Year of the Dragon

Last Monday began the new lunar year for 2012, the Year of the Dragon in Chinese astrology. Dragon years are supposed to be full of prosperity, enthusiasm, optimism, and good changes.

This feels appropriate as I move into a 2012 chock-full of transformation. My book, this thing I worked on, doubted, stressed about, loved, hated, and loved (and hated) again for years, is going to be released out into the world where it can be attacked and ridiculed and misinterpreted. When I’m being optimistic, I know this little piece of me could also be appreciated, enjoyed, related to, and maybe even praised. My agent and editor know what they’re doing, so I’m trusting that the positive will overwhelm the negative, which is the opposite of what my insecurities often want me to believe, but I’m working on reversing that attitude.

I will also get married in 2012, something I never thought I’d do. I did not dream about my wedding or look at bride magazines or create elaborate Barbie ceremonies like other girls I knew. The farthest I delved into marriage fantasy was in elementary school when I was learning cursive and hoped whoever I married someday would have a last name that began with K so I could write the pretty capital cursive letter often. (Incidentally, W does, though I am not planning to change my name.) I’m still not fantasizing about a wedding, but I am excited about the after, about not having to call W my boyfriend when we’ve been together for eight years, about not worrying that if something happens to one of us, doctors or police or whoever wouldn’t tell us what was going on, about being officially in it for the long haul, about us, together, for the rest of our lives.

I’m working on a lot of personal transformations as well—letting go, worrying less, enjoying life more, easing up on myself, not focusing on the tiny flaws and seeing the larger, pretty-damn-good overall picture. I’m trying to shift my reactions so I can allow myself to be proud, to be happy. I’ve worked my ass off to get to this place where I have the things I want and can see a good life materializing before my eyes, and the work now is less about cultivating the drive and determination I needed to get here and more about slowing down and treasuring the things I love no matter how terrified I am of losing them.

So, here we are, one week into the Year of the Dragon, and I am gearing up for the monumental months ahead. Dragons represent power and deliver good fortune, and I already feel that energy building. I don’t know exactly what changes are on the horizon, or how I will handle the ups and downs, the stress and jubilation, and whatever else this year of the dragon brings me. What I do know is that I am full of enthusiasm, optimism, and hope, ready to grow, and thrilled about the changes around the corner.

Bring it, 2012. I’m Ready.

I’m feeling optimistic on this first Monday of the new year. Hopeful. Excited. Good things are brewing in the coming months and I am working on letting go of the worry and enjoying life, and I think, making progress.

Last January I wrote a post called, 2011: I Will Own You, excerpted here:

People seem to have come to the general consensus that 2010 was a shitty year. On a global scale as well as personal, things were often more bad than good, or at least seemed that way much of the time. Of course good things happened too, but the overwhelming feeling might have been defeat for many of us. People we cared about died. People we care about lost their job or their relationship or their home or their pet. We cried a lot.

I thought it was just me who was glad to be stepping into a new year/skin/attitude, but the first few days of January sparked a slew of Facebook posts from my friends vowing to kick ass in 2011. Posts about stepping up, getting out of slumps, renewing passions, not taking shit, and moving forward with optimism. 2011 is going to be better. We are going to make it so. If you believe, it will happen, and I believe. I think the fog of the last few months is passing, and I can see sun and sky and it’s time to finally let go of the disparaging voices in my head—as well as the belittling external voices—and fight for what I want and need and deserve.

So, here’s a (slightly belated) new year’s toast to 2011: You are mine.

And it worked. About a week later, I sold my novel.

So I’m stating my intentions again, here, with you as my witnesses: 2012 will be even better. I will spend more time in sunlight and moonlight, read more books, eat more colors, and play without guilt. I will try to ease up on self-doubt, fear, and worrying about things that haven’t happened. I want joy and love and health and freedom and courage and laughter and fun in the next year, and I will make it so.

So, thanks to 2011 for getting me here. The positivity is growing, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

It also doesn’t hurt that I’m starting off 2012 with a trip to Maui. (Yay!)

Happy New Year!