2019 was not my year, in fact, I think it’s safe to say that it was the hardest year of my life. Like so many, I started 2019 with a strong feeling that it was going to be “my year” and be filled with lots of adventures and new opportunities. I put my faith in the start of a new year instead of in myself, assuming that the power of a date in time would be enough of a catalyst to get me to where I wanted to go, but needless to say I was wrong.
This past year has brought me pain, grief, and the most challenging tests of faith that I have ever experienced in my life, and I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t happy that it’s finally ended.
But as much as this past year has tested me, it’s also given me the biggest opportunity to grow as a person. The girl who started 2019 and the one who loved to see it come to a end are in no way the same person. Looking back at the girl that I was last year is almost an odd thing to do, because even though I can recognize her as myself, I see how different she is from who I am now.
I wish I could go back and hug that girl and tell her that everything would be okay and that with a lot of hard work and determination she’d do the impossible-she’d get through it all and find herself again in the process. I’d tell her to get ready to amaze herself.
December of last year I celebrated Christmas with my mom for the last time, she passed away last year from lung cancer. In addition to going through the heartache of watching her suffer, I also noticed that my sense of time seemed to abandon me when I was staying at our house by myself.
Days turned into nights, nights turned into weekends, and weekends turned into, “I can’t believe it’s already the next month.” I struggled to maintain my identity in an environment that makes you want to put up a wall to protect yourself from the pain. In my heart, I knew that I was in for the most painful year of my life, but I just couldn’t accept it because every January I’d been told of the possibility of it being “my year.” The loss of my mother shattered my spirit and left me a mere shell of my former self. I often describe it as feeling like an uncompleted puzzle with pieces missing, sure, you can try to act normal and maintain some sort of routine, but deep down the grief is torturing you and you fear that you’ll forever be only partially complete, with a few pieces missing forever.
2019 forced me to push myself. It forced me to make the decision on whether or not I was going to heal emotionally from all of this. And as much as I want to hide in bed all day and forget about the world, I knew that I wanted a life back, that I wanted my life back. I knew that 2019 would likely always be the most painful year of my life but that it didn’t have to be the year that my spirit was permanently destroyed.
My journey has been slow, and required many small steps, but I starting to made it through. And if I could, I’d go back and tell that girl how proud I am of her. I can still remember my first trip to the grocery store after my mom died, I felt so vulnerable and detached from the world. It felt like such a big task and one that I was even scared to do.
I wish I could tell my old self that it’s going to be scary, but that the fear I had of never finding myself again was way worse than all of the things that I was doing to help myself heal and rediscover my new life.
I remember the first party that I went to after losing her, desperate to try and reintegrate myself back into society. I remember the long lost friend I seen there, and the first time I told her about my mom.
I remember the lengthy conversations that would occur on a loop in my head as I fought through my grief induced anxiety, all the while trying to rediscover what a “normal” life felt like.
Some days were better than others, and some days still are better than others, but im realizing it’s all apart of MY journey, and so long as I can look back on the year and see the vast changes in myself and my spirit, then I’m pleased with that progress, and I’m so incredibly proud of how far I’ve come and can’t wait to see how far I’ll go.
2019 will always be the year that I lost my mom, but it’s also the year that I finally started to find myself.
2020 has taught me that sometimes you gotta see the good in the bad. This year I’m learning myself & how to put myself back together, and this year Ive learned that even if there are pieces of you that are missing, it’s still possible to find them again. They may be different than how you remember them, but as long as you keep working hard and fighting for your happiness you’ll realize that without even searching for them they suddenly start reappearing, and now you’re a little more complete than you were before.