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In the middle of a storm
I guess sitting in the middle of a lightning storm is bound to offer some perspective on life.
(But don’t worry because I’m not actually outside.)
Though I am sitting here with my curtains thrown wide, and while a storm rages on out there, I watch one rage here within me as I reminisce on where I was a year ago. Or maybe rather, where I was headed.
A year ago, I had just barely begun a new editing job - and in two days to the year from now - left the job that I did love but which was not consistent and was barely paying my bills. It was at this same job where, on my very first day, I was trained by the smoke-show who eventually became my favorite person (and my partner). A year ago, I was living alone in a three story sublet complete with a rooftop that I was lucky enough to stumble upon thanks to two of the most incredible people I’ve ever met who are now my best friends. A year ago, I remember feeling like a spoiled queen. I truly remember thinking
there is no way I deserve all of this.
Looking back, I want to gather her up and tell her how much she did deserve it. How much she does deserve.
I really felt like I had everything I could want, and my world felt safe, secure, and overall was exactly what I’d been dreaming about for a long time.
And a lot can change in a year.
I am tremendously grateful that I can say I have grown exponentially in this last year. Professionally, emotionally, relationally… really in every sense of the word. Is that always enough to save us? Unfortunately not, but I’m not going to get reductive on you.
I’ve reached a point where I have realized that pretending that my life is spectacular is useless and also, a lie. I’m learning now to be honest about my capacity for and experience of joy. I realize that sounds bleak, but it doesn’t have to! In reality, sometimes you don’t feel up to showing up someplace and acting like you’re happy. Right? I aim to normalize that as an act of care for myself.
So this is me admitting, in all my messy glory, that I didn’t want to write this but it felt necessary to. It felt important to say that pretending is exhausting, and you should not have to do it. It also felt important to say - because a friend’s text jolted me to a realization - that
No, looking at old photos of various parts of This Time Last Year is not going to “make me feel healed” because nothing is going to make me feel healed right now. I’m unhappy where I sit, so there is no such thing as healing from the wounds I face tonight. But that’s okay. I have tomorrow.
Maybe you’d believe that sifting through what I’ve lost only serves as a reminder of that loss, but I would like to stand up and say that
only once we recognize what is at stake can we make a more concerted attempt at working to secure what is most important to us.
No, I cannot change what has transpired in the last year, but I can work like hell to make sure that everything I have in my life today that matters to me
and all that I have gained in this last year!!!
i.e. this newsletter, a handful of wonderful new friends, great new hobbies, invaluable therapeutic skills, deep love, and on and on
and that which is both actively, and inactively present
is treasured, trusted, acknowledged, appreciated, and recognized for the sheer beauty and incredulity it invokes in my life. Because I can be both sad and grateful. This dichotomy is extremely real.
I can admit that the mistakes I have made in the past might be repeated! And yet, the work I do moving forward shall only be targeted to ensure that more losses will not follow.
And look, I’m not naive. I’m very clear that what is lost may never return. Sometimes our lives take sharp, deep turns and sometimes we can never retrace our steps. However, on rare occasions, we are lucky and our hard work and deep resilience pays off.
I choose tonight to be grateful for what I have control over. An incredible job that I have not left, that I have loved for a year now, and where I am truly, irrevocably appreciated. A safe home that is mine to come back to. A breathing body that sometimes heaves with big weighty sobs at night and yet
in the morning, I get to start all over again in the sunshine
brighter and just a little bit more secure than I was yesterday.
So please: prioritize your mental health and wellbeing. Hold tightly to the people you love, and to the people who love you. Treat them well and love them gently. Remember that it is a privilege to be breathing.
With warmth and love and tremendous gratitude,
And a share:
Snake by Sadurn
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