At the culmination of each year, everyone starts to think about what their New Year’s Resolutions will be. Ringing in a New Year is often seen as a sign of renewal or rebirth for a good majority of the world. I get the added bonus, or catharsis depending on your vantage point, of my birthday falling on December 21st, a few days shy of the New Year Renewal Ritual.
My birthday has always brought with it a lot of bittersweet emotions. I have always attributed this to the fact that I am adopted, and many other adoptees attest to the fact that they too struggle with their birthday each year. It is a reminder of the life I could have had, a reminder of the fact that I was surrendered or given up because I was a burden to those I was born to, a reminder of the loss of birthrights that every other class of humans that walk this earth are entitled to, a reminder that the parents I grew up with are not the parents that gave birth to me and are not my genetic link to my ancestors or geneology. And I believe my adoptive parents have always subconsciously felt this reminder at my birthday because throughout the years, they have successfully ruined many birthdays for me; from yelling at me because I was sick, to grounding or yelling at me because I was a half hour late coming home from my 21st birthday celebration, to flat out forgetting to call me one year. Yet these are the same people who call me by 3 pm to remind me to call the other parent on their birthday if I hadn’t called yet because they thought I had forgotten.
Heading in to the New Year is always a compounded vortex of sensitivities for me. Facing the open wounds of my recent birthday woes and trying to set new goals for the upcoming year ahead all within a short period of time.
My husband recently made the comment that in years past he always goes in to each year with a positive outlook, hoping and thinking that the new year will be better than the last, planning for it to be with all the goals to set in motion to make it so. This seems like the way that most people step in to the New Year. And it is always joked about that most people fall off their own bandwagon shortly thereafter. My husband said he might do things different this year and go in to this coming year with the expectation that things will be the same, or even get worse and it will just be a surprise bonus if things turn out good for once. His words lingered in my mind.
I think he is on to something. At least for the way things work in our world, this might be the best way for us to approach our life. It may seem pessimistic and negative to the rest of the free world. This may be why we have become hermits and loners in our old age. We don’t associate well with everyone else and others can’t seem to handle our way of dealing with life.
As with my last quote that I posted, hope devalues acceptance. The more I seem to have hope that things will get better, the more expectations I have of how things are supposed to be, or that some day things will get better. And with each passing day when things don’t get better, during those moments when things take the opposite turn and get worse when I thought I was already pretty low on the totem pole (yes, I realize there are always people out there who have it worse than me), I fall deeper in to depression and feel hopeless, wanting to resist my life and run away from everything-starting over from scratch where no one knows me. This blog is sort of a testament to that, because no one who knows me has access to or knows about this blog. It is my little secret from those who know me in real life.
My “hope” (love the irony there) is that if I face the New Year setting out to accept my life and accept where I am in it and who I have become and am becoming/shifting to become, then I might find some renewal and clarity, this helping me to move forward, rather than staying stuck in this holding pattern of utter depression where I have no real game plan for how to truly get my life in order so that I can move in the direction of up.