|art by Bansky, image via Street Art Utopia|
Because I am a guarded optimist, I will always, always make some form of 'resolution' in the new year. I realize that most of the free world considers this practice to be cliche, or passe, (or any number of fancy french words that translate into 'unoriginal bore'), however, it just doesn't feel right to let the passing of a year go by without honoring it with some fresh insight.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to reframe what it means for me to make new resolutions, and so I'm thinking about the upcoming year in terms of what I'm calling "life metaphors". These are basically snapshots of experiences that have left me reeling and continue to knock about my brain in ways that are inexplicable and profound.
The first life metaphor I'm calling, "How I Gave Birth to a DogChild". Yup. 'Nuff said.
What? Oh, you mean, you haven't had that dream where you are laboring under a misconception (ha! that was totally an intended-pun-slash-Bridget-Jones-reference. And a really bad one. Apologies!) Okay, start over.
Not so long ago, I awoke in a state of utter panic, disorientation, and horror. Having just dreamed about giving birth to a human child/puppy hybrid. It was horrifying. In this dream, I had been excitedly going through the final stages of labor, awaiting the birth of a new son, when the doctor says, "It's a girl!" and hands me our little bundle of joy. My first thought was, 'oh! A girl!' And then I looked down. At the non-human entity that was supposed to be my child.
Meanwhile, all of my in-laws, who happen to be hanging out in the delivery room with me, begin gushing about our new little girl. 'Oooh, she's just so precious!' blah, blah. And I am angry at them for clearly lying to my face, while simultaneously feeling incredibly guilty for not being engulfed by the same complete and utter adoration.
I'm telling you, writing this is giving me cold sweats.
Upon awakening, I immediately began searching online for what secret meaning this dream might possess. Everywhere I looked, I found the same answer, "dreaming about giving birth to an animal means you are expressing concerns about your own pregnancy." Thanks, Internet, but, um, what if I'm NOT pregnant?
Eventually, after a great deal of exhaustive research (or maybe, like, 10 more minutes on Google), I found an alternate interpretation. This one pertained to concerns regarding a "new project", "trip", or "life change". That seemed reasonable. So I let it go.
Only, I guess I didn't. Because mid-December I was having a drink with a good friend, who flippantly asked if I was going to make any new years' resolutions. Without thinking, I immediately began to relay this dream in gory detail (perhaps a belated apology is in order). I finished by saying, "So my 'resolution' is to stop trying to expect the outcome of my work to look exactly how I envisioned. That all of the effort I put into certain projects might turn into an entirely different beast than I anticipated, and that's okay."
And it is. So there, in all its full glory, is the first metaphor on my list for 2012.