At this point in human development, it seems trite to make New Years Resolutions. Most people make them and break them; they feel guilty for a moment, but then they move on. For the past few years my resolutions have been fairly easy to keep: don’t drink to the point of illness; pay my bills on time; compliment someone if I see something about them that I really like (you never know who needs a kind word at just that moment); look for something every day that makes me say, “Wow!” whether it’s a sunrise, sunset, a bird in flight or just the act of breathing in clean air. Appreciate everything.
Maybe it’s because it’s the time of year when we look back and wonder what we’ve done with the year gone by, and we start wading into the melancholy pool. Or maybe it’s just me. I felt lost for the better part of the day and I couldn’t put a finger on why. Maybe it’s knowing I don’t have to go to work today (Monday) that I feel unanchored. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t written in weeks (and thank God, I fixed that problem tonight), and I’ve put so much energy into knitting that I’m afraid it’s distracted me away from writing entirely. Sure, knitting is fantastic; it’s relaxing and exciting and it draws deeply from my creative side. It’s play that results in something tangible and useful. Hell, I’ve been writing for years and all that’s done is create a bunch of stories no one’s bought yet. I can’t say they’re all that useful, but socks? Good Lord, are those useful!
Anyway, I sat at the computer tonight, taking advantage of a little quiet time because John went to bed early, and I wrote away on my little love story, wondering if I had any concept of getting the emotions right or had I lost touch with that too.
The other day I found out that the first person who really meant anything to me, romantically, has a page on Facebook. It stole my breath to see that face hasn’t changed after all these years. I don’t like going back there; it’s like feeling all those emotions again, fresh and raw. Everything I felt that can never be anything. It’s like standing in a yarn store with $100 in my hand, and I can’t buy anything. Not won’t, not shouldn’t; just plain can’t. It hurts, but it’s part of my past and I know how to deal with it. Just file it away under Memories and move on, but tonight as I was writing about two people falling in love, I went back for a reminder of how it felt.
Afterward, while I wrote, iTunes played on in my headphones. I think a tiny part of me asked for a hint, a sign, anything that would tell me I was on the right track in this world. I’ve done that before and sometimes it amazes me, the messages I get. I mean, 1100 songs, and to get two in the exactly right order that show me something I didn’t see before? What’re the chances of that? I may have lousy luck at slot machines, but my iPod almost never fails me. So tonight, after I closed Facebook, I heard Van Halen and the lyrics, “How will I know when it’s love?” (Say what you want; I still prefer the Sammy Hagar Van Halen to David Lee Roth.) Perfect question. What I felt before wasn’t love; it was infatuation. At the time it felt like love, but I know now, knowing John, having the boys, what I felt before was hormones, inexperience, and longing. It was not love.
But then the next song gave me a sense of resolution, Martina McBride’s “God’s Will”. See, in the scene I’d been working on at the time the song came on, the hero is talking to his sister about his niece with autism and what he can do to help her. He’s a social clod most of the time and he’s not sure how to deal with his growing feelings for the story’s heroine, but his emotions for this little 6 year old girl are right there on the surface. He doesn’t hold them back. Through a little girl who can’t speak, he’ll learn how to express himself. Being close to autism myself, I’ve always wanted to write it into a story. I didn’t think it would be this one, but my CP reminded me that whatever’s going on in the story, it has to get worse before it gets better. A writer who can’t communicate has a real problem, and that’s Gabe’s problem, but it’s not a problem when he’s with his niece Angela.
Anyway, between “How do I know when it’s love?” and “God’s Will”, I think I know where my path is now. I can’t quite see it but I can feel it. That’s what faith is all about, right? So I resolve to keep following this path and see where it takes me. I still wonder what might have been, but it isn’t what I have, and I appreciate everything I have. I just needed a reminder of how fortunate I am to have what I have, to be where I am, and to love who I love.
Bring on 2010! It’s all good.