It’s one of those checkpoints of life: New Year’s Day.
Sometimes we make resolutions, aspiring to make goals out of dreams.
Other times, we swear off such lofty notions and go to our curmudgeonly corners, scoffing at others while we secretly wish we had hope.
I struggle between the two and, in the past, depending on how my life has gone thus far, I waver between hope and hopelessness.
2016 was not my most stellar moment in regards to my personal life, relationships with some people I desperately tried to hold on to, or in my ability to make money.
I’ve also grieved the election results, going through all but the last of the five stages–acceptance. I’ve settled somewhere between Resist and Rest, and have made it my goal to speak to the truth whether anyone likes it or not. I won’t win any popularity contests…but when have I ever sought to be loved by the masses? The answer to that is: NEVER. There are a few I still yearn to be loved by, but I continue to wait and hope.
However, 2016 began on January 1st with my first publication, a featured short story and a poem, in Firefly Magazine.
I was given the gift of a weekly column by Breaking the Legacy of Silence by Kim D. Bailey at Five 2 One Magazine in June. I’ve been published in several online journals and two print journals, and I was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by my amazing friends, family, and other writers when I was shortlisted by The Scarlet Leaf Review September 2016, with my nonfiction piece about confronting the man who molested me when I was 11-years-old, “I Took It Back.”
Firefly completed my astounding first year of publication by accepting a sequel to the short story from Issue 3 (above), in Issue 8, and closing out a successful year.
Other good things happened.
I met some exceptional people and formed beautiful relationships with a few.
I attended my first writerly conference in September, where one of my more fruitful relationships blossomed into a familial bond when S.C. McCole and I attended Jeff Goins’s Tribe Conference. He has become like a brother to me, and is the founder of Moby’s Mob.
I learned to love myself. As my other dear friend and fellow writer told me, “Look in the mirror, every day, and say, ‘I love you.'” James Stack. This waxed Al Franken from Saturday Night Live, but I tried it. It works!
Finally, I came out. After 50 years I admitted to myself, and the world, that I am attracted to women. Some of the younger generation out there don’t see coming out as a necessity, but for an old lesbian like me, it was a pivotal moment. It was a step I needed to definitively take in the demarcation of my life, the before and after (Look for my first column of the year with Five 2 One Magazine, on January 7th, where I shall expound further on the business of coming out and the prejudices the LGBTQ community still face.)
For now, I hope you’ll enjoy this song from Mary Chapin Carpenter’s album, Ashes and Roses.
Listen to the words. Her story of how the song was created is especially important.
“I dwell in possibilities/on New Year’s Day…”
New Year’s Day by Mary Chapin Carpenter