“Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play”
“Shake It Off” – Florence + The Machine

I’ve never heard the wind blow so hard here as it did yesterday. It’s as if it was trying to blow away all of the clutter and leftover garbage from the last year. Unfortunately, it just stirred things up and threw them back in my face. It was like being swept up in Dorothy’s tornado – wicked witch and all.

2018 has been a year that I just haven’t been able to figure out. I had hoped by yesterday I would have some answers; maybe some peace. And that day – of all days of the year – the very last one, was the one full of questions and chaos. I really just wanted to skip it.

On the eve of the day that holds a new beginning, I simply wanted an end. An end to the loneliness and the struggle. I wanted to start the new year facing a bright future; an empty canvas just waiting for color. But the demons I haven’t dealt with, the grief I’ve never allowed myself to feel and that wicked witch flying around in the tornado were still standing in the way.

And this conversation I’ve been having with myself seems so very familiar. In fact, I am pretty sure I have had this same conversation with myself the past few years. I make the same wish and same promises every year. By all rights, I shouldn’t still be having this conversation. Or at least, my answers, by now, should be different.

Last night, I had a choice. Go out with people I know. Dress up. Put on a smile. Drink. Laugh. Be the life of the party. Or, stay home. Quiet. Introspective. Think too much. Drink. Cry. Wait…I don’t cry. I’ll want to, but I won’t. I don’t know how anymore. I could crawl inside myself but the answers aren’t there. I know that. I’ve looked so very hard. So I went out.  

And in all honesty, I have to say that these days have come less frequently this last year because I have chosen to be with friends when the urge to hide is the strongest. That’s a good thing. I have had wonderful things come in 2018 because of it. I’ve had Change. Upheaval. Excitement. Adventure. I’ve taken Chances and Risks and been Scared to death and Excited beyond belief.

I’ve had Challenge, and more importantly, Possibility. I like Possibility the most. It’s teaching me the lesson of patience and for that I am thankful. Remembering that the things in life that are worthwhile take Time was a lesson I had to re-learn. See, I’ve been wrapped up in the thought that I’m running out of Time. And the truth is, I have plenty left. And if I’m not patient, I’m going to make the same mistakes I’ve made before – settling for OK instead of amazing; saying yes when I want to say no; underestimating my value and selling myself short.

This morning, January 1, 2019 at 1:05 I had a short but sweet conversation with the ghost of 2018. I told her that as much as I appreciated the gifts she had given me, I needed more. And that of all the things she gave me, the one that was missing is the one I needed the most – Perspective.

A fresh outlook – one full of promise and hope. One where I have nothing but Time. Slow, sweet, Time… Time that ticks by softly, and reminds me I can’t turn it back but I can look back and use what I’ve seen to change the coming moments. Remembering that as much Time as I do have, that I shouldn’t waste it. That NOW is always the right Time to tell someone you love them and to not be afraid of the silence that may follow. And that in Time, I will become more comfortable in my own skin and appreciate the Time it took to get there.

So, that Perspective, the thing I needed the most? She finally showed up at 1:06, January 1, 2019.

“And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark aimed right at my throat”