Divine Calm: Divinely Different

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Divinely Different

As I was cuddling with my boyfriend on New Year's Eve and watching this of all things:
I started comparing last year's New Year's Eve celebration with this year's. Instead of lounging in my P.J.'s and snuggling with my puppies and boyfriend, I was dancing with a group of girlfriends, including my sister, last year. After an incredibly difficult Christmas in 2004 due to my mother's illness (pre-Parkinson's diagnosis), I so badly wanted to have a bit of release from all my worries.

The 2004 celebration started with a taxi ride into downtown with my girlfriend making the taxi driver cringe as she recounted in great detail her infatuation with her gay guy friend. The girls and I giggled as we each decided which topic we each weren't allowed to discuss for the evening or else we would have to buy the other's shots of alcohol. I remember I wasn't allowed to say any curse words, while my one girlfriend wasn't allowed to discuss her gay friend. My sister teased me with threats of getting me to break my promise. I knew it wouldn't be difficult although our pact was soon forgotten.

As we pulled up to the Downtown New Year's Eve celebration, we hopped out of the cab and after standing for two hours by outside heaters and trying to stay warm sipping beer, we ran to the nearby dance club. Twenty dollars later, we were dancing onstage near the DJ while creating an impenetrable circle where men dared not enter (unless they were really emboldened by shots).

I quickly lost myself to the pulsating music and was surprised when the DJ started counting down to midnight. "6-5-4-3-2-1...Happy New Year!" The girls gave hugs and kisses all around, but my sister's hug felt the most comforting. When special celebratory music started pounding from a speaker near my head, I felt the sudden need to leave the dance floor. I didn't feel like celebrating any longer and headed to the bathroom to call my mom and wish her a happy New Year. I was relieved when she answered the phone. We had a brief conversation since my mom could barely hear me over the club's music, but my anxiety calmed a little.

For the rest of the night, I was on autopilot as I danced and interacted with my girlfriends. Life instead of alcohol numbed my emotions. Even the ride home didn't stop the hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. We rode on a short bus "taxi" where a girl flashed the driver her meager chest for a free ride. Although the driver offered us bottles of beer clanking in a cardboard box behind his seat, he denied the unsteady blonde the free ride after she lifted up her shirt before he could answer. Stupid drunk girl, you can't give it away for free (not that I have any experience in this form of bartering)! My protective sister got into a verbal argument with the exhibitionist when she started smoking in the bus. To prove my sister's case that smoking in such cramped quarters was rude, I dramatically pulled my asthma inhaler out of my purse and took a drag. As my lungs released the misty vapor, I sent a silent prayer for the bus to deliver us safely home.

This New Year's Eve sharply contrasted from last year's night with the girls. This time I had a very relaxing night with the boys: my boyfriend and two dogs, Winston and Murphy. While I had woken up in a snitty mood, it dissipated after a flavorable meal at the local Turkish restaurant. The steaming Turkish tea calmed me more than the martinis and beer had accomplished the prior year. However, my boyfriend and I did slurp down mimosas later in the evening to celebrate the incoming new year.

Instead of giving my sister a hug, I gave my boyfriend a kiss and hugged my pups at midnight. I wasn't numb to my surroundings, and I mentally documented the night that created calm within my soul. Later when I called my mom, I was relieved to hear the cheerfulness in her voice.

This New Year's Eve wasn't wild and crazy. I didn't go out and party with drunken abandonment. I lazed around in purple pajamas with yellow moons and stars and allowed Winston to curl up and sleep between my legs. My mom is doing better, and I have a man who loves me for my "good heart." Reclining on the couch with my boyfriends' arms tightly wrapped around me, I whispered prayers of thankfulness after midnight instead of prayers for deliverance. Moments like these make me realize that growing up and having new priorities can be divine.