The whirlwind that has been 2004 is winding down -- now merely a consecutive run of hours, really -- and all that this year is so too is fading. The fear, anger, sadness and pain that I've experienced this year has slowly but surely trickled into the past, and like a phoenix rising from the proverbial ashes, who has emerged is someone very much like me, but stronger, happier, more confident and more assured of my place and purpose in life. Lofty and self-important, perhaps, but never have I been this certain that everything will be okay. My family's bonds, which were shaken mightily this year, have not only remained intact but become stronger. I found someone with whom I want to spend my life making happy and from whom I can derive happiness, without the need for schedules, ultimatums or insecurities. And I realized that things, no matter how awful, shitty or repulsive, really do happen for a reason.
Work-wise, the shit hit the fan with a vengeance. When the world is turned on its ear, everything follows suit, for better or worse. It must be some sort of cosmic attempt to keep the ship righted, so with the upheaval of August came work-related chaos as well. Luckily we've got a wonderful client base that was understanding and caring and patient and a positive, rather than a negative, factor. Couple that with the fact that we as a unit do good work and enjoy a great reputation and we landed on our feet and hit the ground running. And as one piece fell into place, others filled in as if by magic. It's like, I realized recently, a skyscraper: the foundation strong, the structure remains in place even if a part of it is damaged. Once the injured section is repaired the building remains, and perhaps grows stronger and more solid.
Personally, I learned a lot about those closest to me, from down the hall to down the block to across the country to across the world and, as a result, a lot about myself. A friend recently shared with me a quote from Oscar Wilde, which is as follows: "A true friend stabs you in the front." The quote signifies that those who truly care about you will give you the truth, despite your disinterest in hearing it. And I was 'stabbed' many a time by friends, most of whom, upon hearing of August's news, responded with "What were you thinking?" It's somewhat of a relief that everyone who had prior knowledge of my situation had very similar reactions, but very disconcerting that I was the only one who didn't see it coming. Ironically, both my parents saw the coming storm on the horizon and tried to alert me, but part of adulthood is learning who to trust and who not to, and to see dysfunction and disingenuous people for what they are. I'm glad my personal learning experience didn't similarly conclude as did David Keith's character in An Officer and A Gentleman, who commits suicide as a result of a woman's deceit; unfortunately, no one expected it would be my father, rather than me, who wound up in the hospital as a result of their behavior. With the passing of 2004, all of the anger, sadness and pain that they caused will be buried, and all that remains now is the lesson. And, as Bo Bennet wrote: "It is not our mistakes that define who we are; it is how we recover from those mistakes."
So where does that leave us at so critical and significant a juncture in time? 2005 will be a momentous, important, wonderful year; I'm looking forward to each of its 365 days as opportunities to be happy, to be thankful, to smile and to appreciate what I have. My father, back from a place I cannot fathom; my family, humming and purring along the highway of life like a 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona; my conscience, clean and content; and my Kitten, bringing me to a place with just a smile or a glimmer in her eye. Thinking about her, I am instantly and constantly reminded of lyrics from a Steely Dan song, Almost Gothic: "She's pure science with a splash of black cat."
I am looking to 2005 and the future as a sort of reprieve for the mistakes of the past few years and the return to normalcy that escaped me during the second half of 2004. As quickly as things became as horrible as they did, my amazement and wonder in life has indeed been reborn, and I am thankful. I wish those of you who have been there for my family and I over the past year and before have a safe, happy, healthy, wonderful 2005 and beyond. Of course, I wish those things for my family as well, but to be where we are, especially considering where we've been, makes wishing for anything seem greedy. I will, however, make one final wish, and that is for my other half: I hope that our life together knows no bounds, no limits and no delays to its journey. Above that, I hope we never spend another day or night apart. You've taught me that burying the past is worthwhile but embracing the future is crucial. And I'm looking forward to validating the optimism and the happiness you've rekindled in me, not just in 2005 but forever.
Wishing you all a happy new year seems so inadequate, so I will thank you again for being you and for being there and wish to you and your families and friends nothing but good things for 2005 and the future.
When The Sun Meets The Sky
This Sunday, you were blowin' through my mind,
Like Tuesday, you were burnin' in my eyes.
I hoped today could be just kind of my way
'Cause it so much matters that you're there;
And I'd hoped today could lead me into your way,
But I fell down in some disrepair.
The sparks here, they can lead me up the town,
But it's dark here, if I don't have you around.
So I hoped today would lead me kind of your way,
And the sun would be shining on my face;
And I'd hoped the road would lead me to your doorway,
But I fell down in some disrepair.
So when the sun, meets the sky
I'm gonna take a ride,
And get to where I do;
When your love is gonna call me home I will run to you,
the way you want me to;
Oh we'll sing.
I hoped today would lead me kind of your way,
With a love, and treasures we'd find there;
And through all the fog, the cracks, the cogs, a gateway,
There I'd find someone to repair me.
So when the sun, meets that sky,
I'm gonna take a ride,
and get to where I do.
And with your love is gonna call me home,
I will run to you, the way you want me to.
So when the sun starts to shine,
I'm gonna take a ride, and
get to where I do,
When your love is gonna call me home.
I return to you,
the way you want me to.
Oh, we'll sing.