Monday, January 3, 2011

New Years Reflections and Hopes for 2011

As I was reading through my facebook friends status updates, I found this little gem that inspired me.
"I'm going to start living my life and stop letting life live me. I have to remember it's not how many don't love you that matters but how many you love."
This came with a completely predictable measure of irony as I was just lamenting how I wished I could spend more time with a friend who never seemed to have any time for me.
It's a constant reminder in my life, that I need to be grateful and committed to the friends who have always found time for me- wanted to make time for me- and not waste any more time lamenting those that don't love me and value me as I do them. It's hard to let go of the notion that I want to be liked and am not paying mind to the miracle of being liked. I have at times found myself jealous and pained and quietly suffering. I still sometimes cannot make sense of it.
This is the little girl that lives in me. The watcher. The one who watched all the other kids play but was too afraid to ask to join in.
Last year I was lamenting the terrible treatment of me by someone I had been friends with who had mysteriously disappeared and frozen me out- as I was relating the pain and confusion of this, I was reminded by the person I was talking with that I had real friends who valued me. I guess I needed this reminder again. Maybe we all need to be reminded that we don't need to chase what we already have.
On New Year's Eve, I attended a party thrown by a couple of very dear friends. Two rare individuals who are always there with an ear to listen, stories to tell, and always have words of support and encouragement. These two are amazing friends- I think I have now known them for about 19 years and in all that time, I have never heard a disparaging word from them.
Truly, this couple is inspiring. I have had deep and meaningful conversations with them for hours, separately and together, and they were always interesting, insightful and intelligent. They are open to meeting new people and some of the most welcoming and open minded people I have ever met. Their kindness is the most genuine and I value my conversations with them.
I haven't told them they are special for a long time, so I must take time in the new year to let them know this.
What I hope to learn is that it is okay to love people who don't necessarily love me back. That it is better to give that friendship and not look for something in return. In the end, it is my own thwarted expectations that do me in.
When I look to my left, the calendar sits on January and the quote this month is "Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to."
I love this. I love how for the past few days, I have seen more meaningful quotes encouraging me towards my future.
I leave tomorrow for an adventure. My daughter Marissa and I are driving to Los Angeles and will be there for two months. I began this blog as a girl who refused to give up her dream. At this moment, two of us are racing towards a dream.
What will happen? We will take each day as it comes. One step at a time. It is after all a marathon, not a sprint.
We reach not for stardom, we reach to fulfill our dreams of doing the work.
For me, the idea of being a writer, a director, an actress is the only thing I need to be doing. I need it like oxygen- it lets my soul breathe.
For Marissa, the world is just opening up to her. She will learn and love and experience life with juicy mouthfuls- she does nothing halfway. Seize the day was written for us.
My hope for this new year is that I can be open. Open to listening and seeing what the Universe is telling me and showing me. Open to meeting new people, open to the understanding that not everyone will have my best interests at heart but open to the experience of learning that will come from that.
I hope I can be the kind of friend that I want to have and remember to honor my commitments and be as honest and courageous as I can.
I try to keep hope shining in my life- and when one option closes itself to me, I shut my eyes and find the hope I need to continue. I think we all need that. Where would we be without hope?
On a bad day, we need to take a deep breath and hope that tomorrow will be better or if it isn't, hope we have the strength to survive it. I have always hoped I will find my way to my dreams. I never imagined they would happen in the ways that they have. And that beauty would come from so much pain.
I am always hopeful in the new year. It's like getting a fresh start on things. We need to know there is always a day to start over, to begin again. I know that it means nothing that only a few days ago, it was a different decade, but somehow it feels like the air is clean with possibilities.
On New Year's Eve, I was with a roomful of very positive people, many of whom are very creative- at least five times, I heard someone say "It's going to be a great year, I just know it."
That made me feel really good- that joy of hope in the air. The confidence of belief.
I hope this year brings with it lessons we need, joys we can share and when there is pain, let it be pain we can overcome.
Happy New Year.
I hope my optimism has not been too annoying today.

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