A family member of mine is going through some life-changing events. Whenever that happens, I find myself compelled to examine my own life. To him, I have offered the kind words, the solace, the love only a sister can. But I know the best thing I can offer is not help, but validation. Not suggestions, but just the relating of my own wounded experiences.
Also not lost on me is the finality the month of December can bring. Even before the looming of the first of the year commercially challenges me to make change and resolutions, I find I am doing it anyway. I am silently grading my year, checking off invisible boxes and begrudgingly drawing in new ones. The self-examination at the end of any year can be a chafing process, raw and emotional. But for me, no more so than this year.
At the top of the year, I started the job I wanted more than I wanted to take my next breath. I loved it then and I still do now. We had our company Christmas party this past Friday and I was once again reminded that this company values us, the employees, like no other company I have ever worked for before. On the same day, tragedy struck our nation and we lost wonderful people and precious children. The dichotomy struck me and made me nearly raw.
My husband dealt with an emotionally draining matter on his own this year for so long before he told me. I cried for him, then for us, as I realized this was as it should be. It, and the aftermath, brought us closer in a way I have never felt in our dozen-plus years together. I love my husband and always have, but this year, I learned that I like him. Mind-blowing.
The purpose of this post, as suggested by the title, is how the Phoenix rises from the ashes.
This year more than any other, I understand that now. How ruin can define us or realign us. How only from destruction can there be resurrection. How only from the wreckage must the bird begin his flight.
I feel like that bird now. Purposeful. Driven. Directed. My wings have been battered, my feathers torn off, and still I am compelled to fly.
As a writer, I feel that attitude permeating my work. Regeneration. Reconfiguration. Resurgence. I'm writing in genres I've never tackled and allowing my characters to be stupid. Ignorant. Cocky. Afraid. I'm allowing my characters to be me. And they are living and breathing inside me and spilling out onto my keyboard. And I like them. I want to have a beer with them, go shopping with them, giggle with them over a silly movie. They are my friends. And I don't think I could say that about them two years ago. Or maybe even one.
And this next year, 2013 in the year of our Lord, let's kick the shit out of that wall.