As I sat on the bus on New Year’s Eve, tears were running down my face. I was feeling anxious. The fact that my being always seems to hear the message that New Year’s is a marker of all the things I haven’t done, all the ways I haven’t grown, all the loneliness that hasn’t melted from my life, left me feeling a bit of a mess.
This past year has felt like a hard one. There was nothing grandiose that left me feeling that way. It was a combination of a voice saying I still hadn’t figured out my life (that “still” there feels like a harsh critic), my finances were still tight, and honestly there was some medical stuff that left me feeling sad and fatigued for the majority of the year.
All of that left me here, on a bus, going to meet people for the first time, on a holiday that left my soul feeling a little tender.
I turned to a place of solace that has felt a bit more absent in these past several years: music. While music has been my emotional companion for much of my life, something in my relationship with it has shifted within the past few years. In this moment, I reached through my memory to find a song to give me solace. I settled in as I listened to Gabe Dixon, as he sang “All Will Be Well.” As the chorus played, I heard the words, “all will be well, even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself.” And I let that resonate.
I don’t know what I expected my life to be. If you had asked me at various times, I probably would have given you different answers. I do know that I didn’t expect to be here at this point in my life. Feeling stuck. Feeling like I don’t know what direction to go. I hear all of these feelings as a failure.
So I listened. All will be well. Even if I haven’t taken the path that I thought. All will be well.
And for the past week and a half, as I’ve entered the new year, I’ve been listening to the messages in the music that I have loved, that gave me peace, that reminded me of the beautiful parts of myself. I’m feeling a bit more refreshed, a bit stronger.
I’m trying to remind myself of that strength that I’ve felt before. Even these words, and the words I have written here in the months and years that have come before are evidence that I am not a failure. I’m just a person who has fumbled at times. I’ll find my way, hopefully remembering the best parts of myself as I go. I’m optimistic that this year will be a better one.