Like any well-meaning barely-adult, I wanted to go into the new year clear-minded. Unburdened. With set intentions. Resolutions. The whole hippie bit. And so for the holiday, myself, the boyfriend, and two other couples opted for a trip to Palm Springs seeking peace instead of the long line-waiting, overpriced cocktail-drinking, and expensive Lyft-ordering that inevitably comes with celebrating New Year’s Eve in a large city. We had a plan: we were gonna yoga so hard. We were gonna meditate so tough. We were gonna chill. (With alcohol on hand too, though; we’re not animals.)

But, as it (sometimes) goes when it comes to walking the walk, we never quite made the time to hit a shavasana, a Warrior II, a Tree Pose. We passed the days eating well with tacos and pasta; drinking better with rosé, mimosas, and margaritas; lounging in a jacuzzi that we paid extra for by the hour; reading silently; smoking giddily. But all hope wasn’t lost.

Come New Year’s Eve, in the short space that laid between getting dressed in our best and heading out for a reserved dinner, we settled outside in a circle and, despite being short on pens and paper, patiently and thoughtfully wrote prayers down for ourselves and for our loved ones. We turned to our right to be misted by spray bottles of divine waters and oils, and turned to our left to do the same for our seated neighbor. We laid out crystals to be charged by what appeared to be a full moon. We burned sage.

And after spending New Year’s Eve(ning) eating Italian tapas, playing rounds of “What Do You Meme?,” counting down, cheersing, kissing, we continued our mission to kick the new year off right by waking the next morning, January 1, to meditate as a team, too. We’d started off on a good foot. We’d set a precedent. We’d done our part to now await the good fortune we’d hoped for. We’d prayed and been protected. What could distract us from ‘New Year, New Me’? What could derail us? Nothing. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past,” no? “The old things passed away; behold, new things have come,” right? Right.

Before checking out of our temporary home, the other four friends doubled-down on their active restoration by ordering in-house massages. And then he and I, who’d originally opted out, decided on our three-hour drive back to Los Angeles that, damnit, we wanted some Swedish, Thai or Deep Tissue skin therapy, too. And so we called a spot that, despite the holiday, was still open and asked for an 8 o’ clock p.m. appointment. Traffic continued to build though—as L.A. is prone to do—and we called back to push it to the even darker hour of 9 o’ clock.

In the silent and small waiting room, six seats maximum, we sat alone, tired, braindead and bodyached from the temper-testing ride as the masseuses ran five...ten...fifteen...twenty minutes late for our appointment. Finally, the door leading to the private rooms opened and out walked the client who’d likely been nibbling into our time. 

It was my ex-husband. From a failed year-long marriage. Whom I hadn’t seen or spoken to in twice as long. Who, note, I thought had moved 3,000 miles away. It was like seeing a ghost. A ‘what the fuck?’ A ‘how the fuck?’ A could-be obstacle personified. An almost-derailment made tangible. As quickly as he entered, he exited with no eye contact made. BUT, that moment sent off a reminder: no amount of sage, full moons, and namastes will protect you from God’s sense of humor! May your 2018 remind you to take things with a grain of salt and laugh with the universe.

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Danielle Cheesman

is a Senior Editor,  @RevoltTV follow her  @daniellesaid