Hope is a trickster. It can get a girl telling herself stories, weaving tales about how things should play out and what should happen. Hope favours specific outcomes, the story has just one ending and it's one that is happily ever after. If a girl isn't careful, hope will break her heart and in the process she forgets to appreciate whatever actually did happen. 2015 was a year of hope. Three times I told myself stories. Three times I imagined what might-could-should happen, and three times I then wished upon twinkling stars, negotiated with unseen forces, begged pleaded and cajoled, and tried every last thing I could imagine to bring those stories to life. And I failed, and I was shattered.
Now that 2015 is coming to a close (and would it please hurry the fuck up?) I have to admit looking toward 2016 with more than a little anxiety. I don’t know that I am up for still more unhappy endings. So there will be no stories. There will be no hope. No resolutions. No promises. I may move far far away. I may not. I may get a dog. I may not. I may renovate this house. I may not. I may date. I may not. I may travel to far off lands. I may not. No hopes. Just get up January 1st and take it as it comes, then do that again another 364 times. Some days will be great; some days will be terrible (I bet a bunch of those will be Mondays). No bargaining, no begging, no howling at the moon, just see what happens.
I am not wholly without ambition as the new year starts. I will try to stand on my own feet and give my friends’ emotional upper bodies a break from pulling me up off the floor every time I tumble. With luck I may even find myself on the floor a little less often, anyway. I'll keep having daily Wash the Dishes Dance Parties, and Brush My Teeth Dance Parties, and Spin Round and Round in the Dining Room Until the World is Spinning Dance Parties, just because they're fun. I’ll try to continue embracing adventure. 2015 was scary; really, really, fucking scary. But I pushed myself to do even more frightening things, and I learned that being scared is not the worst thing in the world. Being scared feels a lot like a reminder that one is, no matter how improbably, still alive. Not only is fear surmountable, but one can derive a real sense of power from overcoming it and even, sometimes, have a bit of fun. So, 2016 bring it. And I’ll try to keep some perspective. If things aren’t life and death, they aren’t “life and death” and I can just let them go. In 2015 I became less belligerent, less strident, and less willing to take on every single thing with my dukes up. I’m going to try to hang onto that. But no promises.
Last year I bought a calendar with a different outhouse for every month, reasoning “If the year is going to be shitty, I might as well just accept it.” In retrospect, maybe I should have just gotten the baseball one. This December I once again brought home a calendar for the year to come. But this year it features art to remind me that while things will undoubtedly still be shitty from time to time, 2016 may well contain some beauty as well. But I’m not going to hope for it.