I’m late writing you the annual letter that I’ve written to each new year since 2011. The fact is, I didn’t want to write you. I was pissed off at 2013, and some of that anger was unjustly carried over to you. Although 2013 was overall a pretty good year, it really didn’t deliver on its many promises or potential and it ended on a pretty negative note.
The last few weeks of December went as follows: (a) I was hit with the flu, leaving me lonely with a 103F fever and a 1½ week long quarantine; (b) I watched the continuing slow fade of my initially exciting and promising seven-month long-distance relationship as it seemed to virtually disappear into thin air as if it had never existed in the first place; (c) my work completely and totally dried up due to the holidays; and (d) topping it all off, my landlady told me that she is going to be moving back into my sweet healing little house that I’ve been living in since I moved to Austin, leaving me unexpectedly having to apartment hunt in one of the most competitive rental markets in the country.
Needless to say, December crushed me. I felt as if 2013 decided in the eleventh hour to swallow me whole, chew me into a billion tiny little pieces, and then burp me up into a regurgitated little blob of self pity.
But then, in the final days of December, I started to grow weary of my three week long private pity party. And just as that came to pass, other things started happening. Things that reminded me that I’m a tough girl, and that over the past few years I really have learned to ride the inevitable yo-yo roller coaster of alternating hard knock hurdles and happy partings of the sea that go hand in hand with being a human being.
First, when I was bedridden with influenza, two wonderful loving friends took it upon themselves to bring me different homemade soups, homemade elderberry juice, orange juice, and Sprite. What a reminder it was that I’m loved and not really all alone.
Then, I received a package in the mail from my friend Patty. I opened it up to find a small pillow that says Just a Cowgirl at Heart. Two days later I received another package in the mail from my friend Beth Howard. I opened that package to find a set of cowgirl coasters. The timing of these two unexpected gifts was perfect – a reminder that I’ve been bound and determined for the past few years to live life with the cowgirl spirit. A cowgirl embraces life with adventure and trust, never compromising who she is in order to fulfill society’s mythical recipe for a “successful” life. Living this way is not always easy, and in December I was thrown from my horse. Patty and Beth’s cowgirl gifts were reminders to me that I can’t give up now. If I am serious about continuing to live my life with the cowgirl spirit, then I need to wipe away my tears, pull myself up by my bootstraps and climb right back on that bucking bronco called life.
I received my third cowgirl reminder on New Year’s Eve Day. When I was leaving my afternoon hair appointment I looked across the street and noticed the words Get Uncomfortable spray painted in bright red letters. That’s when I realized that embracing the cowgirl spirit means I must embrace being uncomfortable. Security in life is an illusion – it doesn’t really exist. Yet I spent so many years of my life desperately clinging to a comfortable, yet completely unfulfilling way of life out of fear of losing my security.
Looking back on my life, I realize I have always been happiest when I’m uncomfortable. That’s because being uncomfortable means I’m challenging myself to grow in new directions, and opening myself up to the flow of gifts that the Universe inevitably will bring my way once I stop resisting change.
So this year, my sweet, dear, potentially delicious Year 2014, my New Year’s resolution is to Get Uncomfortable.
I’m back in the rodeo, Year 2014, and I think I love you already.
Cowgirl Kee Kee