I’m not gonna lie. I’m anxious. It’s 14:01 on December 31st. After my birthday (November 8th), New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday. I’m giddy with excitement just like how I know my niece and nephew were last week in anticipation of opening Santa’s gifts in sunny Arizona.
The problem is that my giddiness is also filled with just as much angst. Visions of “Didn’t Finish-ness” dance in my head; so much so that I find myself waltzing around my flat in a scattered rush to find my checkbook so that I can do a year’s worth of balancing or flitting about on the laptop feeling I should update my website and each one of my social media platforms. Right Now. My anxiety doesn’t end there. It doesn’t end with one foot stuck in 2016; it also starts with the other foot tap-tap-tapping into 2017 because I stress about being prepared. Did I do enough? Have I been diligent about welcoming this new year? Did I write in my journal enough? Are my intentions clear? Have I clearly asked for what I want? Like, clearly clearly?
Yesterday, my friend Nicole and I sent our other friend, Belinda, off to the States to embark on a journey of new beginnings for herself. In the middle of Václav Havel Airport, we fiercely grabbed hands and became The Charmed Ones, the power of three. We shared, we cried, we wished her well. And then we let go. We rejoiced amidst our anxiety of knowing our spellbound three-some of sisterly support was physically dematerializing. But, as we sent her off to the unknown, we knew that she needed this change and although temporarily painful, that she in some sort of way gracefully asked for it.
This past year was my first full year in Prague. I went summer to summer. Fall to fall. Christmas to Christmas. I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot of it during conversations with those two girls. In October, I expressed that I thought I had High-Functioning Anxiety. Belinda pointed out how this made sense because she noticed I giggle at strange times and that I seem like I don’t like to get too close to people. Around June or July, I learned through Nicole that if I want love, I to have to ask for love, to fight for it, to be prepared for it in order for it to happen. I also learned that I’m still fighting to love myself. (I’m much better, even from when I started this blog, but still, it is a fight for me.) Through their love and their conversations, in November I got the courage to truly shout out loud that what I really want in 2017 is a kid…more than that, I want a family. This is not new information, I just haven’t been able to say it with conviction out loud to most people. Like now.
I admit there is some kind embarrassment or guilt or something I feel when I say I want to have a baby. It feels weird when I say it, like when you try on an orange-neon dress that should be totally cute on you and you can’t figure out why it ain’t. I don’t know what this feeling is. I can’t find a name for it yet. Maybe one of you guys can tell me. What I do know is that the feeling has a voice. It answers back, “Who do you think you are to ask?” The feeling uses its voice. Well. Icy and sarcastic, its words are like mean soldiers marching about and travelling through different parts of me leaving dirty footprints and tacking up cut-out question marks to painfully remind me who’s boss. “Who do think you are to ask?”
Earlier this month I got my fertility hormones tested, FSH, AMH etc. etc. and my numbers are loooooow. Like, I have three emaciated eggs left who are sitting on the edge of an abandoned pool at an LA mansion shivering on a pre-dawn morning, wondering what happened to the party. Ha! I seriously laugh because should I be surprised? You guys know my age. If you don’t, just lean in because the soldiers are about to scream it for you.
But, I asked for this.
I find myself shoving lentils and Brussels sprouts and zinc and folic acid into my mouth and chewing or swallowing these saving graces with a ferocious voracity as if shoving them into my body faster will make up for the baby that could have happened in 2004 or when I didn’t go through with the planned artificial insemination back in 2011 when I had good numbers or when I didn’t fucking spend more time on OkCupid in 2014. I literally have had to put the fork down and tell myself to slow.the.fuck.down with the food. And then I quickly do 17.5 minutes of meditation while roughly attempting awkward reflexology on the ovary and uterus parts of my coconut-oiled feet.
Didn’t I ask for this?
Nicole and I had to re-materialize ourselves with breakfast after dropping Belinda off. At a cute cafe over her goat-cheese omelette and my blueberry-topped pancakes with decaf coffee, we spoke of many things. I cried as I confessed to her that during my ultrasound last week the doctor wasn’t sure if I even ovulated this month. In almost the same breath I was able to pull my shoulders back, smile courageously and say: “I don’t believe it. I believe I am healthy. I believe this will happen.” I do believe it. I have to.
One more thing. Earlier this year I was blessed with this super gig where I sang at an upscale event. I got to wear a sparkly dress and sing “Feelin’ Good”. Before that happened, I had told Bel and Nic how I was craving a dose of my former glamour that seemed to be crushed by my dingy white Chuck Taylor’s. When I got home from doing that gig, I was thankful because I knew in my soul that I got what I asked for. That one gig lead to a year’s worth of gigs that I thoroughly enjoyed. I drank champagne, I met business people. I made the Czech press where I was identified as “černá zpěvačka, Peppur Chambers”or “black singer, Peppur Chambers”.To sing live like this was my dream in New York. In 2001. Before I got to LA and before now.
I know that I will get what I ask for, because when I stop to think about it in moments like this, I realize I always have. When I initially asked for these particular things, of course I didn’t know how they were going to happen. And of course, we never know when they will happen. It’s simply important that we have the courage to ask, right?
So. I’m anxious this New Year’s Eve.
I’m sitting here in my flat, surrounded by bottles of vitamins and bottled water. A chicken stock is cooking on the stove (I’ve NEVER made a chicken stock) as I type to you for courage and with hopes that the soldiers will march through my fingers, through these words and out of me. For the third time today, at the top of my lungs, I’ve sung along with Christina Aguilera’s words “Thanks for making me, a fighter!” I’m about to play it a fourth. It is dark now in Prague and the people’s fireworks are starting to start. It is now 17:33 because it took me a long time to get through this. But I did. I had to.
I’ve asked for this.
Happy New New Year, everyone! I wish you everything and more.