First, I hope it’s not too late but I would like to start out by wishing each and everyone of you a Happy New Year! The past year wasn’t exactly an easy one for many of us. It feels as though the last few years have seemingly been filled with a lot of uncomfortable shifts, which I assume just means we are in constant preparation for something phenomenal. Despite feeling entirely uprooted, I’ve been trying to find ways to be brave enough to move forward. All in all it’s been a stressful start to 2018. Not only that, but I’ve also felt kind of drained and lost. To start, tending to what I feel I lost sight of, was necessary. I had become slightly passive in how I chose to approach life, trapped in the general mundanity of things. Gradually I realised the only way I’d be able to press forward to push through being uprooted would require me switching towards a more intentional approach to life, regardless of what the past held, or what the future holds.
So I’ve always wanted to write a book. From childhood, I sort of knew that I’d become an author one day. What I could never decide on was when it would be published. Would it be later on in life, when something truly significant took place or sometime soon, made up of a collection of short stories or lessons that create a fictional tale? Every time I’d have a thought worth sharing, instead of feeling excited, I’d feel afraid. Paralysed with thoughts of running away or disappearing to a place where no one knows of me, where I wouldn’t need to face any reality of my words. It compelled me to keep taking a step back with hopes to try again another time. While I sat back watching these stories collect, becoming memories to one day put together, I found myself in a deep life threatening circumstance that made me question whether up to that point if saying nothing at all was ever worth it. I write. I’ve shared a number of stories through my blog but nothing that truly gave a complete picture of just how tough things can be sometimes. How depression is pain achingly tough to overcome. Just like loss. How we don’t just “get over it” some day. Both take years and infinitely more tears than people want to allot you. And all of these together, the silence, depression and loss, all hurt like hell.
Part of the reason I never fully painted the picture is because I grew up accommodating my family, their opinions or feelings and as much as I love them it resulted in many strained, broken and unbalanced relations. It became taxing constantly having to omit parts of me to feel accepted, respected and loved and only resulted in me becoming much less of myself, holding back, only taking steps further and further away from where or who I needed to be. But trauma affects us in different ways. Having experienced deep trauma in 2015 and again last year, I can admit both have rewired me. In some positive and some negative ways. I know I will be carrying my losses with me for a lifetime, that there is a lot of healing to be done, anger and confusion to attend to. I’ve since spent a lot of time listening to what other people think I need to do, wondering if maybe one of them has the real solution to my healing. Most times I still don’t understand where to place the puzzle that is grounded in disappointment, especially with how people who I thought cared about me have responded the way they did. I’ve spent a lot of time feeling stuck wanting and waiting for people to show up. Learning that compassion, real compassion, is rare. Watching the memories collect dust in the mix of trying to make sense of it all. I’ve advocated for expressing truth, our own versions of how it’s happened so far, yet I kept that from myself in practice.
Trauma is never the thing you think you need. Even when it hauls you out of your comfort zone, you always think it was the thing you could have done without. It has made me think that holding back, becoming less, fearing that being or saying “too much” or “not enough” are simply distractions. Renewal doesn’t always come in the forms we expect. Maybe sometimes it’s without our control but nothing that has happened can prevent anything that should happen from taking its shape. So as I now intentionally begin the new year I am pouring more of me out in to the things I feel closest to, being intentional, frank, without explaining too much or feeling guilt as deeply as I often do, not spending any more time doing things I don’t want to do but most importantly writing this book. For the first time in what really feels like a long time, I’m ready to write the book.
Here’s to an intentional 2018.