So it's the last hours of the year and I've been having a quiet day and a quiet night as well. New Year's Eve is quite hyped, I think, these days and I have largely lost interest in the frantic celebrations and extravagant displays. It's almost like a Neitzschean eternal return, these maxed out secular festivities. And already I can hear fireworks in the distance and parties all around.
This time last year I was housesittting, too, but at a different place (right now I'm at Wavell Hts) and it was likewise a night on my own. I was surveying the rubble of a ruptured friendship, a friendship so important to me, and reconciling myself to all manner of lost hopes and dreams, well trying to reconcile myself. Just about everything seemed shut down around me, but there was still one possibility that I had decided to embrace, a union job that seemed to be opening before me. Of course, it turned out to be a false path but I wasn't to know it then.
A year later the ruptured friendship is reconciled but he is leaving Brisbane in January for who knows how long, so with reconciliation comes separation. As for anything else, I look at next year and there's nothing. I have no job prospects, no career plans, nothing. Any hopes I had in that regard have long since evaporated. They were largely rubble this time last year anyway. Now, too, I have no institutional affiliation either. I'm an independent scholar - which is not a bad place to be actually.
I look back over the past year, a year marked by grief, depression, the pit. To my surprise, though, the main feeling I have is how extraordinarily blessed I've been. Here at Wavell Hts, I'm looking after two cats and a dog and today with the rain finally gone and the sun shining, I thought I'd take the dog for a walk. I hadn't walked a dog in years. It felt really good and she is a lovely dog too. But as we were walking in the park, I was struck by just how lucky or fortunate I was, how blessed I was. When I looked back over the year, I kept thinking how much worse things could have been. If I had to descend into the deep pit of depression, then I was put in the best possible place to do so. At the same time while I had no paid work, I was still engaged in community events particularly relating to the Museum of Brisbane's LGBT History exhibition. I am quite astonished by the things I did in 2010. I don't know how I did any of that because I remember all too well just how I was feeling, just how paralysed with doubt and anxious I was.
And so I regard 2010 as an especially blessed year and I am grateful for the blessings I received. I don't know why I received them, I certainly don't feel worthy of it, but they were given to me and I feel quite humbled by it. I'm looking at 2011 with trust; that's all I can do. Whoever, whatever has been watching over me these last few years has brought me through so far. I look forward almost eagerly to what you'll bring me next year. I suspect there will be more struggles and there is the pain of separation. But separation is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be a way of building and strengthening friendship. Certainly that's what I hope and pray will happen and what I commit myself to. As for what else is in store for me, I guess I can expect plenty of surprises.
And so for you too, dear reader, I hope you can see the blessings that came your way in 2010 and I hope many more will come to you, and I, in 2011. May you be richly blessed in this comng year.