It’s that time of year when people start reflecting on things. People look back, ponder over the year a bit before forging forward into the next. But a moments hesitation before a great leap, perhaps. I find a lot of interest in that. In this post, Baby Mac wrote about how she’d written 360 posts this year. That’s inspiring to me. I was reading all of these brutally raw bits of advice that Wild author Cheryl Strayed wrote and that’s inspiring to me.
I think my favourite is this one
“How You Get Unstuck (on moving on after unimaginable grief) – This is how you get unstuck, Stuck. You reach. Not so you can walk away from the daughter you loved, but so you can live the life that is yours — the one that includes the sad loss of your daughter, but is not arrested by it. The one that eventually leads you to a place in which you not only grieve her, but also feel lucky to have had the privilege of loving her. That place of true healing is a fierce place. It’s a giant place. It’s a place of monstrous beauty and endless dark and glimmering light. And you have to work really, really, really fucking hard to get there, but you can do it, honey. You’re a woman who can travel that far. I know it. Your ability to get there is evident to me in every word of your bright shining grief star of a letter.”
I don’t know it’s been a strange year. It’s been a wonderful year. It’s been a beautiful year. I’ve pushed myself to do things that I would have never thought possible. Not in a million years. And it’s been hard. Harsh and painful and heart breaking like no other year that I could remember. The heinousness of it is broken up by my daughter coming into the office earlier to explain skipping to me, as though I’d never done it. And me, pretending I didn’t know how, just to see her expressive face describe it to me. Or cross any of the finish lines that I had absolutely no right to cross. Or being able to sit down at night and watch a movie with my husband without any children waking up at all. Small miracles, it would seem to me.
It was hard though and at times I felt as though I was kissing cement with the sheer weight and pressure of it. And I stopped writing about it because what could I possibly say about that. Hard is hard. It’s more productive to put your back into your work than complain about the load. A friend once told me that they admired my ability to write about the emotion without revealing the content. Possibly I should have done more of that. I knew things had reached a certain level when stress started coming out sideways as social anxiety. But no matter what the motivational speakers say, you just don’t get to walk away from the kind of bullying that I had. You just don’t. Sometimes I wish I was a normal person, but I’m not and this is my normal and most of the time I can get right with that. And then I got sick. And now I’ve spent the last two weeks crocheting things I don’t need and watching movies to recuperate. It’s worked pretty well.
The card I received in the mail last week says Level 2 Athletics Coach. My Facebook page says Coach, but I’m kind of just trying it on – I’m not sure if it fits just yet. It was a surreal, but fitting end to the year. To get that qualification I had to push through every insecurity I had and then some. The way I figure it, it’s ok if you cry afterwards as long as you get the job done.
At times 2014 was magic. At times it was like drowning in open air. It made me more protective and more defensive than I ever had been before. But still, there is far more pride in it than any other year. So I hold onto that.