I was so close to postponing this entry. I spent most of the past week stressing about which change I should be making for the LAST WEEK OF THE BLOG, LIKE, EVER. I obsessed over the ones that fell through the cracks, the ones I was too lazy to attack – so much so that I found myself mid-week without really having committed to much of a change.
Thus, I thought I’d just push it back another week. Postpone the inevitable. Give myself some more time to…uh, delay.
Then I had this thought, powerful and fully-formed: I don’t want to. I want to be finished with this blog. I’m done.
So I decided that this would be my change. Letting go of the anxiety and worry and the regrets and fears that I didn’t do a good enough job, and just letting this week and this entry be whatever they were going to be. If that sounds lame or disappointing, or if it seems like I’m phoning it in…well, I don’t have much of a defense. It is what it is. See? That’s the change. It’s so meta it’s killing me.
Weak? Maybe. But letting things be what they are felt more right than any of the changes I debated doing. After all, I’ve built this thing up so much in my head over the past 52-plus weeks that I thought I had to cap it off with something truly phenomenal. (You might have expected that, too. If so, my apologies. You can thank me later for that life lesson in expectations and disappointment.)
Nothing I debated doing – a week without TV, going gluten-free, being a tourist in my own town – really spoke to me. I’m tired. It’s cold. I love TV too much. The only thing that did speak to me was the realization that I was mentally finished with this project.
Naturally, upon realizing I wasn’t going to commit some sort of heroic life-alteration this week, there emerged some of the old, habitual feelings of failure, the usual negative self-talk about not seeing things through. But I was surprised at how quickly those fell away.
Turns out I’m perfectly okay with the imperfection of this project.
That wouldn’t have happened without the preceding year of trying changes, failing sometimes, succeeding others and all along being willing and open – to varying degrees, yes, but always just enough.
So was the past year of blogging everything I thought it would be at the outset? Not at all. I thought that my entries would alternate between bravery and hilarity, always punctuated by searing, original insight into the human condition. Of course, it would be so earth-shattering that it would go viral, blowing up the interwebs. Publishers would be knocking each other down to put out the book version of what would surely be an international best-seller.
It didn’t quite happen that way. Why? What I didn’t account for? My fantasies didn’t exactly account for me. My own human condition, replete with illness, ennui, laziness, exhaustion, fear and all the other things that proved stumbling blocks to one giant change after another.
That’s not to say this hasn’t been triumphant for me in its own little way. I’m actually kind of proud of seeing it through, even if it doesn’t look exactly as I thought it would. (See? That’s me just letting it be!) I could go back through my entries and expound on which changes stuck and which didn’t, but I no longer think that’s the real importance here. That said, I should mention that I’m still a daily bed maker.
Well, a mostly daily bed maker.
What I am, however, is more comfortable with the idea of changing and the idea of not changing, if that makes any sense. I’m more confident, in leaps and bounds, about what matters to me and what I want my life to look like. And, more importantly, what I don’t need my life to be about.
I know myself better. I feel more…distilled. As I’ve noted what feels like a thousand times here over the past year, these changes taught me so much about the distance between the person I thought I wanted to be and the truth.
I’m pretty thankful for that.
Most of all, I’m thankful for you, my small but ferociously loyal band of readers. Without your encouraging words and your sweet eagerness for each week’s entry, I would have thrown in the towel around, say, week five. I’m glad I didn’t. Thank you for making the time in your schedule to read what I wrote and for providing me with a safe place to get brave and write about even the most difficult and personal changes. Thanks for hangin’ with me this year.
I don’t know what I’m going to do next, blog-wise or project-wise, but I have a couple of ideas kicking around. I know what I’m not going to do: worry about changing this or that. Because, irony of ironies, this past year taught me more than anything else just how much I like about my life the way it is. It taught me that I’m open to change, but I don’t need to force it. It landed me in a place where I feel I can genuinely say I’m content just to let it be.
Let it be.
Wait. That’s good stuff. Jot that down. Someone should write a song about that.