I. On Being Enough
Last week I was eating leftover enchiladas and then, a filling that fell out of my tooth. (Google says this is a normal thing to happen after fifteen years.) I called my dentist, who was on vacation, can you come in the 31st? I said of course, even though dental work is kinda off-brand for New Year’s Eve. (Then again, maybe numb and drooling was the proper way to send off 2016.)
It was raining in Los Angeles the day of my appointment, which is basically a push notification from nature like, you still haven’t watched the third season of Transparent and you own all those couch blankets and don’t I make you feel so coooold and ~reflective~? Stay your ass home. But it’s New Year’s!!, I protested weakly. (You can tell it was weak because I used two exclamation points as opposed to the confident ! or the ironic !!!.) Then I texted a friend re: the evening, “hoping my tooth hurts [after the dentist] and I have a good reason [to not do anything].” She wrote back, “Ohhhh luckyyyy.”
My tooth was fine. And it stopped raining (I think). But I couldn’t shake the feeling of wanting to be alone. It wasn’t an antisocial thing, or a depression thing, or an anti-New Year’s thing. In hindsight, I was coming from a pro-New Year’s place: I wanted to start 2017 feeling like I was enough. To choose myself over a party — because it was the more uncomfortable option, because I’d have to convince myself hourly that my friends had not taken a break from celebrating to hold a small council meeting and vote on whether to put my head on a spike or just collectively change their numbers without telling me. (IDK, anxiety.) Anyway, I’ve been working on the whole “being enough” thing for a while, and it seemed important and meaningful to enter the new year practicing that rather than the thing I do most weekends, to middling results.
So I crocheted a potholder and took a bath and did a sheet mask and also, the dishes, and prepped vegetables for brunch the next day and made some aromatherapy body splashes and named them things like “peace” and “good vibrations” and smothered my new kitten, who is my equal in neediness, and wrote — or opened a draft and changed the same three sentences for a couple hours — and circled my living room chanting something (intentions? affirmations? my…