reminiscing over a past i can barely remember
- spent the new year in a foreign country and watched the fireworks from our laptop in the hotel room. (i tried to think of the colours painting the sky, and not the taxidermy that lined the halls.)
- fell in love. (we wrote each other poetry and sent prayers from either side of the globe. they say paris is the city of love, but for me, it was valencia.)
- became closer with a friend. (she thought i hated her. i thought she was too extroverted to like me. now we're baking bread and shaking dirt in jars.)
- felt sick on a day trip. (we didn't have any medicine, and there were no pharmacies around. we visited a fish pond and fed some ducks. a duck chased a toddler around for food and i laughed so hard i forgot i was sick.)
- grieved for a fictional character's death. (there have been many who have died, but not like this. he deserved to live. our technicolour dreamcoat man.) (long may he reign.)
- rectified a mistake. (i wish i could have done this one more.)
- no longer felt safe in my own home. (having your house broken into changes you.)
- remembered how beautiful the world is. (overhanging balconies, reclaimed land, fields of tulips, windmills covered in vines.)
- went to a party and almost cried. (whoever knew that surrounded by so many people, you can feel so lonely?)
- stayed in a five star hotel, had a brush with fame, and wrote stories about girls in pain. (it was beautiful. heaven on earth, if one could be built that way.)
- finished a math exam early and drew stars on my hand until i felt bright enough to draw a sun. (the horizon rose to meet it. there's a metaphor in there somewhere.)
- didn't feel festive. christmas left us behind this year in search of capital benefits. (look at the lights, smell the trees, but none of it seems real enough; it's trapped behind a glazed screen and i can't find the door.)
there's so much i can't remember. some parts are so full while others are so empty. i wonder if life is worth living when we can't even remember how we lived it.
- I realized I was lost
- I began eating raw fish
- I made finding myself an active choice
- I ate bell peppers, a cucumber, and hummus almost every single day
- I created my own hope
- I gained 4 pounds. It was hard work to gain weight in a healthy way. I am so excited and proud of this success.
- I loved my job.
- I let people down
- I began bouldering
- I broke somebody’s heart
- I worked up to a deadlift @ 175 pounds for three sets of 15.
- I discovered what my purpose is at this point in my life.
- I learned to be content immeasurably more than I was depressed, angry, self deprecating, anxious, and confused - combined.
- I loved myself
- I lied sometimes.
- I loved the people in my life
- I repaired a violin
- I forgave myself
- I was seen, truly, and loved.
- I practiced gratitude as much I practiced yoga (which is not quite enough tbh)
- I made good, genuine, friends.
- I struggled to make choices I would feel good about
- I began eating tofu
- I went camping, dancing, and hiking more in the past year than in the past 5 years combined.
- I advocated for myself.
These are just the beginning of the journey I am on to a make a place healing, peace, and fulfillment within myself.
The journey will last as long my life, and I am grateful for this.
Reading back over this list helps me realize how much I can actually do with the time that I have in this life.
I intend to continue finding things and people that bring me meaning, to create my own meaning.
If you read this list, write your own. Write all of those things you did last year that you find noteworthy be they good, bad, or in between.
1: a way of living that often focuses on finding beauty in that which is imperfect, impermanent, or incomplete.
“the cracked vase, though irreparable, evoked a sense of wabi sabi”
//cracked leather binding of an aging book / chipped terracotta pots housing blooming buds / crooked crowded teeth framed by persimmon lips/ peeling paint on the cottage windowsill / vines tangled in the broken lattice//
a year is a long time.
I mean I know time is relative and a social construct and just a way for us to feel a little more in control of our lives or something like that but like a year is a long time.
I’m different. New place job cat friends car depression crunchyroll account man. Crack me open like a tree and you’d see twenty-seven rings but I feel like I’ve aged threefold and how does that work anyway.
And I learned that love can make me feel like a hummingbird topographical map piece of cut fruit left on the table to rot, the smell of decay suffocating every living thing that comes near me filling their lungs til choking, disgusting.
This is the way the world works, tough clutch and holding. No apology, no excuse keep your head down and get through—is what I’d like to say. But things are better seen with starry eyes and strong shoulders.
Its not the end even though my heart is in my ankles and my brain has shrunk and everything I gained I also lost. Yet it feels that way.
Still, I go on.
learning and losing
-I learned how to leap
-I did the impossible, singing my heart onto the stage I'm on now
-I met my goals, proved myself to me
-I forgot how to hear
-my mouth kept working so my ears didn't have to
-I tired myself with my own head
-I learned how to see
-my eyes were opened to my own imperfections, my own ignorance.
