I have a confession to make. I hated 2009. The year was a mesh of turbulence, stress and internal agony. The year through I felt as if I was consistently coming up with the short end of the stick. Don’t get me wrong I pushed forward like a bull demanding respect, refusing to fall into the stagnant patterns tearing away at my consciousness, but the grueling battle was all up hill. Far from what I had imagined when I made the decision to move back to the US in spring 2008.
When this new year rolled in I was ready, out with the old and dammit lets start anew. I took in a short-term sublet, was gearing up to throw myself into completing my second novel and I even looked for work. Even though I didn’t want a third roommate and I didn’t want to work, I trudged on. I’m a trooper. Well the new roommate turned out disastrous [see The Woe of Subletting]. I found a job but the company decided not to spend the cash on brining me on and I was struggling to find the mind space to write. How did my new beginning fall flat on its face and the new year had barely gotten started?
Then something clicked inside. I’m a settle nettle. OMG, WTF? I’ve been settling [gasp!]. I’ve settled on jobs I was overqualified for. Settled for men I wasn’t interested in. Stayed in friendships that weren’t friendly. I didn’t want to sublet the third bedroom but I did. I didn’t want the job I took when I returned from West Africa but I took it. I didn’t even want to live with roommates for the past three years and could have afforded to live alone, but I stayed.
I began to dread that 2010 was going to be a continuation of the past. Fortunately, the intense crazy of the obnoxious subletter made me wake up and realize that I don’t have to tolerate crap I don’t want. So I said No and get the hell out. No to searching for a job I don’t want; No to the self doubt that plagues me as a writer; No to the men in my life taking up emotional space, causing me financial woe and I’m single!
In the past month and half of saying No I’ve gained a sense of clarity and freedom. It’s landed me an opportunity to take three creative writing courses at Columbia, for free. I’m the only non-Columbia or Barnard student in the classes and the feedback and energy I’m taking from them has infused my writing. The first draft of my second novel will be completed by mid-March 2010. I have a new guy (that I really like) to spend time with and it’s not about what I can do for him. I was offered an apartment but after thinking about it a couple of days, I know it’s not the place for me [Jersey has NEVER appealed to me] and guess what, I can say No.
One of the male space hoarders in my old life told me that whatever I’ve been doing the past couple of weeks I need to stop because he’s not feeling my new attitude. Well hold on to the reigns sucka’ because it’s a new day and this mamacita is feeling herself.