This time last year, I was in a gay bar wedged by the crowd against the bar rail. A go-go boy was dancing on the bar in front of me. And at midnight, I leaned over the bar between the stripper’s legs and kissed my brand new fiance’ who was tending bar. And to be honest, I was pretty miserable. When you date the bartender and the bar is crowded, you just plain don’t get a drink. Being sober on amateur night is a fresh hell for the best and the bravest among us. All I dreamed about then was a future New Year’s Eve when he wouldn’t be a bartender and we could be together.
Now 2007 is over. Well, almost over. Today was my first day back at work after eleven days- two sick days and nine days of vacation. I spent much of the day working my way through the piles of e-mail that were snowdrifting in my inbox, sorting out my stacks of paperwork, and enjoying my new blazer and tweed pants in which I felt incredibly professional and not intern-like for the first time in a long while. At thirty-one I had expected to feel like a regular adult. Not like a minion. But I still feel like every day I could lose my job and have to start all over again. Professional stability is not my forte’.
This year I did New Year’s Eve at home. Alone. I sent the bad energy of the whiny (ex) fiance’ out with his friends, lit some candles, put some music on, watched the last half hour of the “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” and snacked and had a cup of hot tea. I entered the New Year at peace with myself. And that was the greatest gift I’ve gotten this holiday season. A few minutes later, the ex called and wished me a happy new year. And said that I was right- it would have been better at home. I couldn’t help but love an “I told you so” moment. But honestly, I didn’t feel smug. I felt ok that he was out and unhappy. Because I had the night I wanted. I finished my tea, cleaned up, crawled alone into bed with a book and fell asleep. At peace with myself.