Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Other Side of Fourteen: 2009, Charlie, and Me






Last night was filled with firsts. It was the first time that I entertained for New Year's and the first time that people stayed over at the house afterwards. I went to bed late (or early depending on your labeling) and was filled with a sense of belonging and family because every bed contained a person I love.

For several years New Year's Eve made me antsy. I felt that I had to be at the "right place" and having the most fun imaginable when the year ended and the new one commenced.

On this night, we rise above ourselves and revisit the past year: our accomplishments realized, dreams that died, the person we hoped to be vs. the person we were/are.

I keep finding myself in awe of perception and how, if one merely flips the perspective even a fraction of a degree, all can change. I don't look at the New Year with dread anymore, like some point at the end of a line segment. I see it as a continuation of the circle, the invitation to renew and affirm. There is only pressure if I put the pressure on the new year and I CHOOSE not to do that to my new friend, Mr. 2009. (I think that he is a guy, 2008 was definitely a lady.)

Inevitably, I will grow, learn, seek, and create.

“Time is swift, it races by; Opportunities are born and die... Still you wait and will not try - A bird with wings who dares not rise and fly.”
 A. A. Milne (English Humorist, creator of Winnie-the-Pooh)

Expectation is an elusive phoenix... You have to know how to communicate with him, to invite him into your dreams. If you exhaust him with worry, he will become apathetic and burdensome, but let him fly, let him breathe the open air and he will alight on the tree of purpose and help give birth to a new creature. Balance the expectations with where the pilgrimage leads. The expectations are just a framework, an idea, but the phoenix might soar in another direction, a better direction. One cannot be strangled by one's own expectations. And even if there is "failure", like a phoenix, these expectations will be created anew and be perched for flight once more.

Sometimes one can suffocate the phoenix because one is so scared of the flight.

“I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can't be helped.”
Gestalt prayer
 Frederick Perls (German born American psychiatrist)

I possess expectations of ME and the standards to which I hold myself, but have learned to let go...

...of what happens outside of me...
...to let life happen and not worry about what it was "supposed" to be, to do, to see.

I have learned that one the hard way. But, not this year.

Sir 2009, oh dapper one, I welcome you and look forward to our dates together. This time, I shall pick up the check. Oh, and this is my phoenix named Charlie. He is pleased to make your acquaintance.

The artist of my perception,
Dustin

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