I just read the New Year's Post over at Stories She Tells and was motivated too, to reconsider New Years' Pasts as a method to motivate presence in the new year.
I too, will go back to New Years 1999 with all of its Y2K fears.
My life was on a true precipice at that moment.
I was living in DC and had literally just broken up with a woman who was never really good for me. I was finishing up my dissertation and had a few interviews in my pocket at schools all over the country for the upcoming national meetings the following weekend. I had no idea where I'd end up but I knew I'd be moving by August. It was all potential.
The gal in question was a rebound relationship. An artist whom I had met through a dating add in which I answered her call for 'interested in friendship and maybe more.' She had come to Cousin's wedding with me (I know, I know, why did I take her) in December of that year and it was there that I realized how not good we were for each other. I returned from the wedding a couple of days after Christmas and called her on the phone to breakup.
Had I had a postit note, I would have followed the Berger method.
She was furious. You can imagine, only a few days before New Year's Eve at the end of the long '90s.
I arrived at a New Year's party of a distant friend way too early but was glad I showed up because it was in Adam's Morgan and we walked only a short distance to see the gorgeous fireworks over the Mall.
I made no predictions at that point about the decade to come.
The interviews in January went well. I had a couple of interesting ones at Middlebury College in VT and one at some strange midwest city called La Crosse. There was a guy in the interview that seemed interesting but I couldn't imagine living in the small town and pointedly asked the African faculty member they had on the interview team what he thought life was like there. The others seemed so provincial: "So... Did you actually work at the World Bank?"
I didn't have the heart to tell them how UNglamorous it was.
At an interview with the University of Vermont one guy actually sat and read the newspaper the entire time. And upon arriving at an interview at some small college in Pennsylvania, the chair of the department literally beat me to the closest parking spot making me walk six blocks in the snow to the building.
So, LaCrosse it ultimately was.
I found myself there in August after a cross-country trek with a high school friend among a pile of boxes both in my office and in an apartment wondering what I was doing there.
As I now look back on the decade "of the aughts" I see my life literally unfold into what it is and will be for some time: meeting BioMom and, then, 18 month old, getting published, home refurbs, Big, this blog, biking, rollerblading, Cousin's move here. I agree with Jen -- " must admit that with so many of those monumental life experiences are out of the way, so much of it feels decided." But I think that's the point of this next stage. If we can be present here, in this space of non-anticipatoryness, in this space of already-decided, then we can relax into it and enjoy it and make the most of it.
I want to not hope for the next stage or the next thing and be in the present.