For me, it’s not about the new year but September. September is when I begin again and make a fresh start. In the northeast the school year begins after labor day and, when I was a girl, new things came with that start: a new teacher, a first day of school outfit, a new book bag, and blue-lined notebook pages, blank and ready and eager.
We’d rearrange our desks in a new classroom and, with the new set up, our friendships would adjust themselves accordingly. I’d find myself in between the quiet girl or the cool girl or the gross boy who finger-pinned and flipped his eyelids and these people would become my day, my week, my year.
We are, I think, whether we like it or not, creatures of proximity. I wonder who and what I will align myself with this year.
I know I’ll make a new start with a novel I’ve been dreaming. Since Little O’s birth I have discovered I will always make time for writing in all the hours between everything else. I’ll let go of sleep or television or cleaning (the dust…my floors…you would be appalled.)
What I do need to make time for…is the paying work. Or I should say, I need to find that work. Work that fulfills me, gives me a paycheck, and allows me to spend a majority of my week with my son. I don’t know that such work exists but I have given myself this year to find it, a luxury I planned for, but a luxury still, and I search and wonder and interview and let the world evaluate who I am and who I could be, how I might be useful or useless and the hours fade and the days fall into one another and I wonder where I’m headed at all.
Having a child, leaving my job, I find myself outgrowing the life I once built. My work. My apartment. My neighborhood. My city. In so many ways, I’m caught inside a life that no longer makes sense for me. Maybe this is what it’s like to grow up. I don’t know.
Looking out into my future, seeing a long, wide expanse of unknowns is not easy but, I guess, it’s a part of moving forward. Moving on.
It’s September and my notebook is open and blank and the world rearranges itself around me. I look forward to finding my place inside it all.