As another year comes to a close, I find myself looking back to the beginning. One of the lovely things about keeping this blog through the years, is that each is documented quite clearly with goals and hopes, a new year seemingly a blank slate that lay ahead, merely waiting to be scribbled on.
The quote I placed at the top of my 2015 post was this:
I pushed so hard this year. I pushed until, often, there was nothing left but the softest, most vulnerable pieces underneath. I spent a lot of 2015, carrying my heart in my hands. I spent it caught between a lot of somethings and nothings, unable to differentiate between the two at times.
I am known for putting on my winningest smile and assuring everyone that it's all going to be okay. I am known for my never-ending wealth of positivity, my ability to shine a light into any dark corner.
But the truth is, some very scary and awful things happened this year. I saw myself and so many I loved, spread far and wide, in an ocean. We were all treading. Occasionally, I'd see someone's head go under and I'd hold my breath and silently wait for them to pop back up. one, two, three...and there they were.
There was an awful lot of waiting. When the quiet became loud and no one had any answers, we waited. While we questioned the terrible things, we waited. The only thing to carry us through was that we were there together in the mess. Mucking our way. It was in the dark, amidst so much uncertainty, that I learned some of the most valuable lessons, however.
I began writing this post a few days before Christmas. Even between then and now, so much has transpired. We ended up spending Christmas in the hospital with my mom. After her heart surgery in September, she's more prone to illness and had to be rushed to the ER the day before Christmas Eve. What was supposed to be a simple surgery on Sunday became very complicated and every day since was spent watching over her in ICU. Yesterday was by far the worst day. I left the hospital feeling utterly depleted.
There was nothing to do again, but wait.
This morning I walked down the same halls, past the faces of the other ICU families and nurses I've come to know and into my mom's room and finally, she saw me. She looked at ME, not through me! She spoke! She even laughed! My mom came back. On the very last day of the year, she surprised us all, medical staff and family alike.
I told my best friend that it doesn't feel like we're racing through the finish line this year so much as hobbling across. All of us. My little circle of people have been through quite a lot. My mom said it best when I repeated that sentiment to her. "We're still here though. We made it."
In January, I had no idea what the year would hold. I guess in a way I hoped that this year would be an answer and not a question; that it'd wrap itself up into a neat little bow. But sometimes, simply making it through is the point. Not how fast you did it or how successful the ending; just that you made it. And some years, you're going to have more questions than answers, and that's okay too.
2015 didn't neatly unfold. Despite the obstacles, there was a lot of good too! Chris got another promotion, we moved cross-country to be here with our family in Charleston. I left a big piece of my heart in KC and for the first time, I understood just how hard it is to say goodbye sometimes. There were tears and a lot of laughter. I became a writer for the Huffington Post. I worked hard and played harder. I watched my family and friends grow and learn and love.
I'm so terribly thankful that we can all stand here together on the precipice of another blank slate and say we made it. Congratulations guys, we did it! And so we'll keep moving forward, dreaming big, loving fiercely and keeping each other afloat when one of us gets tired. That's life-beautiful, messy, adventurous. I'm excited to see what the new year holds.
Let's do this 2016!