(870 words today, 600+ yesterday, I’m taking New Years Eve off!)
Yes, this is the 2010 retrospective. It’s requisite for blogs everywhere, apparently, but don’t worry, I’m not gonna list all the amazing things I’ve done this year, all the people whose lives I’ve saved, or all the life lessons gleaned. It’s more a reflection on what might make things possible.
This year last time, I’d just ended a relationship with someone who I liked a great deal, someone who I would have fallen in love with if he’d ever given me a green light to do so. I was feeling wistful and sad, but resolved and at peace about it’s ending. Re-reading my journal from the week after our split, there were all kinds of ego-protective proclamations: I wasn’t going to dally in dating anymore, I wouldn’t spend time in hopeful, sham relationships from here on out, and the next relationship I have with a man is going to be a great one, a long one, and a rewarding one, damnit.
Sometime this past spring, Jen reminded me the other day, I had told her, “I’m going to meet the man I’m gonna marry this year.”
Before I go on, this isn’t one of those New Agey, roll your eyes, law of attraction tales. In those stories, a single woman in her late 30s or early 40s is tired of being lonely, so she focuses all of her mental, emotional, and spiritual energy on attracting a good mate. She doesn’t let doubt creep in to sabotage her mission. she is dogged in her pursuit of the goal. And when she finds her dream partner, she writes a book or starts a blog about how, you too, can attract whatever it is you want, that you too, are a powerful “manifester.”
I don’t buy it, not much of it anyway. There are plenty of experiences, people, and things I have desired to do or meet or have, and not been able to “manifest” in my life. I think getting what you want is a result of hopeful optimism, persistance and luck. For me, though, there is some measure of accountability when I verbalize what I want.
At the New Years Eve party I went to in 2007, I talked to someone who had run several marathons and half marathons. I mentioned I was interested in running a half marathon in the coming year. She dismissed the idea and insisted I could run a marathon. When it was my turn to share out loud what I wanted to do in 2008, the words “run a marathon” tumbled out of my mouth. My stomach tensed up and I thought for sure I would end up eating my words, not running a marathon. But, in October of that year, I crossed the finish line with sore, shaky legs at the Nike Women’s Marathon after running 26.2 triumphant miles.
In April of 2004, I went to a book talk by an author who’d written a book on making creative dreams come true. I was burnt out at work, newly split form a man I thought I’d marry and depressed. She invited people up to share their dreams and, though I never do this type of thing, I got up and put myself in line. I had no idea what my creative dream was. I thought I might say that I wanted to have a career in writing, but when I got to the mic, I said, “I want to quit my job and move to Mexico.” I heard the words and looked at the mic, wondering who hijacked my voice and said that. The look of shock on my face was so clear that the author said with a giggle, “Did you know you were going to say that?” I didn’t. But, on August 18, 2004, I flew to Mexico City, where I caught a bus to Xalapa, a city I lived in, and healed in, for almost 8 months.
So, yes, I did say this spring that I’d meet my future hubby in 2010, but I didn’t really believe it. I was not convinced in the least that it was likely to happen. But I was, instantly, more motivated to do what I could to increase my chances.
I stopped casually dating guys, I joined match.com, I emailed every “very liberal” man working in education, non-profits or creative fields from Santa Cruz to San Francisco. When I didn’t hear back from the guy who’s profile I liked the best — the one who wrote about making time to care for his physical, mental, and spiritual health and about his belief in working for social justice and equality, I emailed him again. He responded. He was my third, and last, match date. He’s my partner now, and though I’m not married, he’s the kind of guy I would marry, and that’s new for me in my history of men.
I could write about three or four times I have labored in vain for the things or life circumstances I wanted for every “success” I’ve recounted here. I know that the particular alchemy that you need to live the life you want may be as spotty in it’s ability to spin gold out of lesser metals as it has been for me. But don’t be afraid to say out loud, with feigned confidence even, what it is you want out of 2011. It may be just the kick in the ass you need to create some favorable conditions for your dreams to be birthed.
Or it may not, but I think it’s worth a try.