I am writing because I feel like I should write, but I have no idea what I’m going to say. How do you come back to something that you have neglected for a while? How do you pick up the pieces and remember how to do something that you used to love? Baby steps. Practice. Patience.
This has been a year of losing people. In the midst of it all, I feel like I must admit that I’ve lost some of myself as well. I want to stray away from self-flagellation and the type of reflection that feels like it is not constructive, but I do have to say that the life that I visioned myself having today is not at all what I have. I’ve had a tremendous year, full of hope, but it’s also been full of quite a bit of despair.
Writing the way I do (as I am even doing now), is sometimes just a process of wrapping things up. Processing experiences. I love to go back and read what I was doing at this time last year, the year before, etc. Keeping this blog and other manifestations of diaries, has been a way that I have lived and experienced my life since my aunt gave me my first journal when I was eight or nine. This has been the biggest and most emotionally charged year of my life, but I’m pretty sure it’s been the least documented of the last 15 years for me. I haven’t written much here, or in the other journals that I keep. Not for lack of trying though. I came to this space many times this summer, planning to reflect on the feelings I was having after losing my Dad in July and then again, after losing my wonderful friend, Mike in September. But every time I started typing, the words seemed cheap and unreal. I guess what I have needed to learn for a long time, is that processing experiences doesn’t always come easy. Letting people go is not easy. Saying goodbye is not easy. And learning how to let yourself grieve, is definitely not easy. It’s taken a little while for me to learn that I can do all of these things but I must also take extra care of myself in the process.
2015. A year of loss. I find myself enjoying the sadness that I have started carrying around with me since my Dad passed in July. Sometimes I watch the video on my phone that I took of him when he was in the hospital last December over and over again, like some sort of crazed person. And sometimes I talk to him when I am alone and driving, because I always felt closest to him when we were in the car. We were never all that close, but I know that he loved me and was proud of me for getting sober so young. I’ve had a really hard time forgiving myself for not running to his side the week that he passed, because I feel like I never had a chance to say goodbye. Some people have told me that guilt is a useless emotion, so I try to remind myself of that every time I try to pick up my bag of shame and carry it around with me.
The same sadness that has me watching that video of my Dad, over and over again, sent me back in to the realm of my old live journal, searching for stories and laughs about my old friend Mike. You know when you’re younger and you can’t imagine ever losing people? Mike was one of those people for me. I just sort of felt like he would always be there. And he’s not anymore. And it fucking sucks. But what has developed for me since he’s passed is this overwhelming sense of love and appreciation for the people that we (our group of misfit friends) were and the people that we have all grown up to be. Mike knew that I would grow up to be loved by someone who loves me the way that Josh does today. And he would tell me all the time. I never believed him.
I am crying like a baby right now, of course. It feels good to get this out and to know that I have made a beginning here again. I can’t believe ten months have passed and I have written anything. My life has changed so much this year, and even though most of what I shared here has been about loss, there’s been some triumph too. I’ve let go of some fear and really embraced things that I never thought that I would again. I absolutely love driving, probably a little too much. And I’m falling back in love with my job again, thanks to the amazing people that I work with out here in Oakland. My relationship with Josh is better than it was at this time last year, and even though we are so very different, we have managed to find a way to co-exist in a space that is so beautiful and wonderful and ours. These are all things that make me feel triumphant.
Truly. This life is beautiful and I’m glad to be alive and present in it. Thank you.