End of year reflection has often been difficult for me. Always, I look forward. I push to get somewhere, anywhere. Permanence is, in many ways, my greatest fear. I think, if I stay in a moment or hold on too tight or get caught in being, the current won’t take me, I’ll be left behind.
For many months this year, I was frantic, that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be, not behind or ahead, just in the wrong space, the wrong job, the wrong me. I worried that I had pushed so far forward I had lost my way.
I’d like to say I changed all that, forced a shift. I’d like to say that, like a train, I pulled into the station, took this desperate, gulping gasp, and exhaled.
I remember getting caught in an elevator at work. I remember remaining calm. I remember thinking in whispers, for just a moment, maybe I’m new.
This fall I grew quiet. A birthday came and I didn’t have a party. Instead, I walked a trail of leaves with Tyler and felt happy. A week later, I visited faraway friends, the best of friends, and I remember how strange it felt to take the train back to Brooklyn, the irony of heading to a city that was being evacuated.
The storm came up and over and I had never felt so quiet and strange as I did when I found our street the same and all the others around us overturned. The days that followed silenced me. It forced someone who doesn’t like to stay anywhere, not to move, and it reminded me how, when I’m cold, I don’t fidget because I believe, against all logic, that if I remain perfectly still the cold can’t touch me.
On the first day of December, I met with friends for a long dinner and we talked about the week before, named the best moment, and it felt so perfect to remember just one small thing. Now I know what came the week after, my father’s emergency surgery, and the sudden, terrible thought, oh, my parents aren’t immoral, are they? And then.
Oh. Neither am I.
Maybe I learned a little more about reflection this year. And about being quiet. Mainly, that it’s never been about permanence at all. That’s a bigger thing. It’s about standing still for a bit to see all that flew forward. And moving forward still.