I've always felt that New Year celebrations are a bit overexaggerated and I've never quite understood all the hype. People and their resolutions they never keep, their promises to themselves and to others that they will somehow magically change into something better when the clock strikes twelve (or rather when they wake up hung-over the next morning). Most people know they won't make it to February, meaning we all start each new year lying to ourselves. How sad.
I've heard for twenty-five years that where you are at midnight is symbolic of where you'll be for the rest of the year, and trust me, in the race to be somewhere amazing I always seem to find myself somewhere no one would ever want to be (peeing in Safeway parking lots, cleaning up my husband's best friend's face after I accidentally smashed it open on a plate full of glass, projectile vomiting red wine on my own bathroom floor; you get the idea). And the first day of each new year always seems to be spent grumpy, more because I feel let down than because of the splitting headache and constant nausea or the fact that I am cleaning up my own vomit.
I just never got it. In January it's dark and it's the beginning of winter and it's cold and rainy and I still want to stay in my pajamas most days and eat copious amounts of dark chocolate and play board games and read books. I'm not ready for a new beginning because I'm still in hibernation mode and there's still six months of school or work or whatever until the weather gets nice and I start itching for new horizons. I want a fresh start come spring.
Which is why this last day of December as I was drifting off to sleep well before midnight, perfectly sober and perfectly exhausted from the final day of moving out of our apartment in Chamalières, I was completely caught off guard by my overwhelming sense of renewal and bliss. It was simple; I was curled up against my husband, toasty warm under a giant comforter, sleepy from the delicious meal we had just eaten, physically worn out from a day of moving and cleaning and stressing, and perfectly content listening to my partner's even (if not rather loud) breathing and the purring of our cat curled up at our feet. We were technically homeless (crashing at his parents' house), very poor (neither of us had gotten our last pay check yet) and absolutely unsure of our future (no definitive plans for housing, occupations or way of life for 2011). It was perfect.
And for once I got it. I understood the New Year. It is a fresh start. It is symbolic. It represents what you will be doing for the next year just as much as, as an ancient Tibetan teaching suggests, "If you want to know your future, look at what you are doing at this very moment."
At this very moment I am immigrating to the United States with my French husband. At this very moment I am learning as much as I can about instructing a language so that I can become the best French teacher I can be. At this very moment I am detoxifyng my body and nurturing myself with as much local, fresh and organic food as possible. At this very moment I am preparing myself and my family to bring children into this beautiful world. At this very moment I am learning, I am growing, I am loving and I am loved, and I could not ask for a better way to jump into a new life.
a few words about miss chelsea elizabeth...
oregon-born, seattle-raised, bellingham-bred and franco-refined, she had moved back to the states from her affairs across the atlantic & now resides in columbia city with french husband & love of her life rémy. they spend most of their time taming the garden, taking care of their three chickens & two cats, and preparing the urban homestead for a new little chick of their own.
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