-I saw my absence of sight for myself
-I forgot the truth
-I didn't see that these stains may not be permanent
-I couldn't see that this me was not permanent
-I learned how to lose
-I said goodbye to a friend
-I accepted some of my imperfections
-I forgot how to breathe
-My stomach learned to live with the knots, not frequent, but more frequent
-My breath was stolen by these beautiful souls
-I learned how to learn
-I wasn't a person who I was proud of, but I'm still breathing
-I tried to realize that I won't ever be perfect, but I can be my best.
this year wasn't my best, and there were hard things. but there were also great things. Amazing things. Lessons learned that I wouldn't trade for anything. But these lessons, and the ones above, I still struggle with. A friend once shared with me a quote that has stuck with me. In fact, I have made it my motto for the new year.
“The most important step a man can take. It's not the first one, is it? It's the next one. Always the next step..." -Oathbringer
May 2020 be wonderful in every way.
-I started falling.
-I sold cookies at 6:30 during winter
-I wrote my first short story
-I got into fanfiction (don't judge, unless you want a long rant on the subject)
-I found hope.
- I stopped paying attention in Algebra 2.
- I got an F in Algebra 2.
-I started falling again.
- I tried NaNOWriMo.
- I found Prose.
- I made a friend. I hope.
List of One
This list has only one entry. All other events that happened in 2019, let alone the previous 45 years of my existence, pale in comparison.
- On June1st, 2019, I chose to end my mother's life. -
I gave the doctor permission to remove the machine that was breathing for her. There was no other person to which I could defer the decision. Dad passed two years prior. My schizophrenic brother did not understand why the decision was mine and not the doctor's. My brother didn't even go to the hospital to witness, but I won't blame him. Before I left the house that morning, I had to explain to him that mom was going to die that day. That is an interesting conversation to have, for sure.
Within ten minutes after the tube was withdrawn from her throat, she was gone. She slipped away quickly and quietly. My aunt and uncle were there along with a few of her closest friends. I was holding her hand the entire time. I was blessed with proper closure.
Would you believe me if I said that this sequence of events was probably the best way it could have possibly happened? I feel grateful that the quick downward spiral only lasted twelve days. That time felt like a kind of purgatory though, not knowing what outcome was ordained, but fully acknowleging that everything would be different at the conclusion.
Of course I had selfish feelings shortly after it happened, like why my patient who was older and sicker than mom would linger in agony and not die, while mom had to go so quickly. Ultimately, I learned that treasuring every moment with your loved ones, including family, friends, or even acquaintances, is the true fabric of life.
I am aware that this transition has been the fulcrum of my life, forever changing my path. I can handle anything now. My feathers cannot be ruffled. My conscience is clean. My priorities are clear. It is time to live!
this starts coherent and then...does not
-Set a personal record for procrastination
-broke my habit of procrastination
-landed in a weird grey area of procrastination where i do it sometimes but actually turn things in on time
-had my therapist tell me, "we've been over this. you have anxiety. that's why you're anxious all the time. it's in the name."
-started taking Prozac(mental health! you've returned from the war!)
-discovered about ten bands that i promptly forgot about then returned to a month later
-learned about fifteen words in italian for no reason
-freaked out about failing geometry when my lowest grade was a c
-forgot everything i learned in geometry
-took the ACT for Duke TIP
-got a 29 on the ACT and had my mom tell me she was proud and disgusted
-walked across the Duke basketball court and got a medal
-went to washington D.C.
-got a scar on my wrist from my friend's toenail(don't ask)
-called my mom in a panic three seperate times that trip
-survived that trip!
-got the first cavities i've ever had in my life
-got diagnosed with trypanophobia
-survived my longest panic attack ever
-made a song to sing while waiting for the lady at the crisis textline to text back(it's not a very good song)
-learned to make angel food cake
-watched my favorite musical get the recognition it deserved after years!(nabiyah be was still a better eurydice but eva noblezada holds a special place in my heart, you go girl)
-came out to my mom
-came out to my best friend for the fifth time(she finally remembered this time)
-started acting a lot more
-got nicknamed peter parker for my crush on a girl named M.J.(for the record, it stands for mary joanne and not mary jane, so if i call her by her full name you cant make fun of me anymore)
-auditioned for a play
-got the part
-celebrated with a super complicated cake that used all of the whisks in our house to make
-performed in a play where i had to pretend to die on stage three different times
-it was amazing
-got diagnosed with separation anxiety(why are there so many types of anxiety? can't we just label them all as "screams and terror and freakouts" and leave it at that?)
-figured out what depression was
-realized that taking antidepressants is not a guarantee you won't be depressed
-you'd think with the name
-bought a tiny wheel of cheese and made alfredo
-learned to draw!
-still kind of bad
-but not horrible
-convinced my parents to let me stay home from church
-learned to dance
-came to terms with the concept of oblivion and realized that oblivion itself wasn't what scared me and the concept of an afterlife is actually less comforting than it sounds and that reincarnation sounds like the best idea but i dont know i didnt create the universe and i dont know how it works
-adopted a cat!
