Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Best of 2005

The Best Me
During the course of this past year, I gave birth to myself. Again. Or I simply shed something, shook off a casing, a layer. It was a subtle switch but sometime during this year, I started to become the person I've always wanted to be.

I became a better friend, a better wife, a better worker. I've always tried my very hardest (all-my-might kind of hardest) at Mothering so not much improvement there. I became smarter. And more patient, more organized, tidier. More compassionate. I became more fun, more relaxed, less defensive.

There wasn't a grand moment that this all happened. I've been practicing a lot, to be this person, so I'm not sure when it just became natural. But when I stop to think about what I'm doing, where I am, how I'm acting, what I'm saying -- this is how I practice -- my chest just rings now. I stop and listen to it ring. It's euphoric. It doesn't stop.

Part of why I feel this way is because I stopped thinking I had to strive for better when what I have right in this moment is absolutely right. Who I am, what I do, how I look, where I live, who I love, everything I have is perfect even if it's not perfect. It is all perfect.

I don't waste time wondering anymore if I deserve this or not. I don't wait for the other shoe to drop. I realized the wondering and the waiting and the striving were part of some vanity; only a residual, a ghost, of my beforelife. I let it go. It's a waste of living and it's a waste of my freedom. I still wrestle the past, but The Person I've Always Wanted To Be doesn't hang her hat on the Abuse Lessons, doesn't sport sorrow like a deep accessory. She just tussles with it when it comes up. She pets it with honesty and doesn't let it act out. "It's ok." The Person I've Always Wanted To Be feels what she needs to feel and tells herself, It's ok. This is all scarier than it seems. Sometimes it's difficult to kick away a crutch. But it's all absolutely right.

The Best Decision
No one on planet Earth or yonder can convince me that all of the above doesn't have to do, IN LARGE PART, with the fact that I became a vegan. NO ONE. The clarity with which I now feel and think came on as if the sun peaked out from behind an impenetrable cloud. Like a film was stripped off my mind. Like a cork was unplugged to allow my true self to spill out. This cloudy film was not just wiped away from my physical being, but mental and emotional as well. Veganism is the best decision I've made not just in 2005, but since I allowed myself to fall in love with Husband almost 10 years ago. Both decisions have been grand life changers, perfect life enhancers.

The Best Job
With all due respect to my current cubicle which I've pretty much transformed into a bachelor apartment, my favorite job of 2005 was when I worked at Mother's Market, a health food store & cafe, for the first six months of the year. I was a cashier and I ordered nutritional bars. I really loved the job. Except for two things: It paid about a dollar an hour and I couldn't check my emails during the day. But other than that, a dream. I loved talking to all the eclectic customers because Mother's brought out the most diverse and most interesting people in the OC. Who knew Irvine had a Buddhist monastery or that there were large pods of South Africans that live here? I didn't until I worked at Mothers or Mudder's as Mina used to call it. I would ask customers what they were buying and why, what was it used for. I learned TONS. Tons, I say. And my bosses couldn't believe how quick and efficient I was. I thought, Hmm I just owned my own company -- or ran it into the ground which ever way you want to look at it -- so this scanning and making change business I've got! They also remarked how well I handled stress. I said, "I just came from an industry where brokers threatened to hunt you down and take your life if you fucked them over, sssooo this upset customer is not such a big deal." I loved working with all the hip vegan 20 year olds which is odd for me because generally I don't like anyone under 30 (except Mina & Maya of course), but these kids were great. I visited Mudder's with Maya yesterday and hugged everyone and bullshitted. I miss having a work environment that smells like wheatgrass and patchouli, seriously. They asked me if I wanted to come back to work part time which secretly I'd love to, but I can't live without day-time email and internet I've discovered. And nobody can live on a dollar an hour. However, Maya proclaimed she would work at Mudders as soon as she could. She even asked my old boss how old someone needed to be to work there.

The Best Year
This year has been the best year I've had in a long time. I am very thankful for that.
Thank you 2005 for being kind to me.

Happy New Year, Familia


melanie said...

Now that's refreshing. At this time of year, when most people are focusing on how or what they want to change in the new year, it's a welcome switch to hear someone say she is happy with who she is and how her life is going. You've really stopped me in my tracks and made me think twice about my attitude toward myself and this past year. Thanks.

andrea said...

amen, sister. you are an inspiration to me.

and happy happy new year to you and your lovely, lovely familia! lovelovelove to you.

acumamakiki said...

What a wonderful and refreshing post! You've taken the best of the best and without any pretense or nostalgia, you've given a name to the fresh YOU you've become.

Happy New Year!!

Maven said...

word up, mami.

Hanna said...

found your site via melanie. interesting post, I'm happy for you and will come back to read more next year.

happy new year!

Michelle Fry said...

Happy New Years. I know you are probably really not into owning any businesses again anytime soon but I could really see you having your own store like Mothers someday. Either way, I'm happy you've made some great discoveries this year.

Green Whale said...

How important the health of the body is -- I separate body and mind too often, don't pay attention to the strong, strong connection between them. Thank you for inspiring me to become a vegan. Your inner peace seems too good to be true (yes, I'm the eternal pessimist), but I saw it in you, irrefutable evidence, and so I have to believe.

Marigoldie said...

Happy new year, friend. You are definitely on my best of 2005 list.

(Incidentally, I'm dying to blog but I'm stuck in my hometown and don't want to do it from my parents' computer. I don't want them to see my url. Now THAT is pathetic. My dad is in the ICU and I hope he's going to be OK. I think he is.)

madness rivera said...

Thanks for all the great comments, my people.

Michelle, I would love to open up a health food store, in fantasy world! Thanks for that thought.

Green, from the day I met you I knew you downplayed - or didn't believe enough in -- your own power. You are an amazing woman. Even your comment was beautifully written.

Marigoldie, back attcha my sista.

Janine said...

Thank you for this post, this one is a true inspiration for those of us who are trying to become the people we have always wanted to be.


Misty Mawn said...

I love how much inner strength you contain! You make me want t be vegan again! I was for six years, but lost the drive when too much became too heavy! I can't stand how relaxed I am about my views now!
Have you made any good recipes for sharing yet?

I love that smell too!

A Happy New Year to you and your family!!!

madness rivera said...

Hey Misty, You know the only recipe I will confidently share (so far) is a recipe Betsy gave me for "Liquid Gold" Salad Dressing. I've renamed it. I call it My Drinkable Dressing because I will drink it right from the bottle if no one is looking. It's delicious and nutritious. Ok, here you go (all ingredients findable at your local health food store):

Madness' Drinkable Dressing
1/2c. flaxseed oil (cold pressed pref.)
1/3c. water
1/3c. lemon juice
2TBS balsamic ving.
1/4c. Braggs (pref.) or soy sauce
1/3c. nutritional yeast (bulk aisle)
2 cloves of garlic
Blend on high for 30 seconds and Voila! I sometimes add fresh Tarragon or fresh Dill.
This will keep for about 2 weeks though I'm sure it will be used before a week is done.

la vie en rose said...

wonderful! yeah you! i celebrate your fabulous year with you!