F%*# 2018 (well sort of)

Let’s me just say – goodbye, farewell 2018. You almost killed me, but thankfully my friends, family, a new community, and possibly a sprinkling of God/Great Spirit, revived my heart before the close of the year. 

Now to today, Jan 1st 2019. The beginning of a new year usually entails writing down all of the things I plan on DOING in the upcoming months. Changing my diet, losing weight, reading more, computer screens less, writing and creating more, spending less and decreasing debt, volunteering more, keeping my self-care in check, and meeting my mat every morning. All perfectly fine things to do – nothing inherently sinister. Yet – Anne Lamott, Brene Brown, or someone I’ve read repeatedly but can’t exactly remember who, has drilled into my brain –  “Expectation are resentments waiting to happen.” All I need is more resentments to add to my list. (Don’t ask).

I’m starting off this year with something a bit different: 

Through the joy and pain, I want to be present and able to sit with all the wonderful and icky emotions & feelings – including physical pain.

I want to have an unyielding faith in hope and love despite knowing all the facts (Wendell Berry inspiration).

Regardless of the bleakness of the day, I want to still see the sliver of light that remains illuminous in the darkness.

– Me (ok 2019, don’t fuck this up)

I know, right?! This doesn’t sound like my default persona of cynical debbie downer or my other persona of spiritual “om” all is lovely if you meditate or one of my favorites, my persona of rage-filled activist looking for a coup. Life involves suffering – hell we all know that. Even babies feel the pains of hunger, loneliness, and a crappy diaper sticking to their parts. (Adulthood version: When the pad’s wings stick to your pubic hairs).

I’m ready to ditch all the personas I’ve created for myself over the years. That alone feels like one hell of a task but I’m done pretending and presenting a carefully scripted narrative. At least I think I am. Honestly, I think all my personas contain some element of who I am but a more exaggerated version which is neglectful of the complications and contradictions I hold within myself.

Do I know who I am? Nope.

Do I know who I want to be?  Not really. 

Does that bother me? Not all the time. 

Bottom line – I want to unlearn and “unbecome” all the falsehoods placed on me, either by another, society, or myself.

Funny, I didn’t expect 2019 to arrive after the last presidential election. Yet, here we all are, beaten but persevering – fighting without dehumanizing (at least trying not to) & having difficult conversations with others and ourselves.

Am I hopeful? Surprisingly yes.

Will my hope encounter assault? Of course. Every second of human existence contains our immense ability to be cruel to all living things.

Will I give up? Of course, I’m human and insanely imperfect. There will be days where I’ll be angry, sad, depressed, curled up and staring at the wall. Yet, I hope my perspective can shift back towards courageous, radical love.

Here goes something.

(And yes, I’m still 100% obsessed with Anne Lamott’s wisdom – deal with it).

“There is the absolute hopelessness we face that everyone we love will die, even our newborn granddaughter, even as we trust and know that love will give rise to growth, miracles, and resurrection. Love and goodness and the world’s beauty and humanity are the reasons we have hope. Yet no matter how much we recycle, believe in our Priuses, and abide by our local laws, we see that our beauty is being destroyed, crushed by greed and cruel stupidity. And we also see love and tender hearts carry the day. Fear, against all odds, leads to community, to bravery and right action, and these give us hope.”

“We can change. People say we can’t, but we do when the stakes or the pain is high enough. And when we do, life can change. It offers more of itself when we agree to give up our busyness.”

– both by St. Anne Lamott

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