-she wanders around our street
-i feed her
-our actual cats want her to die
-but thats fine
-for three days
-then went back to glasses
-realized after five years that when my piano teacher writes Fine! on the back of my recital pieces after the recital she's saying "finished" in italian instead of just writing fine and pronouncing it weird for some reason
-broke a pair of headphones
-almost drowned in the most anticlimactic way possible
-started a prose account
-realized that writing and acting are the two things that kept me sane for a good month and that continuing them wouldn't be a bad idea
-got my friend on prose
-stole her books
-read none of them
-momentarily distracted her from the fact that i hadnt returned them by buying her a new book
-forgot my own name
-watched my cousin graduate from law school
-contemplated stealing my cousin's cats
-didn't do that
-accidentally stole a book from my teacher
-had to define accidentally stealing to my friend
-informed her that WE CANT HAVE PHILOSOPHICAL DISCUSSIONS BEFORE NOON
-started having really weird dreams
-like god what happened
-and why do so many of them involve zombies
-had to explain why i have grey hair to about a hundred people
-several of them were repeat offenders
-I KNOW ITS GREY! I HAVE A MIRROR!
-tried to explain moral relativism to a cat
-dont know why he seemed to understand more than my friend
-bought a bunch of books i still havent read
-thats about it
-but not really
-where is this going
Fate Loves The Fearless
I learned a lot of hard lessons in 2019. I learned a lot about love and heartache, heartbreak, sacrifice, and selfishness. I learned that my instincts are not as off as I wish they would be. I've been the fool, the freak, the monster, the destroyer, the resilent wall, the broken little girl. I've been hardy and I've been fragile. So without further ado, 2019.
January: I started out the year struggling. I was living with a man who belittled me, drained my savings, left me destroyed and hurt me beyond belief. I was jobless, without heat, physically unhealthy and falling apart.
March: I was fooled by kind eyes, people who helped me for selfish reasons. I stayed because it was easier than being alone.
April: I met someone that changed my perspective, made me happy. But it wasn't enough. Someone told me to 'kill myself,' so I actually tried. MY mistake. No one horrible being is worth your life. LESSON LEARNED
June: I moved out in the messiest way possible. Another lucky break with work. I actually was comfortable for a while. First time in a while that I had something good. I had to learn to live alone again.
July: A friend had tough luck and I let him move in. We became more. I loved him.
September: First birthday is 5 years that I did something good, happy memories. Something happened and we broke up, and we lost a miracle in the process.
October: Apartment fire. Bad luck again. I'm homeless and went to live with family. Lost my job because it was not a worthy commute. LESSON LEARNED
November: I had trouble finding another job. Depression.
January 2020: A new story, a new beginning
I lost a lot, I loved and laughed even more. Thank you 2019, best of luck 2020.
2019 lists of firsts----
-being engaged, proposing first/questions later
-being robbed by a trusted friend
-having a normal 9 to 5
-surviving a house fire
-owning a car
-dancing in a club, and going home with a stranger
-learning to play guitar (even if very badly)
-being comfortable in my skin, being self-concious of my body
-dying my hair
-etc, etc, etc
2019 - A Year in Review
2019, the end of a decade. The year began with a promise. A promise to a magnificent woman that I would end the grueling, yearlong distance between us. That against all odds, and all the doubters, we would be together. In the spring of the year, we exchanged our vows. After decades of looking for a family, I finally found them. I finally came home.
I learned the depth of human cruelty goes deeper then I could imagine. I witnessed my coworkers mock and ridicule a war veteran without any remorse or feeling.
In the summer, our little family a little bigger when we rescued a pair of kittens.
I watched the war for the Iron Throne come to a fiery end. I endured the Longest Night.
I embraced who I am, my successes & faults.
I continued down the winding & bumpy road in my pursuit of becoming an author.
A little blue bird, who could only speak 140 characters at a time, guided me to join its flock.
I registered to vote so that my voice, no matter how little, could be heard.
2019 was a year of triumphs and defeats but it will forever be remembered for me as the year when I married my soulmate. The year I found what I have spent my whole life looking for.
- Started the last year of my bachellor’s degree (3 months to go!)
- Lost 80 pounds
- Faced cultural humility
- Played Dungeons and Dragons for the first time
- Met like 50 (not kidding!) interesting people
- Got into a fight
- Took 28 Xanax
- Jury Duty
-Became closer to my friends than I have ever been in the nearly 10 years I’ve known them
- Reconnected with someone I hadn’t spoken to in 4 years
- Threw up from drinking 4 times
- Lost myself
- Lost my Great Grandmother who died the most impactful, kind hearted, loving, and genuine person in my life and who was the same thing for members over generations of her family and to hundreds of others who remember her.
- Went to concerts/plays almost monthly
- wasted a summer in a toxic “relationship”
- Saw some really great movies
2019 taught me to know when (and when not) to trust people, it taught me that change will not wait for you, and it taught me that I really REALLY love falafel.