It's the last day of 2008, the year I turned 45--by my reckoning the halfway point in my life. (I was once told, via tarot, that I would live to be very, very old, so I plan to surpass my Great Grandma D., who died a few years early at 87 because she refused to ask for help. Let that me a lesson to you, susansinclair!) This past spring was, I think, the conclusion of a two-year spiritual growth spurt that began in late March of 2006, when Ms. J and I split, Governor Jon Corzine announced a hiring freeze thus ending my chances at keeping my job for the next school year, and I faced the hard reality of a few years of serious denial regarding relationship and dissertation. (And what is a dissertation, but an intellectual relationship with one's self?)
When I moved to Syracuse in May of 2006, I began the long process of a) bawling my eyes out, b) getting my s**t together, and c) facing reality--no, really, really facing reality. The most important decision I made in that period (in addition to the usual sorts of affirmations, like "Yes, I am worthy of love/success/whatever") was to never make another decision out of fear. My choices from then on had to be positive ones: to choose to move toward something, rather than away.
I won't say this has been easy. I still spin with anxiety from time to time (someday I'll tell you about Christmas 2008...but not today), over things both worthy of serious consideration and things completely and utterly unimportant, over things under my control and things I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of influencing, even indirectly. And, of course, this decision has spawned a new set of anxieties: "Did I make that decision for the right reasons? Or am I afraid of something? Am I doing this to please someone else?" So, that's me. Live with it. Or not.
Of the two major decisions I made in 2008--to be with C. and my job--I can definitively assert that I made these decisions for all the right reasons. Which is why this turned out to be such an excellent year.