I had such high hopes for you.
Since 1997, every ten years I’ve had a really good year.
1997 was the best year of my life. I had two boyfriends, love, sex, a job I liked, my own small but cute home, and lots of good friends with whom I had many good times.
2007 was a great year too. My boyfriend was long distance, but he loved and supported me. I did a work exchange at a writer’s retreat and spent a month writing poems. I got the best job of my life. I created art and had wonderful friends.
So I had great expectations for you, 2017. You were going to be my year, a much deserved respite from the hardships of the last decade.
You started out with a bang, 2017.
I’d just self-published my first book, Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. I thought surely everyone in the world would want to read it.
Then I met a wonderful man. There was hot sex, and I fell in love with him. He seemed to like me as much as I liked him. We had deep conversations, laughed a lot, and snuggled. Life was GOOD and I woke up happy and excited to face each day.
You gave me everything I wanted for my birthday, 2017. I soaked in hot mineral water with the man I liked so much. I ate pie and ice cream in the park with friends. The fellow and I ate pizza for dinner, and later had nice birthday sex. It was a wonderful celebration of my life.
By the beginning of spring, the man had become The Man, and he said he wanted to be with me, to live and travel with me. He built a big bed in my van, a bed big enough for the two of us and the dog to sleep and snuggle . I was on top of the world.
What happened, 2017? Why’d you start falling apart after that?
Living in the van together was too much togetherness. The quarrels started. The Man’s constant mental state of indecision and flux made me nervous and irritable. My fear of being broke went against The Man’s belief that the Universe will always provide just enough.
The middle part of you got harder, 2017. The Man and I went through a series of break-ups and getting back togethers. We were working together and sharing a campsite and my heart hurt so much to be close to him but not be his partner. I know I wasn’t always as nice as I should have been while I tried to protect my heart.
I was joyous, yet cautious the last time he asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. Maybe you were going to come through for me after all, 2017. I told him yes.
You know the rest of the story, 2017.
The Man and I spent a month apart, but we talked on the phone seveal times a day. Every time we talked, he asked when I was coming “home.” He told me he loved me and missed me. Yet less than two weeks after we’d reunited, he told me again that the relationship was over. He wanted to be alone, he said. We wanted different things, he said. I knew this was it for the two of us, unless someday he’d want to be committed or I’d want to be casual. My heart was shredded, but I knew being apart was best for both of us.
Why’d you let me down, 2017? I was really counting on you.
But now you’re over and I have to let you go too.
Thanks for the lessons, 2017, and thanks for the memories as well.
In disappointment, grief, and yes, hope too,
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