I began writing here one year ago today convinced for a myriad of reasons that "this [was] going to be my year."
I was right in all the ways I predicted, and in many that I did not.
I wanted to take this opportunity to get a little bit emotional. I am probably already one of the most emotional people you know. And .... I'm finally alright with that. (Mostly). I had a pretty emotionally charged weekend, and I don't want to get into details, I just want to cut to the chase.
I like to think everyone knows how I feel about them because I'd also like to think of myself as a pretty open book. I know firsthand, as many of you do, that some goodbyes come far too soon, far too fast and without fair warning. That knowledge has made me occasionally sappy to the point of irritating. But even I have things I haven't said when I should say them.
It seems like whenever someone we love leaves us for good, we are quickly moved to spell out our I-love-you-s to the people we have left. Because we know in those moments that time is precious, and life is short. But still, time slips away leaving us with a lot of things unspoken.
Today I'm celebrating my birthday which to me really means celebrating all the relationships that have made up my life as I know it. So here goes.
Mom, your love literally created me. I didn't know it was possible to get even closer to you, but somehow this year we did. Brian, we competed for many years but now we finally stand as equals, ready at each other's call for for help, or just to share a laugh or two. It's exactly how Dad would have wanted to see us turn out.
To all of my family and friends: I am who I am in part because of each of you and the mystery of that is something I can never wrap my mind around all the way. Growing up is so weird. I think of all of you and I say "this is my life, these are the people I keep" and I am so profoundly happy. I visualize axons in a nerve bundle. I could not untangle myself from you if I tried, and I wouldn't want to because it would hurt and things would stop working.
But it doesn't end there. Take this very seriously. My castmates and various directors. My patients, all of them. My students at Thacher. My coworkers and bosses. The friends of friends I've shared moments with at parties. Strangers on the buses and trains and planes that brought me here. Cab drivers with and without advice/cigars/cell phones/bad jokes. Bartenders. Everyone's new babies. The old man who sells ramen on that street corner in Tokyo. Your cat. Every person I met while apartment hunting. The guys I've gone on dates with. The guys I did not go out on dates with. People who have made me laugh. Or made me cry. That waitress that night. The authors of the blogs I follow. The reporters in Iran. Drunk people on the street. My new mechanic, Nick. People I met once, people I will never see again. The people who come and go every single day.
It's all connected. And we're all connected. And for the whole big picture I believe I have God to thank above all. Because God reveals Himself as Love. God is love, and I perceive that love constantly reflected by the people who surround me. And that's where I find my most honest, deepest, happiness.
... So when you have a blog you're allowed to pretty much say anything you want, huh?
This was NOT the year I reinvented myself as cool and aloof, that's for sure.
I started the blog to see where it would end up. I liked keeping it, and I think I'll keep keeping it. I will, however, be splitting off the entries about nursing and particularly homelessness into a blog of their own for professional purposes before this winter. It's something I've wanted for a while.
So I also want to take a separate minute to thank everyone who reads this. Whether you're a friend, or a curious enemy, or a stranger who accidentally found it while Google-ing "homeless" or "improv." Thanks for reading it, because without you the words are pretty meaningless.
I am looking forward to this next year. I have a few new goals. I feel less sure of how much I want some of my former goals. I don't have all the answers, but I have enough questions to keep myself and hopefully most of you sufficiently entertained for another 365 days.
This is going to be my year. And it's going to be your year too.