I had one of the best end of the years in a very, very long time. It probably was the best, considering the level of general optimism radiated by me. I worked hard, felt that I was being (reasonably, but not sufficiently) rewarded for it, and finished the month full of energy and ideas and plans for the new year. I finally made my peace with Christmas, throwing a lavish party for 18 close friends and family with all the expected treats: an enormous turkey, lots of alcohol and chocolate, two whole days of eating and watching It's A Wonderful Life. And then, four of us went to the Scottish Highlands, as north as it could ever be, to hide away in a beautiful cottage and do nothing other than rest, read, drink, eat, take long walks and baths, and think about what's coming next.
Then, I realised I wasn't prepared for what was coming next.
On Saturday the 3rd I sat down to write New-Year resolution and To-Do lists, and felt sick inside. Suddenly, the carelessness and the freedom I was enjoying for the past 10 months did not feel right anymore. It seemed like 2008 had kicked me out of the house, like a loving but tough parent, and shut the door, leaving me alone in the street and the cold. It's like it was saying to me,"It's all nice and fun, darling, but this cannot go on. You better make some decisions to move forward, and you better do it now."
On Sunday the 4th, my mind was racing the entire drive home. Thirteen hours of restlessness. When we got home, still inside the car, I looked at my boyfriend and my new great friend, and said: "Guys, I don't know what's gonna happen to me this year". They burst out laughing. "Oh god, here we go again," they said, and I laughed with them. But inside, I was suffocating. I felt the shadows of my previous crisis creeping up, whispering in my ear: "Did you miss us, hun?"
I didn't. I don't. I thought I was the one who had shut the door, locked it and thrown the key away. No more sleepless nights, no more crying fits, no more distressed, desperate conversations in a bed that felt, at times, too big and empty. I got out of the car and thought to myself, "We'll deal with it tomorrow."
Then, Monday, Black Monday, arrived. My first conversation with the boyfriend ended outrageously in tears, followed by his arms around me saying we were gonna work something out. It felt like déja vu. I half-expect his hand pulling my hand, my whole diminutive body under his weight, whenever I finish a spectacle of self-pity. It was a pattern that repeated itself one, two, three times, and then at the remain of the day we worked something out. We set up a plan that will certainly soothe my mind for next months ahead, but it won't be enough to silence The Shadows that insist on throwing me off balance.
So we're gonna go away. Again.