I’ll be honest. A few years ago when I first heard about the Mayan prophecy thing, I was totally relieved.
The timing was kind of funny, actually. Not funny ha ha, but funny sad: It was three weeks after I had given birth to my first child: My breasts looked like Beyonce’s ass. I hadn’t slept in, oh fuck it who cares, I was wrist deep in baby shit, and eyeball deep in Postpartum depression. (Friends: Tom Cruise is a dangerous fool — because when you find yourself weeping through a pelvic exam, you seriously need a lot more than vitamins to pull you out of it, believe you me.)
The details are a bit droll: But let’s just say it was pretty rough going there for a while. (If you want to know more, you know where to find me.)
Anyway. Since I already felt my life was wasted in a wasteland of something that crept clear through to the other side of my worst nightmares, when my friend mentioned something about the world ending in 2012, I thought, sweet! Only a few more years of this living hell, and then we’ll all go together in some kind of cosmic orgasm.
And even after things got better a few years later – I still found myself thinking fondly of the time when the world would end — soon! — and I could stop going through the motions of a life spent counting down to each bedtime.
I was just so freaking tired. Of everything, really. And December 21, 2012 became my happy place – my “meh, who cares about paying my bills on time? The world’s going to end in T minus 3 years and 7 months and 23 days! Who cares if the highlight of my day is when there’s a good Friends rerun on tv? It’ll all be over soon!”
Reruns, people. I measured my life in reruns.
And then, shortly after moving to Israel two years ago, I had a horrible thought: What if the world isn’t going to end? What if life is going to continue for another 50 years?
And that scared me.
And then I got scared that it scared me.
And then…. And then… And then… I stopped sleeping. And eating. And I got on my purple bike and rode in circles around the fields night after night. Stars shattered around me, as I thought about these things. This is my life. My tiny little life where I have no more impact on the world than I do on myself.
And that really scared me.
I thought about my kids: My daughter, the fairy child with eyes that shine like river rocks. My son, half Spiderman half Smurf (he likes to go back and forth between the two.) And who am I? I am their mother who is waiting for the world to end.
And that was the real crisis. The turning point where I started blasting Eminem on my mp3 player:
You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go. You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow: This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo.
And that’s when I started living this. Because we don’t know if we have the safety hatch of a Mayan apocalypse. Or a Heaven. Or reincarnation. Sorry, but we don’t know when the Messiah is going to show up. And I don’t care how strongly you believe in something else after this life, you will not convince me that whatever Afterlife there may or may not be is more important than this moment. Right here, right now,
Because as far as I’m concerned, right now is our second or third or fourth or 100th chance to try to make it right.
So there you have it: Suck it, Mayans: I’m still here.
And I’m working on really being here. Even when it’s uphill in the rain. And as this new year begins T + however many days since the Mayan apocalypse didn’t happen, I am grateful. I am grateful that I am still alive to have a shot at seeing the good in others. I am grateful that I have such wonderful people in my life — from the people “back home” in the US, to the people in this home in Israel, people I know in real life, and people I only know only by their status messages on Facebook, and their comments on mine.
I am grateful that I am here writing about all of this from my laptop on the kibbutz while my son counts the snail shells he collected from the garden and my daughter brushes my hair. I am grateful that I am still discovering how astonishing this world can be.
And I am grateful that when I am sooooo freaking tired, it’s for a good reason: I was too busy living to sleep.
It’s a new year, everyone. And I know this to be true: I really don’t want the world to end.