isn't meant to sound like I am in any way, shape, form, or fashion angry.  If anything that I'm feeling is really just unsurprised.  And grateful.  It's yet another adult I don't have to tell how to conduct themselves and whatnot.  If I were to give what I'm feeling a name, it's bereaved release.  Same with the other person in my world who made his choices.  I have known that person most of my life.  We met as teens.  Because of his decisions he's made, it's just one of those things where it's best to just walk away and know that I've done nothing wrong, and I can hold my head up because I know that it wasn't the person in the wrong.  I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I don't deliberately set out to hurt anyone, either.  And this person has done precisely that at every opportunity he's been given.

This year is going to be a year of caution.  It is going to be a year of internal deliberation as best I can do (because, like I said, I'm not perfect, so I'm certain I will slip up unintentionally from time to time, but I tend to beat myself mercilessly when I do stupid things like that...).  It is going to be a year of a closed mouth, eyes and ears open.  It is going to be a year of keeping an eye on things and being reserved.  More than ever.  After all, how can I learn, really learn, if my mouth is open and my mind is closed, right?  My goal this year is to learn, to grow more and build upon that growth from last year.

There were many lessons last year, some were good, a lot not so much, but overall, I survived - barely - and I am grateful overwhelmingly, for the friends who did surround me, who were there for me genuinely, to keep me laughing and there to listen when I needed to reach out, and more than that: to be open with me when they needed to talk and let me be there for them in the same way.  Friends are few in number in my world, and that is my own design, but when it's someone that I make a mistake in thinking they are a friend and they prove otherwise, it hurts a great deal knowing how truly wrong I was.  This is why my circle is so little.  The smaller it is, the fewer chances of being harmed by the phoniness of someone who's doing something for their own ends.  Those that did stick around, they kept me grounded.  Well and truly so.  I won't go into detail, but I will say that there were a number of occasions when I did consider succumbing to my depression.  There were a handful of people that stuck around and had kept me grounded well enough that I - mercifully - didn't follow through with even an attempt.  Some of these people don't even know their impact on my life in such a positive way (but they will as I am able and ready to tell them so).  A few people who were instrumental (there aren't many), they know, because I have told them in the best way I've been able and comfortable enough to speak about it.    It's been quite an eye-opening year, I'll definitely say that.  The forgiveness is there, and yes, the lessons are learnt.  I welcome those lessons with open arms and heart, and I offer it all up to God.  I have no problem walking into this year with a clean conscience.  I flung my arms open when we realized it was after midnight, and I said to God, 'I'm ready.  This year is Yours.  Thank You for helping me get to this point in my life, and thank You for being there for me unflinchingly.  Thank You.'

So far, though, this year got off to an interesting start, like I said.  Here we are, two weeks in, and I'm getting over a bout of bronchitis that started in just before Epiphany.  Blargh!  In an attempt to cheer myself up a little bit, I reached out to a buddy of mine who's a tattoo artist and the tattoo on my right arm happened.  It says, FAC LIBRORUM NE BELLUM.  'Make books. Not war.'  In other words:  'Write, don't argue!  WRITE.'  That one hurt quite a bit.  At least the shading did, and a little bit in a few areas on the lettering.  Totally worth it, though.

Yesterday (Sunday), I was finally able to go back to Church again, and I was so happy to be able to do precisely that!  Yesterday was the Feast of Jesus' Baptism, also th end of the Christmas season (on the Liturgical Calendar ^_^).  After Mass, Bible Timeline Session One started, and it's gonna be a great program.  I'm pretty excited about it.  I have, on a few occasions, stated you never really know just how thirsty you are until that first drop of water hits your mouth and then you can't get enough!  In another way, I feel like going to Mass is my oxygen.  More than writing is.  When I walked into the parish, sure I still have a cough that's annoying me a great deal, but being in the Presence again... After two weeks away?  It was ... it was fresh air.  I don't know how else to describe that.  I am excited to dive back in.

Something else I'm doing this year, too:  I'm taking part of the 85k90 Writing Challenge.  Check it out:

I can't wait to see how this new project's going to turn out.  I'm still working on my dystopian books, but right now, they're unfortunately on pause.  I have someone going to take a look at them, someone whose opinion I highly regard.  It's a matter of figuring out when to work up the courage to e-mail it to this person and see what comes back.  I know that I won't receive, 'This is crap!' back, he's seen what I've come up with, but as it was stated, he likes what I've started with, but it's not me.  Not my voice.  Maybe one day soon we can get together and put our heads together on this one, but I'm wary of how to approach that book!  I'm working on some other things right now, because that's the way it goes with us writers, I tell you.  ;)

At any rate, though, I'm writing again.  I'm happy about that, because it's coming along nicely...

So, tell me about your New Year's celebrations?  What all sorts of shenanigans did you get into?  Whatever it was, I hope you were responsible and safe in your adventures!  Happy New Year, everyone.  

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