I’m just going to begin this by saying, YOU SUCK, respectfully. Over the last few months, it has become increasingly difficult to verbalize everything that you took from me… from us. I attempted to put this in chronological order, but that only further exposed how the last 300 days felt like 1,200 days. Yet, this is also a space that has always been about truth, vulnerability, and hope, so I have decided to speak on what you taught me instead.
This year taught me to love harder, not only myself but the people around me. It taught me that no matter how hard I want to hold on to someone, I cannot determine whether they stay or go.
It taught me that as much as I want to take the pain away for my family and friends, I can’t. This year taught me to trust at levels I didn’t think were possible.
It taught me that I was as strong as everyone thought I was, but not as strong as I think I am. I bend well, but breaking is excruciating.
It taught me patience, and endurance. To keep pushing, but to also stand still. That its okay to breathe… not just shallow breathing but to really breathe. And if that’s all I can do in one moment, it’s perfectly fine. That its okay to not be okay ALL of the time. That okay is a spectrum and should be respected as such. There will be some moments that are woefully beautiful and others that are deeply, darkly, disturbing…
There were moments where I loved my life, but absolutely DESPISED the moment. Moments that I can never erase. The sobs of my sisters crying. The tears of my mother. The final glance of my sister in a casket. The stoic look of my father knowing that I was slowly breaking on the inside and he couldn’t fix it for me. The man who has always been my protector.
The hurt inside when the men in my life say things like, “I have to be strong you all.” Because, who gets to be strong for you? I hate that the world taught you that it wasn’t okay to cry…
You reminded me that America is filled with a hatred that I’ll never be able to comprehend…but also with love, hope, and determination to change from a people that is constantly disrespected and neglected.
You taught me that purpose can often be imitated, but it can never be duplicated. What is for me will be for me. Forming attachments to what doesn’t belong to me will only hurt more as ties are severed.
I learned that timing is everything. That God is faithful to his promises but also operates in a way that I will never be able to understand. That when the lights fade, my faith will be the only thing left to cling to. You reminded me that the church is NOT a building. A reminder that I will never forget.
I learned that as much as I love my solitude, my tribe is equally as important. Listening to my flow of consciousness, even when it doesn’t make sense and helping me to make sense if it. Sharing their gains and lessons in an effort to assist in elevating me.
That its okay to make new associates… and sometimes new friends. That I should keep my heart open, even with the risks. That no matter what season I’m in, I will have to “choose my hard.” And deal with the consequences accordingly.
I learned that the arts really do make the world “go round.” So please respect you local arts programs. How else would you have made it through a pandemic without it?
So to the person reading this. This could have been a great year for you, and I sincerely pray that it was. I’ve had some great highs this year. This could have been a seemingly terrible year for you, and I sincerely hope that you cannot identify with that statement. If you can, I understand because I’ve had some difficult lows this year… but you made it. I made it. We made it.
While I have no illusions of the clock striking 12:01 on January 1, 2021 and all of this disappearing, I can be grateful for the fact that I made it to see 2021. There were a lot of GREAT people that didn’t make it out, and there’s grace in that.
More than anything, I learned that life is so fragile. Here today, gone tomorrow. If I can ask anything of you reading this, I ask you to live. With the zest and zeal of a child. Go outside and look at the sky. Smell the air (with no mask on, safely!). Existing is never enough, you were created to live. Find what makes you want to get out of the bed every morning and find your balance. I love you with everything I have in me. I’ll leave you with this…
Matthew 6:31-34 CSB
So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat? ’ or ‘What will we drink? ’ or ‘What will we wear? ’ 32For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
As always, feel free to reach out…
To the reader, I love you.
To the creative, I am inspired by you.
To the thinker, I am learning from you.
To the doer, I am encouraged by your fearlessness.