As I said, I started 2011 happy and ended it happy. It began at a party in a warehouse I could never find on a map, where Zac and I drank cocktails surrounded by burlesque performers, live music, dancing and dandies, all tricked out in our fancy clothes. It felt like a bubble we didn’t belong in, but were allowed to visit for a brief , sweet time.
I ended 2011 on a rooftop in the East Village with a dozen of my closest friends and champagne in water glasses, on a night so warm it could have been April. I messed up the countdown. We shouted into the night and the city shouted back at us. I kissed Zac at midnight, then he and I put our arms around Maria and we watched the edges of the fireworks that showed above the Financial District skyline to the south, listened to the distant booming sounds of hidden rockets in the air all around us, exploding below the city horizon. Later I kissed him again, and again. I was so happy I started crying.
Between those two nights I spent about half of this year miserable. Specifically, the first half. I worked so much that I burned myself out, over and over and over again like a nagging short circuit. And though I knew something was deeply wrong, I handled the fixing of it clumsily. I should have asked for help earlier, or done things differently, or a great many other “shoulds.” I spent many of the first months of this year stretched so thin and tight that it felt as though any rough touch could break me in two, and frequently did. Crying jags and rejections and ridiculous health fluctuations and refusing to eat proper food.
I fit good things into those six months, though. I made some peace with my body, and wrote some things that I’m proud of. I met and fell for a new partner, and slowly moved into the first truly stable poly relationship of my life that involves multiple loves rather than simply multiple intimacies.
But it wasn’t enough to keep me in New York, and I began desperately planning an escape route. I wanted out of this city so badly, reader. I was ready to shed everything here just to get myself out. I made serious and considered plans to move to Providence with Zac.
And then, in that quirky, insistent way this city has of clinging to people and never letting them go, it turned out I wasn’t going to be moving. Zac got a job offer here. A perfect job offer, something so unlikely and yet so suited, in every measure, to his background, skills and character.
In a three week span from late July to early August, several things happened all at once. I resigned from a volunteer job that had been causing me additional tremendous stress. Zac and I moved in together. I moved from Harlem to Sunset Park in Brooklyn. And I went freelance, full time.
I had dinner with the wonderful Kate recently and told her, when she asked how I was, that I felt as though my life was a snowglobe, and instead of shaking it up I smashed it. Five months later I am still trying to pick up the pieces to make something beautiful, but in the meantime the scattered pieces and half-built structures have a beauty of their own.
I have fallen devastatingly in love with Brooklyn. I think 2012 will be my Year of Brooklyn. After only five months here all of my love for New York, a city I was beginning to despise, has come flooding back in the face of an affordable, welcoming neighborhood; a wealth of new friends; art everywhere; beautiful and entirely new perspectives upon the city; rampant, newly minted ideas springing from every corner and everyone I meet; and the food, oh yes, have I mentioned the food? It’s stunning.
And I have fallen in love with freelancing, though not as quickly and with a few bumps along the way. I tried to support myself freelancing before and failed, though for obvious reasons primarily concerning my chosen industry (fashion) and lack of marketing skills at the time. Now I am trying again in a better field (geeky stuff and the internet), with better tools and infinitely increased creative and professional resources (not to mention some fantastic friends and a great company that continues to work with me graciously in a manner that better suits my life).
I have decided that 2012 will also be my year of freelance; I’m winning clients and am going to stick this out and see where it takes me. I would call that a resolution, but I don’t feel the need to dress it up. It’s a goal.
Change brings fertility to projects, and I am plotting new ventures that will bear wonderful, strange fruits, and that I will announce in the next few weeks, possibly with a trumpet and a wee triumphant dance. I have started another blog post tentatively titled “how to get amazing people who are more talented and experienced than you to join your projects,” but I will probably not publish it. All it says is “be lucky in friendships. have an idea. get excited. ask nicely. smile enormously and often.”
So all of this, the new home, the new jobs, the ideas and fertility, it would seem logical that these things are the reason I broke down crying from happiness on a rooftop three nights ago. But no; they were a backdrop.
I started crying because I am head over heels in love with the man who was kissing me back. I don’t care that it’s sappy, reader, I don’t care who knows it. Zac and I are making a life here together, with work that suits us, a space that nests us, a community around us. That life is good, and worth crying over.
Thus ends what will undoubtedly not be the last of sappy blog posts of the year of 2012.