The count down for the start of the New Year is beginning. It's only a few days away and I'm in a constant jittery state of anticipation. Eva was complaining about the hype that comes along with the New Year this morning. It's just another .Why wait for a New Year to do the things that you plan to do?
I guess for me at least another year has a sense of monumental hope. It’s like a brand new notebook and you can gladly throw away last year's notebook. There's a sense of finality in saying good bye to the old year. As if you can burn it, along with the ashes of bitterness, depression, hurt, and heart break. I clutch my own list of New Year Resolution's to me possessively both mentally and physically. When I'm frustrated, I visualize that list with its vague almost abstract desires and run through them. I know what they mean. I know what I wish for. I know what I want to achieve. I just have to get there, so I take a deep breath, paste a smile, and exude the bubbly charm that I know I'm capable of. As if the person frustrating me were a pack of pins I could bowl over with a smile and carefully chosen words. There's a state of barely contained exuberance inside me, a Joie de Vivre, very much like a bubble that expands as I try to contain it within me. I'm struggling to keep my heart full of it and to hold on to that feeling for as long as I can.
Today while walking past the fridges at Union Coop that kept the Ornamin C and Red Bull, the gust of air conditioned wind brushed against me. I had a sudden memory of my grandfather sitting down next to me during lunch time and his gnarled tanned hands squeezing a mango on rice. I remembered how he dyed his beard on a little table and chair by the porch. I remembered the way his grizzly goatee scratched my cheek as he kissed me with a chuckle. I remembered how he always smelled of tobacco and how he sprayed Romance perfume. There was a sense of peace just sitting next to him early in the morning, feeling a slight chill in the air while a rooster crowed in the distance. The other day in Yoga class as the class was ending; there was this moment in the dark studio. The sunlight poured through the window. It warmed my arms. It dazzled my eyes so I closed them and in the distance I heard a rooster crow and it just took me back to that place of safety and peace.
There were no explosions, no New Year's Eve miracles, at least not yet. There was just me focusing on my breath and extremely aware of my body aching in protest at the Yoga poses I put it through after hibernating for so long. I was alive and grateful, simply to exist within my own skin. To hear my heart beat slowing down after pounding in my ears a few minutes ago. I felt a rush of love coursing through me for the world around me and the abundance within it.
I felt that rush again in belly dancing class. None of us knew the steps. All of us struggled to catch up with our beautiful willowy teacher and the easy way with which she moved her hips. All of us felt gawky and clumsy as we stumbled to the steps. I caught sight of myself in the mirror, scowling, because I kept missing the beats. I ended up grinning as I saw the girls behind me all with similar expressions of dismay and insecurity. There was that rush of love and forgiveness again for myself, for the girls, and most of all a sense of camaderie. What's wrong with looking foolish if we're having fun? What's wrong with looking foolish if there is joy to be had? If you feel your teacher is passionate and you can feel her joy in every little step, why shouldn't you smile in return? I ended up twirling, skipping, and just for a moment I almost felt like I knew what I was doing. But that's okay too, tomorrow is another day with another challenge.
As I count down the days left till the turn of a New Year, I also count my blessings. I'm grateful for so many things in my life. I'm grateful for my family and my talented eloquent hilariously funny siblings. I'm grateful for my cousins who rock my world with their sweetness. I'm grateful for my friends because at this point in time I can honestly say that the friends in my life are worth having and I am richer in heart and spirit because of them. I love the friends who see through my defenses with gentle and careful intuition. I love the friends who make me laugh harder than I can imagine myself capable of laughing. I love the friends who spend hours analyzing behaviors of people with me and coming with hilariously accurate conclusions. I love friends I have so much in common with wether it’s a love of books, languages, or foreign movies.
I'm eternally grateful w el7emdellah Rab el 3alemeeen first and foremost that I have words to express myself with and enough self reflection to understand myself and my loved ones. I read this quote today "Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment." I sincerely believe that a person with no self reflection whatsoever ends up distorting whatever they apply themselves to and never make progress. People are not what they say, but what they do. I sincerely hope this New Year brings a change. I'm not going to say what kind of person I am. I'm going to be that person and let actions speak louder than words. I want to be better than I was yesterday and I want the person I am tomorrow to be better than the one she is today. We've all been given a brand new day, and a brand new year, old stories have no place in them. There is only place for new stories, new hopes, new dreams, new challenges, and a newer me.