Tuesday, October 30, 2012

THE ODD YEARS

Halloween beckons, and then comes November — a cool month, a great month, a terrible month filled with its own clan of happy goblins and ghosts. My young brother and my favorite cousin were both born in November. It is the month when I lost my heart and my nerve. It's the month when we fall back and the darkness swallows daylight before the clock strikes six.

But it is mostly a month to give thanks and praise for the people and events most precious in our hearts, and that's the spirit I embrace here.

Last night I thought about the arc of my life, and how the most profound events have dependably happened in the odd years: my first professional job, my first national journalism award, the opportunity to launch a magazine, the senior producer's gig at a television station. I met a great love in an odd year (there's a sardonic joke there, but I will refrain).

The even years have not been so kind, especially the one I'm now living. Twenty-twelve sucked. There's really no other way around it. Barring some unforeseen and unlikely event, I will be happy when 2012 is over and I can get back to an odd year.

But I give thanks for this year. I learned a lot about myself and my ability to endure and survive. The things I thought would kill me failed, despite their best attempts and intentions. I buckled but did not break, and the places where I bent are stronger now, more resilient than anyone (including myself) suspected.

Because of this year I found great goodness in people who now mean the world to me — the Amazons,  especially, but also other men and women who helped me see that there is more to me than the labels affixed to my hide and the hype associated with my name. I have been a stupid boy, a stupid man, but I am wiser and tougher now, more willing to overlook real and perceived slights, more patient, both in heart and deed — and more willing to believe in second chances and the possibilities for redemption.

This year did not kill me. Nothing that happens for the remainder of 2012 will snuff out my determination. And when the clock strikes midnight and I ring out the old, I will welcome 2013 with the widest embrace. The odd year is almost here. It will be the best one of my life. Given the great things that have already happened to me, that's saying a lot.

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