Wednesday, December 21, 2016
The joy is in the struggle.
So hey there world, it's 12:06am on the wee morning of my 33rd birthday. So I lie here, pondering the trivial issues like "WHAT IS GOD REALLY" and "WILL I EVER UNDERSTAND REALITY"?
However, the biggest theme coursing through my head tonight is, "maybe just maybe 2016 was an OK year after all."
WHO SAID THAT??
LET ME BE CLEAR - 2016 was no 2015. I can say with complete certainty that 2015 was the best year of my life to date. A year that started out bleak, and became magnificent. Fireworks. Ecstasy. Family. Friendship.
And then, it abruptly ended. And the tail end of 2015 ended as bumpy as it had exactly 1 year before.
"Surely," I thought, "while this is difficult, it cannot last into 2016? 2015 was my Happy Ending year, where everything got better! Now that it's Happy, it Stays that Way! Hurray!"
Oh, how wrong I was.
If 2015 was a loving mistress who caressed me to sleep with popsicles and secondhand minks, 2016 was a vengeful ex who egged my house every Friday night and convinced the cops it was those damn kids. Where 2015 was a Ferrari, 2016 was my mom's old 1976 Mustang that had a hole in the parking brake. 2015 was rich organic cocoa beans; 2016, llama vomit.
2016 was supposed to be the goofy Joan Cusack character who had your back through thick and thin; but instead, 2016 turned into the 6-fingered horseman from The Princess Bride. Hard stuff happened. Hard feelings happened. My show had a tough birthing process, I got really sick, and my heart got broken. A few times. My finances remained tight. Solvent, but tight. Donald Trump happened.
I'd love to end it there. "2015, good. 2016, bad. Screw you. Downhill from here. Feel bad for me THE END". And I would! I tried, I did!
I'm lying here, 22 mins into being 33 years old... and I just can't shake this feeling.
"Maybe 2016 knew what she was doing after all..."
because... ok. I had hard feelings. I was alone. I was broke. Yes.
But... I got through those feelings, and I did it on my own. I got through the alone-ness... and when the people started flowing back in, I had a self-assurance that didn't used to be there, because I HAD gotten through that stuff on my own. And I may have been broke... but I did get everything I needed. And I learned how to scale back if I had to. On. My own. And yes, ok, Donald Trump still happened but at least that happened to EVERYONE AT THE SAME TIME.
And in the meantime... I wrote a fucking fantastic show that was REALLY well-received, and made a difference. I got to do my very first solo Fringe tour. I got clear on my comedic voice, and my true north on the artistic compass. I had a spiritual experience that lifted another layer of the veil... maybe even permanently? My work ethic grew, and my confidence as a writer skyrocketed.
I've never had a team before, guys. I've never really had the social skills to know how to create consistent community of like-minded individuals. I was an only child of a dysfunctional household and broken marriage, and was pretty heavily bullied at a formative age, so it's fair to say my makeshift social skills were long due for a major overhaul.
The framily of creation, relationships that began in 2015, deepened with 2016. I learned why friendships were necessary. And I have such, such, SUCH good people in my life right now. Like the kind of quality of people that 10-year-old Meg could only DREAM of having as friends, collaborators, confidantes, and butt-touchers.
agggghhhh.... I hate to say this, but I think... I think 2016 knew what she was doing... UGGGGH YOU FRUSTRATINGLY SAUCY MINX!!!
See, I gave 2016 a lot of shit this year, but she forced me to grow up. She became the parent that took away the sharp fabric scissors I so wanted to play with.While I spent much of the first and last parts of the year being angry at how shitty she was for making me feel abandoned, alone, and scared... begrudgingly, I admit that those feelings were actually already there.... 2016 was just showing me that I'm strong enough to deal with them now, and perhaps even outgrow them.... and maybe... just maybe... those feelings and world-views weren't real... maybe... just maybe... an entire new way of interacting with the world exists.
AAARRRGGGH!!!! BUT I WAS SO SURE I WAS ANGRY AT YOU, 2016!!
So don't get me wrong. I'm still struggling with some of the big stuff right now. My horoscope says that 2017 is going to be another year of foundational shifts for me, that the big-ass struggle is only halfway done. And since horoscopes are always correct, the thought of having another year as intense as 2016 brings bite-sized chunks of vomit up my esophagus.
So I don't know what's next. But. I DO know. That one day it will all be gone, all of it. The joy. The pain. The tears. The sex. The ice cream. The best friends. The abandonment issues. ALL. OF. IT. One of he more intense parts of 2016 was an experience I had surrounding this, which I'm writing my new show about, and if 2016 hadn't been what it was, I definitely would not have had that experience and wouldn't be writing this show or this sweet run-on sentence about it.
2016, you weren't a fun year, but I think you were a necessary year. Don't tell anyone I said this, but I'm considering being grateful for you. CONSIDERING . Can't say I'm sad to see you leave, but I'll never be 32 again. So, you're all I had this year. So... thanks for picking me.
And maybe... just maybe... there was joy in there.
Posted by Megan Phillips at 2:38 AM