Friday, December 31, 2010

When the Dealin's Done

It was June. And I was tired.

I was dealing with the residuals of some ridiculousness from earlier in the year, and I finally got to this place where I just stopped and said, How about a breather? And what if that breather lasted a while?

For some reason, six months seemed like the right amount of time, so that's what I chose. And while I was afraid to admit it too strongly at the time (because every vow is tested at some point), I knew that I would spend the next six months in one very serious sabbatical from dating.

So here we are, December 31, and I don't feel all that different. As in, I don't feel like I'm ready to wake up tomorrow and dive head-long into the relationship of my dreams. I mean, can you imagine? No. If anything, I think I feel more...temperate.

There have been these moments of stillness and silence in these 180 days...these times when I have had to quietly choose the right. And while I wish I could say that my heart has been steadfast enough to inspire the masses, I'm afraid that along the way, I have remained human. As I was reflecting on this unique little journey a couple of weeks ago, I was tempted to think that I've not accomplished anything of value, that since there was no grandiose epiphany, perhaps I had failed. Perhaps I had missed the point.

But see, the thing is, I've gotten the point. I'd gotten the point before I decided a break was in order. It's just that I needed the opportunity to flesh that out. I needed to have a chance to say what needed to be said...but I needed to learn how it is that I say that. I've known all along that my strength of compassion is also one of my greatest challenges, that I can hope in someone long after others have walked away, and often when I should have as well. What I didn't know was that, at some point, I could be compassionate without sacrificing my own dignity.

And what a revelation it has been. I landed in Houston in September, and it was there. I knew instantly that I could choose to be calloused, abrasive, rude. I truly had every right. Or I could choose mercy. My heart kind of gravitates toward mercy. So I chose mercy, but I chose well. And I learned that this was a good thing, that I could simply be kind. Simply.

What a marvel it is to learn how to be the best versions of ourselves. I only feel that I am just reaching the place where priorities have shifted into order and things are beginning to make sense. My daughter is such a gift, and being a mother is an enormous responsibility. My career is wonderful, but it demands an intense amount of focus. This is an extraordinary life. And I am beyond blessed to be living it. My hope is to live it well, and I'm grateful for the lessons that I've learned this year, both the painful ones in the beginning, and the peaceful ones in the end. So tonight, I celebrate. I started the year begging 2010 it to be better than the last. And while the year itself has no actual responsibility in the matter, I can honestly say that my desire was fulfilled. I hope yours was as well.


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