In the wake of two thousand and twelve comes a new way for me to recreate myself and the world through words. I will start here with my new beginnings, and former reflections.....A new name added to the old. A new husband, although I'm pretty sure he is the same as before I married him. A new job at a new gym. (Doing the same old wonderful thing I will never be able to stop until my body falls apart.)..... As thirty draws near, I look back and wonder where all the years have gone, where the little girl went that seems to remain within, even though the mirror suggests otherwise. (So different, yet still the same.) Just yesterday I swear I was promising my mother I would live in her attic forever. (Now three thousand miles away from that attic.) Just yesterday, I was discovering the existence of a world that went about its ways many years before I was born. And the thought, where was I those years? I am here now, but where then?
I find myself wondering now how everything unfamiliar and insecure began to shift and alter until it became today, where I sit so comfortably at my computer. No longer worried about my clothes being the right ones, finishing the ten page paper, studying to get an A on the test, or where to run into the man of my dreams.
Two thousand and thirteen years from zero, plus many more before our number system existed.
In the first few weeks of this new year will be the release of my first book. Another day I have been dreaming and dreaming of since before I can remember, like the day of my wedding (now three months past and only a memory). I am exercising the utmost patience as the printer fits for size and final edits are made, and like a child on Christmas, like a mother waiting to hold her first born child, I am so eager to open this gift and see exactly what she will look like. If people will really like her and want to spend time with her....
....Aside from all of the joyful things that have taken place over the course of two thousand and twelve, there are other things in the world which have been not so joyful. Painful things we will never forget, but wish to cast away as we begin the year anew, hopeful to rid ourselves of negativity. Nevertheless, in order to move on with our lives, we must assess our past--learn from it, and take a positive step forward. But what step is a step in the right direction?
I remember logging on to my facebook that morning, and seeing everyone's prayers multiply for the kids and the families in Newtown who were stuck face to face with a young man and ultimate tragedy. Everyone in the country left with heartache and grief and questions. Why? How? And no words to express the emotions no one should ever have to feel.
I tried to imagine being one of the parents, unsure if my child had made it out of the school safe. I tried to put myself in the shoes of the children whose warm, safe worlds were turned upside-down, and the adults who gave it everything they could to set aside their own fears to give their kids strength, not knowing what was to come. And what would it have felt like to be that kid--the one who decided to wake up one morning and do the unthinkable..
As much as we think we see it or try to imagine it, we cannot feel, know another person's hurt, fear, invincibility.
Why? How can we truly reach out for each other? How can we stop these awful, nonsensical things from happening to us, as a people? There are many with the same heartbroken response, but many with different answers: more and more guns for everyone; armed teachers in schools; more difficult for people to buy guns; no more guns; take away our right to bear arms; get help for the mentally ill; bring God back into our schools (for those that do not realize He is everywhere, always); rid the world of evil. But how?
I remember being asked as a child, "What is something you wish for?" And we would always search for that answer that could change the world as if the power lay in our own small hands, and we could say, do anything. End world hunger. Give homes to the homeless. Be kind to Mother Nature. Save the rainforest. Create world peace. As children, we wished for the bigger picture, unsure of how to start such monumental change, but always so filled with hope.
We cannot forget that every crazed gunman was a child once, however innocent and filled with hope. How then, do we keep this hope alive, in everyone? How do we create peace and end the urge for violence? Why do some have an inclination for violence, and how do we suppress it, end it, eliminate it? How do we create the feeling that we can all try to fix a problem within ourselves, no matter how unsolvable it feels?
The other night I had a dream my husband bought a gun. I woke up with such an aching sadness in my heart because somewhere deep down I have felt I could never live every day so close to something that could take the life (of a body) so fast. Not even for self protection. As silly as it may seem, I remember dreaming as a kid that if there were ever anyone trying to kill me, rob a bank, break into my house.... I would talk them out of it, and somehow try to change them for the better through words. If only the whole world could learn to win a war using words.
And no matter how hard I try, even as an adult, I feel I could never put the word "gun" in the same sentence as "world peace" and have it make any sense.
I remember being in the middle of my younger years, feeling like the world could exist just fine without me. Go about it's daily routine without even realizing or caring that I was gone. That I did not matter. Now I realize that even if it is one word that I write, someone, somewhere will read it. Every day every person impacts another. Every person exists, and plays a part. Every person is important, no matter how unimportant they may feel.
I am a person. Like you, like her, like him, like them. Like the Chinese, the Jewish, the Iranians, the South Americans, the Christians, or Muslims or Agnostics or not...Like the Texans, or the Cowboys, the Chargers, or the Chiefs. The Pennsylvanians or the Californians. Like His sons, His daughters, and all of our children and theirs. Boyfriends and girlfriends, and friends of friends. My Husband and yours and his and everyone who never wishes to have one. His wife or her wife. Doctors, teachers, bus drivers, plumbers. Writers or librarians. Blind or paraplegic. Mine and yours. Us and we. So many different answers. Yet when we look closer, closer we are all the same. Eyes, ears, hands, feet. Heart. Body. Soul. Every single person roaming this Earth, one little part of the All of Humankind.
I'll admit, I fall for the emotional ego that seems to exist somewhere inside of me every day. Being a very big sports fan, I can feel myself get so caught up in the wins and losses of every given Sunday, so upset that the stupid easy field goal that was missed could have been made for a win. But then I stop and think about it. Take myself out of it and realize that it is only a game. Why does a win feel so good? Why does it truly matter if we lose? Why am I really mad that another part of my new home state wins, instead of my old home state? Why does my new home state have so many different teams and people that are angry if the other wins? Why does that country hate our guts, when it was something some people did years ago? Aren't there "new people" every day? New people here, and new people there? "New people" in America, and "new people" in Japan and Uruguay and Botswana, moving, shifting, changing, and beginning anew? New people who move from there to here. Why are some people not okay with who they are, and others stand so firm, their views so sharp...Why must we ever resort to violence, especially concerning faith, views, understandings, that are supposed to stand for love? Why do some countries fight their neighbors and how can we learn to love thy neighbor, no matter? Why do people pass on and pass on turmoil of the past, when today is a new day? Now a new moment? How can we open our minds to every one and thing?
Maybe, possibly, perhaps..... if one day every person could recognize, all at the same time, even for just one moment... That we are all different, but ultimately the same--there would be one moment of peace throughout the world. Maybe every single one of us would begin to realize who it is we are deep within, and truly feel at peace with it. Love one another, but mostly importantly, love ourselves.