Today is Tierney Cavanaugh Johnson's 41st birthday. Tierney and I share a lot of things—a dimple, really great hair—including a birthday.
I had a talk with her last night about what the last year has been like for her. She went into 40 with a new body and utterly revised outlook on life. There have been substantial ups and downs:
I checked in with her to wish her a happy birthday. I told her that I understood fully what an incredible year this has been, and that I have a few hopes for her upcoming year:
She separated from her husband of now 19 years, working her way toward divorce.
She met Greg Dulli.
The story of the first 40 years of her life was released into the world in a very public way.
She finally saw Concrete Blonde live.
She blew a disc in her neck again and spent another few months battling that chronic pain.
She had crazy adventures with her girls.
She went back to Wicker Park, where so much of her story began to change, and got her first tattoo.
She finally realized that she's pretty.
She fell in love again, albeit with another alcoholic.
She literally laid both new and old ghosts to rest.
She's happily raising two amazing young men.
She finally realized she's worth far, far more than even she ever knew.
I hope she can finally get finished with this divorce process.
I hope Junkture finally gets their new record out and that she loves it as much as the others.
I hope she finds the inspiration to create both new art and a new story.
I hope she steers clear of injury and pain.
I hope she and her girls laugh their way uproariously through their next year.
I hope she both gets back to Chicago.
I hope she's able to get that new tattoo she's considering.
I hope she sees her own beauty, inside and out, every single day.
I hope the next great love of her life is sober and emotionally aware and available.
I hope her ghosts stay dead.
I hope she continues to be the best mom possible to her amazing young men.
I hope she is comfortable in who she is and that she is able to tap her own potential fully.
Tierney thanked me, giggling and grinning as we sat on my deck and chatted. For me, she said, she wishes the same things. And then she thanked me for lending her my strength, even when I thought there was no way in Hell that we would get through this year.
In all seriousness, thank you to everyone who touches my life every single day. You may be with me for a moment or a lifetime, but you are part of me. Just being here to read my words is enough to make you matter to me. Many of the successes of this last year have been wholly internal and haven't been shared in detail on Muchness and Light, or anywhere else. But know that I am grateful for each person who offers me their time and their shoulder and their smile. Your support has brought me this far, and it will help to propel me into what I hope is another unbelievable year.