One Year of Love

Queen tend to give really great advice. Don’t stop me now? Okay! Get on your bikes and ride? Don’t mind if I do. Bismillah? Well, if you insist. They are very, very wise.

I’ve been listening to their wisdom for over two decades, and I guess different songs have spoken to me during different phases of my life (is it possible to go through a breakup without listening to I Want To Break Free? I think it isn’t.), and the one that’s got me listening right about now is that one about how just one year of love is better than a lifetime alone. In case you haven’t heard it, and in case you missed the huge video at the top of this post…feel free to give it a watch right now. Go ahead. I won’t go anywhere.

(…) (Did you watch it yet?) (Seriously. I’ll wait.)

I think we all have a struggle that kind of defines a lot of our character–an obstacle between us and what we really want out of this world. For me, I think it largely comes down to a struggle of nature vs. demeanor.

According to my stars, I should have been an Aquarius. The moon was totally in its seventh house, and Jupiter was gingerly on its way to being aligned with Mars. But then my Mom’s doctor was going to go on a ski vacation, so she opted for them sorts of drugs that induce a lady’s labor, and so I was from the womb untimely ripped and thrust into Capricornhood for the rest of time. How close did I come to being a cast member of the musical Hair? By one day. On the last possible day to still be cosmically represented by a sea-goat (what?), I made my big debut as a cusp baby (also, what?).

I don’t really give astrology very much credit, but I did sort of end up feeling a little like my internal life was a house divided. My inside world is one of deep joys, sorrows, hopes, imaginings. But I also come from a tradition of stoic, Nordic, people who tended to clip the wings of their emotions as soon as they were in the nest. The conflict can be broken down thusly:

Meet Nature Me.

Fig. 1: The spontaneous goofy guy.

Fig. 1: The spontaneous goofy guy.

Nature Me really likes to be present, has a good-natured sense of humor that isn’t really meant to be at the expense of others, is probably kind of lanky, is up for adventure, and really enjoys being with people. His humor, in quiet times, plays second fiddle to his sincerity. In times this this.

Meet Demeanor Me.

Fig. 2: the down to business, cold, distant dude that nobody really wants to talk to

Fig. 2: the down to business, cold, distant dude that nobody really wants to talk to.

Demeanor Me is an observer mostly. A chilly interest in ideas serves as his unimaginative compass through an otherwise colorful world. He gets really uncomfortable around Nature Me, and others cut from that cloth. He needs a lot of order and predictability and gets tunnel vision on tasky things if left to his own devices for too long. Also, he sort of sucks.

What happens when Nature Me and Demeanor Me sit down together? Funny you should ask.

It doesn’t really go all that well. This odd couple seems destined to ever be at odds–and yet they have to learn to occupy the same space, so…something has to give, as they say.

This blog is a project to help me get back to my nature, to a place in my life where I feel relaxed and fun and funny and authentic again. I think the way to do that is to bring back some love into my life, and to reconnect to things that bring me a lot of joy, but things I have maybe denied myself in recent years.

I’ve had some tough times–black depressions, self-doubt, long stretches where I felt unable to reach out to people, places and things I honestly loved a whole bunch. This is going to be my One Year Of Love (have you watched the video yet? I feel like maybe you haven’t. It’s right at the top, and I’ll still wait right here.), and I’m going to spend time and focus every week on one of my loves. I don’t really like timelines and roadmaps in my life, so I’m going to leave it open-ended, but I’m sure they’ll fall into categories like music (put another dime in that jukebox, baby), theatre, reading and writing, nostalgia, my people, food and drink, and hobbies. 52 weeks from now, I hope to have collected a little journey to the center of my character, where the gooey, molten core of me stirs–an optimistic, kind, creative center deep below the hardened plates that glide over it.

I think I’m ready to get back. Welcome to my resolution.

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