To begin this post I want to say I had in my head exactly how it was going to be written. As I've tried to sit down multiple times in order to write it, the words just refused to seep out onto the screen the way they were buzzing through my mind. I was and am conflicted. The annual reflection blogpost was much tougher than I anticipated. I hope the ramble comes together as I make an attempt to formulate and verbalize thoughts.
2018 was a year I preached that "Kindness Matters" while it ironically was without argument the year that was the most unkind to me. This year was a year that consisted of attempting to put on a brave face while the world around me was falling apart at the seams. Everything I touched began to crumble, eventually I looked around; I was surrounded in dust. Dirty, broken, bruised, then shattered, I sat down and waited for my life to end.
While this last year had an overflowing amount of unfathomable pain and loss, someone recently reminded me that I also had a shown a great deal of courage, strength, and tenacity. You name it, I got through it. Though if you had asked me a month ago, I would've spoken of it all very differently. I did not see my strength, only my downfall. I did not acknowledge the overcoming, just the failure. I refused to look at my light, I laid in my darkness. This last year I thought I had stopped dead in my tracks. Really, I didn't stop at all; I took side steps.
The Waiting Place. For people just waiting. As Dr. Seuss speaks of in one of my favorite books, Oh! The Places, You'll Go, 2018 felt so much like The Waiting Place. This, I thought was the theme. Something happened to me and then I had to wait. Another thing happened to me, and then I had to wait it out. The next thing happened, I had to wait for the outcome. Repeat that about 70 more times and that is what this year consisted of. Waiting. I sat and waited for answers. I eagerly awaited responses, news both good and bad, and I waited for death to arrive. I waited to live, not wanting to. I waited for that feeling to go away. I waited, waited, & waited some more. I waited to feel. I waited to not feel. I simply, waited. Here's what I forgot.
In order to wait for answers and outcomes I had to speak. I had to fight, I had to stand up. While I had originally thought I just allowed life to happen to me this year, I had actually demanded better than what it kept trying to give me. See, we must act first in order to get to the waiting place. In hindsight I can see it all for what it is, but when I was in it (I still partially am) I could not. This year I stood up and spoke up with my audible voice more than I have any year before.
See, these past 365 days, were so very different than who I am. I see now why my world had become so very dark, grim, and grey. My color faded from life, but most importantly, the magic disappeared. It all makes sense now, I keep saying that because I've only recently realized it. It all disappeared because I disappeared. I disappeared due to events and things that had happened to me, not because of me. This is what I had mixed up. I never stopped fighting, I realistically fought harder than ever before. It all reflected inaccurately in my own eyes, which then translated that way to others. Hear me when I say, I never gave up. The waiting place, for people just waiting. This was not my hell as I thought, it was a stepping stone.
I stumbled through this last year disgruntled, empty, seemingly broken, & unbearably sad. I did not do any of the things gracefully. However, once I began moving again, I've done it more authentically than ever. I began this year with one foot in the grave. I am ending it and beginning the new year shoveling the dirt back in and dusting myself off in order to move onward. I am hopeful. I am walking about the waiting place, interacting amongst the others than join me here. I am more me than I have ever been in my entire life, and let me tell you, it's refreshing. I thought I was cracking, crumbling, and then shattered. What I have come to see is this: I was molting. The cracking, I was shedding. Shedding this skin and mask I have had on for years upon years. The layers were fading, falling off piece by piece in order to move on while healing with a fresh coat of armor. It's an armor I've yet to experience. It's beautiful, its breathtaking, and it's me. 2018, another year. I will not miss this year, but I will indeed miss the people this year forces me to leave behind. To the next year, let's do this, this new skin is ready to thrive. It's a process.