New Year’s Eve Special – Avoiding a Brittle Empty Winter of January

The colour and vibrance of Christmas week slowly subsides and the cold unknown future of the new year approaches. It’s like a Sunday here today; the dusk taking forever to fade and the black birds singing an evening song in the trees of the nearby woodlands. New Years Eve is a strange apprehension of feelings. That feeling of the unstoppable new year midnight event with the momentum of a quarry truck. Some people I know shy away from New Years Eve, even going to bed early and avoiding all the hype and disappointment of the build up even getting depressed from it all. Some still party right to the chime of Big Ben and onwards into the early hours. It’s not even five o’clock and the new year still seems far away and yet the news brings us pictures of the fireworks over the Sydney Opera House in Australia reminding us of the sheer momentum of the approaching year.

I’ve always felt a little solemn, in a good way, about New Years Eve. Looking inwards from the outside at other people having a good time. Trying to force-feed myself a good time just doesn’t work. May be that’s just the people-watcher in me.

When it comes to new year resolutions I don’t specifically list out exactly what I’m going to do. I like to think of anything I write down as just a suggestion of things that I really want to do rather than things I should do. What’s the point in promising myself to loose enough weight to show single digits on the scales and being able to squeeze into a size eight when I know the pressure on me to do that would be far too high, let alone unrealistic. That said it will be on the list in some form, who doesn’t. Instead I prefer to look at the selfish ways I can improve my life in ways that will make me happier, more content and spiritual as a person. Besides, I don’t just make new resolutions on New Years Eve. My own diary runs summer to summer and so I make a few promises around August as well.

While I like to look to the future, rather than dwell on the past it’s good for me to look back at least a little through this year at the good things that have happened and what I have achieved personally. I look at my promise to myself to make a decision whether to transition or not and move on. The fact is I made that resolution when I was around the age of thirty-two and I never gave myself a firm answer; see what I mean about making impossible high-pressure promises to myself? But many years on the answer to that question did come to fruition and a couple of years ago when I finally plucked up the courage to mention it all to a counsellor and then subsequently a psychiatrist and then a deep session with a psychologist. Even though that is now all done with and I am now in the waiting stage. I have to be proud of myself that no matter how subtle my progress seems to me, I am in transition of some kind. I am making progress. I have made changes. I am happier letting out little bits of me to other people in my life, family, friends, strangers and nothing bad has happened. I haven’t been shouted at. I haven’t been abused or dismissed.

I recently mentioned how at Christmas I have on occasion bought myself something nice as a Christmas present so at least the woman in me has something indulgent. A little box turned up, just in time, on Christmas Eve. Presented in an ivory coloured box with nylon rose petals keeping a scent on a silk camisole set. I really felt indulged for a change. I’m easily swayed. Even so the presents I had this year from other people were more neutral than usual with some more feminine than previous years. Whether there is any intent here for my loved ones transitioning themselves in how they buy for me I don’t know. It depends how much they do know. I guess time will tell. In the meantime I make little in-roads. Giving away little further feminine traits that I’ve previously been holding back. Once I feel comfortable they’re there naturally all the time. Sometimes it’s shocking what I’ve left on the clothes dryer at my house.

I’m visiting my parents. Today I got up and tied back the first layer of my hair. You know, a pony tail on top of long layer of straight hair and went down for breakfast. I just did it because that’s how I wanted my hair. There was a split microsecond of consideration if it was ok and an over-riding thought that just said, ‘that’s how you want it, go have breakfast’. There were no butterflies. No worry. I was probably more worried that my hair was a bit of a mess because I’d just got up.

My change, my steady transition, is more than the femininity thing and so how I look at this new year will be different to just ticking some NHS boxes. Looking at the new year can seem like a cold empty space. A whole load of empty calendar boxes with an unknown future and a brittle winter of January the first. I prefer to look at the things I want to do and think how I might go about them. As well as making progress as me it’s also about finding myself for myself and not for others. Getting that balance of work and home life. Finding that time to put aside for myself. A run on the beach amongst the waves on the waters edge and the full bodied suits of surfers in those barely above zero sea temperatures. Finding time to read and enjoy it without my mind wandering onto other problems or even other people’s problems. It may sound a little selfish on the face of it but believe me, my problem much of the time is worrying about others more than myself.

It’s like I need to find a Zen-like lifestyle. Two years ago I found it but in the last six months it has slide a little with pressures of a job I don’t particularly like; one thing that will have to change in twenty-fifteen. I want to feel free-er and shake off the few weights that are attached to my shoulders. I’m getting there and twenty-fourteen has been a part of that. Shaking off the embarrassment of who I am and being more proud of it. Being able to feel that if others don’t like it then it’s their loss. Twenty-fifteen, putting some finishing touches to how I want to live and to who I am on the outside and repairing a few of the cracks and damage on the inside.

That clock that everyone will be watching tonight that is marching on I shall ignore and allow myself to enjoy coming into the new year at the pace that I like. For now it’s polkadot knickers and a silk cami. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing I hope that you find your own personal peace.

Until next year.

x

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4 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve Special – Avoiding a Brittle Empty Winter of January

  1. Hannah, thanks for posting at this time of year. I hope you enjoyed arriving in 2015 at your own pace. I’m with you on that one. I fell asleep on the sofa at about 9pm and was awoken by my husband at 11.05pm and we toddled off to bed and were both asleep well before midnight. As always, I loved reading your thoughts and I shall look forward to the next submission.

    Love Caz x

  2. Thanks Caz. It’s a pleasure to know you enjoyed it. Well it was at my own pace though I didn’t fall asleep early and in fact don’t think I got to bed until about twenty to three. Slap wrists. Happy New Year! Have a great 2015 x

  3. In Bed by 9 PM Since I left my Home town I don’t have to go through the false joy and merry making that seems to be expected with friends who don’t know my secret and whose reactions I couldn’t gauge if I had told them back then. I always really looked at New Year as another year passing that I never had the courage to admit to myself, who I really am, and therefore another year of not becoming me.
    As usual a wonderfully written post.
    Rachael
    x

    • I’m so with you on that. The ‘gender thing’, while bring quite a lot of happiness and self honesty, can also be quite imprisoning. I suppose this is why when we finally do burst and it all comes out, we’re actually better off with others knowing, no matter what they think, than keeping it all private. Oh so complicated!

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