January has always been a month of reset for me. And although I once thought it was the time of year when I was most susceptible to depression, in fact, it’s the time for me to retreat and recharge. It’s a time of introspection and massive self-awareness. It’s a time to process all the pain and hurt and rejection. And ponder on what steps led to the wins.
This year is no different. The difference entering this new decade is that I acknowledge that this is a time for me to curl up into a ball and shut the world out for a while. The rejection is hard. 2019 was a year I came into embracing my full authentic self in all avenues of my life. And while I have no regrets, showing that vulnerable side of myself, even to strangers, meant accepting the possibility of rejection and being okay with the outcome regardless.
But every day is a battle with my gremlins, to prove to myself with evidence to the contrary that I am still worth it, and I am valued. Every day I must remind myself of this fact. I’m not sure there won’t come a day when I won’t have to remind myself of this fact. The difference is I am not feeding into the self-doubt. I am trying. I am choosing to believe in the more positive spin to the story. Not because I think I am such a great gift to this Earth, but so that I can be happy and fulfilled and satisfied.
I am not comforted in the idea of an afterlife or reincarnation, and I have little hope in immortality. I believe this is it, and I have spent so much of it already questioning the value and purpose of its existence. Living with an incurable chronic condition only adds numbers to my already numbered days, and I would like to spend the remainder of my living, breathing entity in a more well-rounded place.
Not every day will be easy or happy or satisfying. My life coach recently asked me to name a song that would sum up 2019. I chose Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole. And for all the pain 2019 caused (and there were a lot of days that sucked and many tears shed), when I look back on 2019, I can sum it up with one word: amazing.
It was not amazing for the circumstances I found myself in or the multitude of rejections I experienced. It was amazing for the person I became as a result of all the assholes. It was amazing for the person I owned and stood up for. It was amazing for an invaluable circle of support – family and friends and even strangers who chose to love me unconditionally and be there for better or for worse. It was amazing for the inner peace, among toxicity and turmoil, that I was able to hone in on. Because by all accounts, I am not necessarily in a better life situation than I was a year ago. And yet rather than feel trapped in elements outside of my control, I now feel free, and as my best friend so adequately described, fearless.
So, when consequently asked to pick a theme song for 2020, I, of course, resorted to my rediscovery of Queen and chose Don’t Stop Me Now. It may have hedonistic undertones to it, but as I relayed to my life coach, in a year, I want to feel empowered, even more empowered than I do now, and I want to feel like I’m building something for myself, my future, and my voice.
Six years ago, I was on a metro train telling myself over and over again just to be brave – brave enough to leave a long-term relationship that wasn’t working for me and venture out on my own. And now, I have a good friend and former colleague (whose words of wisdom have helped me endure so much this past year) telling me:
Thanks for being a part of the journey. In case you’re interested in more: