Midnight Peck

I can’t say I’m terribly sorry to see 2014 go. 2014 knocked me for a real loop. If people still had parties with piñatas, I’d be the first up to bat. I’d be the brunette taking practice swings, over in the corner.

But according to everyone on Instagram, this was the Best. Year. Ever. I can’t help but wonder whether any of those people will be pajama-clad and alone tonight, when they ring in the New Year.

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Where are the people who don’t have dazzling plans or dozens of friends in their same city? Where are the people with a shortage of shimmery tops to choose from, and a zero percent chance of so much as a peck at midnight? Those are the people I need to know. Would like to know.

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It’s hard not to feel lonely on these days. These Special Occasion days. (After this we should be good until Valentine’s Day, I think…but good gracious, let’s not think about that.)

Don’t get me wrong — I’ll make the chicken thighs currently defrosting in the fridge, I’ll light the candles all over the dining room, I’ll fuss a cloth napkin closed, I’ll put something perfectly lovely on to play — but it’s likely the night will be tinged with a little lonely. A little sad.

I’m fully prepared, and I don’t mean to whine. But I just can’t help but think that we aren’t meant to be alone. We aren’t meant to be without family, without friends, and without romantic love. Not all at once. We aren’t meant to sleep in a skinny column on a queen bed, pillows stacked on the empty side. The silent side, the side that never retains any heat.

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But when I think about romantic love, I also think: we aren’t meant to sit in uncomfortable silence, across from someone who suddenly seems like a stranger in familiar clothes. We aren’t meant to hold our own hands, in our own laps. Are we?

It’s not that I miss any of the people who have been. It’s more like I miss the one who hasn’t been yet. I miss him specifically. As impossible as that is.

There are other things to cross my fingers for, of course. Other things to wish for and hope for. More clarity, for instance — in 2015, that’s what I’d really like to see more of.

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More clarity, and more perspective. More opportunities for genuine reflection. More moments of stillness, and such staggering beauty. And peace — I would like to finally know peace.

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For the last half of 2014, that’s essentially been my only job: to re-think beauty and keep working to find peace. I’ll have to come up with a different answer if a future employer asks, obviously, but that’s the truth. That’s what I’ve been doing. And that’s what I’m going to need to keep doing, if I’m truly going to shake this thing.

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It would be easy to get complacent now, I think. It would be easy to say: well, I’m weight restored now (!!!)and that’s good enough; the rest will just come. Or: it’s been months since I’ve done anything disordered, and days since I last noticed a disordered thought (more !!!), so I must be in the clear now. It must be all downhill from here!

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Except I’ve been doing this for long enough to know that there are about SIXTY slopes to this, and unfortunately, progress is not unidirectional. And while the last month has been one for the record books, it is going to get more difficult now. January is going to be more difficult.

I am afraid. I am always afraid; I am tired of being afraid. I am tired of being alone, too.

Next year, I hope to be able to write something more like this:

“It is December and you are looking back. You are sorting through
 the year and you are celebrating. So many victories.
 You let someone love you. You loved you. You caught your dream 
between your fingers. You sang it to sleep at night. You made it through.
 You did better than make it through. You made it here.” – Fortesa Latifi, 2014

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