Every year, I suppose, holds some challenges. I'm sure if I went back and read prior years' penultimate day entries (for some reason I tend to reflect on that day), I suspect most of them would start with something akin to "This has been a hard year." And, well, inasmuch as life itself is filled with challenges and that's just the nature of the beast, I suppose it's true.
All that said, I don't know many people who didn't spend 2009 dealing with a heaping helping of obstacles, with a side order of heartbreak and/or grief. Between political, economic, and cultural wtf-ness, I just think a lot of Americans are generally in pretty rough shape these days - and even if they aren't objectively sucking wind due to bad luck or shit happening or whatever, I think there's an energy permeating our cultural landscape that just weighs on us all, particularly those who already carry the heavier burdens of oppression.
Among the foibles of my life this year, I have felt more and more battered, with less and less refuge. Can you say burnout?
As usual, with the year drawing to a close, I have many more questions than answers. I've been struggling to hold a center of gratitude, as I wade into the anger, fear, impatience, sadness, and despair that have been coming up again and again. Circumstances and choices have converged to push my buttons in shocking new ways this year, and I've been struggling with old reflexes.
I recognize, like many before and after me, that I really am getting older, and that means more than getting rid of all my heels and not wanting to drink my weight in tequila five nights a week. I'm getting more honest with myself, and I'm kicking even more bullshit I entertained for the benefit of other people straight to the curb. Some of this year's revelations:
* I don't want kids. I used to say I wasn't sure. I used to say, "Maybe someday." Fuck that noise: I just don't want to have kids. I can barely make a commitment to a hairstyle, and I'm gonna jump into a lifetime of inescapable connection to another human being? I love that there are people out there who are totally into it, but that is not me. And I don't want to hear that I just haven't found the "right person" yet...if finding the perfect partner changes me such that I suddenly *do* want the child-having lifestyle, I'm not so sure that's really the perfect partner.
* I don't actually love the holidays anymore. I used to. I have fond memories of carol singing and tree-decorating and family gatherings and whatnot...but for the past ten years or so, the holidays have coincided with the busiest, most stressful time of year for my day job. December, for me, is almost always a marathon of ten and twelve hour days, and when I'm not chained to my desk, I pretty much just want to sit alone in a dark room with a drink. Also, toss in my anti-consumerist politics and the fact that I'm not a Christian, and we have a recipe for further complications. This year, as I was sitting in my dad's living room, gritting my teeth at casual bigotry and feeling more out of place than ever...I just gave up. I don't love this time of year, I endure it. I take a vacation every January to congratulate myself on not losing my shit in December.
* I am tired of compromise. I know that I won't be able to escape it, what with the nature of the universe and all....but my only New Year's resolution is going to be to compromise as little as possible, to stop being the guy who sacrifices my own preferences because I think I can handle disappointment better than someone else. Fuck that. I work fucking hard, I am getting what I want every time it's possible. I deserve that, and if I don't give myself what I want, who the hell ever will?
In other news, I have been sitting on a blog update about the whole rape thing. It's pretty intense, and I'm not sure I'm ready to go there. But...I also kind of want to put it out there. We shall see.
In happier news, if you're in Chicago during the month of January, you can see me play shows on January 5th (at Uptown's fabulous Wild Pug's "Unpugged" acoustic night) or January 16th (at the New Moon Music Showcase at The Leadway in Andersonville). Both are free shows, with great acts joining me on stage. Hope you can make it out!
And if you can't, well, I hope 2010 brings you exactly what you want, whatever that may be.
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.