The Absurd and Amazing Adventures of Cafe Girl: The Hope of Plenty

December 4, 2009

The Hope of Plenty

Three days before Thanksgiving, I found myself standing in the middle of LA LIVE ringing in the New Year. The stores had already started decorating for Christmas, but the New Year was still too soon to think about. Yet there I was, wearing a tiara that said 2010, noisemaker in hand, counting down from ten.

Turns out, in LA, everything can be manufactured, even New Year's Eve. This was a taping for Carson Daly's New Year's Eve Special. Green Day was performing, and we were the audience. They handed us funny hats that said 2010, gave us glow sticks and those annoyingly nasal horns made out of sparkly cardboard. We counted down from sixty, screamed, "Happy New Year!" and then counted down again from ten, and yelled again. It was all so very surreal.

But as I was standing in a crowd of 9,000 people, pressed up against strangers, it struck me that this moment of ringing in the New Year could be taken as a symbol of God's permission for me to end difficult year and start afresh.

I never like to declare that something is horrible - it sounds so very defeatist and also somewhat bitter. But I have to say 2009: Sucked. Royal. Ass. And that's the polite version. Some highlights of 2009 were - major depression, heartbreak, pettiness, broken community, not to mention some Very Expensive Therapy. It has not been a stellar year.

So here I was, part of a simulated New Year's Eve celebration when I thought, how many times in this life am I going to get to celebrate New Year's Eve in November? Why couldn't I close out 2009 and bring in 2010? Who's to stop me from having an Early New Year?

The loveliest part of a new year is how there can be infinite possibilities and boundless hope. Nothing has happened, and so anything, even everything, could happen. It is in this spirit of boundless hope that I am going to practice the hope of plenty. This is the hope for abundance, the looking forward to the bounty of good things.

Since it's 2010, I thought it would be fitting to name ten things I hope I have plenty of in this upcoming year (which starts today).

And I'm talking about coming-from-deep-within-your belly-shake-you-up-roll-on-the-floor- tears-flowing-from-your-eyes laughter. I want to laugh. Loudly. Hard. Often.

May 2010 bring lots of meaningful connection with friends old and new. May there be numerous conversations where we challenge our minds and open our hearts. May we all know and be known by one another.

Open Houses
I want to make my home a place where people feel welcomed and loved. Since moving to a city of transplants, shared apartment living, and single-serve dinners, I've missed entertaining. I've found that every time I open my home, people flock -- maybe they too miss that warmth of going to someone's house, hanging out, and sitting down to some home made food. I've been blessed with a spacious apartment and a genuine enjoyment of cooking. So in 2010, I want to say more often and to more of my friends, "Come over. I'm making you dinner."

Bring it on in 2010! I am ready for the unexpected, the risky, the roads untaken. For far long too long I've been far too cautious, too cerebral, too precise. May 2010 bring more spontaneous and uninhibited adventures. It's about time.

God Speak
I have to say, having heard God speak directly to me, in a way that's unique, conversational and full of tenderness, it's hard to imagine a life where God stands off to the side, silently watching me, keeping notes and making judgement. I have tasted and seen an all powerful God who loves me personally and uniquely. I won't settle for anything less. In 2010, I want more of Him speaking to me.

First Dates
Because they are fun. And oftentimes funny. Because I never know what to expect and have always been pleasantly surprised. Because every time I go on first dates I learn something new about myself and the person I am going out with. This year alone I have learnt about - insurance modeling, psychedelics, unicorns, the foster care system, and riding in a C-130 military transport aircraft. I've also learnt when to say yes, how to say no with grace, and the importance of asking for what I want.

Spiritual Community
These are the folks that will pray for you when you've been beaten down by The Enemy. These are the folks who will look you in the eye and say, "I know you have issues, but I love you regardless." These are the folks who will utter the ever healing, ever comforting words, "Can I pray for you right now?" I know that in order to have spiritual community I need to be present, both physically and emotionally, and be open to sharing what is on my mind and heart. I've been making small steps. Here's to leaps and bounds in 2010.

To explore different writing styles, learn more words, and experiment with different forms of prose. I'm also hoping for creativity in thought, in problem solving, in listening to God and walking the path that leads to Jesus. I've always been a person who can come up with new ideas, explore unexpected thoughts, and create new experiences. I've often thought this made me too strange to contentedly exist in the mainstream. I've come to realize the mainstream is overrated. In 2010, I want to treasure and nurture my creativity - in all its forms.

Riding In Cars With Boys
And everything that entails. From the loveliness of having the car door opened for you, to the sweetness of sharing our favorite tunes on the CD player, to the deliciousness of having the seat pulled back to a reclining position, I find the whole proposition both wicked and hilarious. I probably won't be doing this with every boy - and definitely not on a first date. But in 2010, I'd be open to a few car rides to places unknown.

Long Runs
The runner in me has had enough of a running break and is about ready to go again. I want to do another marathon in the summer or fall of 2010.

And since I am hoping for plenty, why not take the extra step and shoot for excess? So here's one more extra thing I hope I have plenty of in 2010:

I met one of those in 2009. Beautiful, lovely people, these drummers. And they have coordination and a sense of rhythm. All things that bode well for... well, let's just say it bodes very, very well.

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