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Is this door opening or closing? Photo by Flickr user Brad Montgomery (Creative Commons license).

Is this door opening or closing? Photo by Flickr user Brad Montgomery (Creative Commons license).

As one year closes and another opens, we have a choice. We can look back at the one closing or we can look forward at the one opening.

2014 was not my best year by a longshot. It’s in the running for one of my worst. That isn’t to say that good things didn’t happen. I’m trying to focus on those good things, when my mind tries to kick open the closing door.

I’ve written two posts recently (one for Revolution John and one for the Center’s blog) about New Year’s resolutions. I don’t really make them. Or, I make the same one every year: to just try to have a better year than the one before. To try to be a better person than I was.

I also would like to drink more water and meditate.

When you’ve had a bad year, maybe your tendency is to kind of close off to the world a little. It’s strange, but I write more when I’m going through a hard time. I’ve been writing fiendishly for months. Closing off to the world sounds like a great idea after I’ve published an essay about intensely personal and difficult things. Writing plainly, in first-person prose, is a deviation from my usual genre of poetry, and a necessary one because of the nature of my chosen topics. In other words, at this stage in my written exploration of issues like domestic violence, rape, and the see-saw of success and struggle as a single mom, I want to speak outright and say exactly what I mean. That forthrightness comes with its own anxieties. More than ever, I worry about balancing my need for release through writing about things that have happened to me and my need for privacy, which for me is the same as safety and comfort. I worry about the repercussions of writing about others. I worry about my son someday reading what I’ve written about people he knows and loves. I worry I’m not worrying enough about it.

So: drink more water, meditate, cope with anxiety. Write. Not as a resolution, but as a way of life.

Happy New Year, and may you find your balance each day, if only for a moment.

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