Somewhere around September or October, I realized that 2019 has been a year I was writing off as transitory in a lot of ways. It was the year the divorce became final, and I rebuilt my life in a better way, with me actually able to control things that felt out of control before — of course, there’s still a lot I can’t, and never will be able to, control, but that’s just fine — and in a far happier place and healthy relationship. 2019 was the year, I told myself, where I’d figure things out, even if it’s just what not to do.
(Money; I need to be better about money, for one thing. There was a point mid-year where I suddenly thought, “Wait, am I going to wipe out my savings when I pay taxes next year?” and had this massive chill run through my body. Still, at least I have savings, which was better than the worry I had earlier in the year when I didn’t think I’d be able to make rent because a paycheck was delayed.)
But if that’s what 2019 was — and now, I still think that I was right in that characterization of the year, perhaps feeling even more convinced — then what is 2020 going to be? What happens after the transition?
I have no idea.
And the more I think about that, the more I’m okay with it. There was a point where not knowing was terrifying, where I knew that I’d be expected to have an answer and a plan and that the plan would need to pass muster, and… that was unnatural to me, really. For better or worse — and really, it’s probably worse — I’m not one with longterm plans, one who has everything mapped out in advance. It always felt like a struggle to have those answers when they were asked of me, and it took me too long to realize that that, really, was a sign of something being wrong on an important level.
So, 2020 is going to be what it’s going to be, and I’ll probably only realize what kind of a year it is midway through it again. That’s kind of exciting to me, to be honest. When I was doing my Masters, I remember talking to someone in the school’s PhD program as they explained the idea behind their work method. Basically, she said, she followed what seemed interesting and exciting and right in some indefinable manner, and trusted that she’d realize what the connections between all those things were after the fact. It was called “emergent research,” she said.
If my life is emergent research now, that doesn’t seem like a bad thing at all.