I’m Still Here

I’ve never been a person who makes New Year’s resolutions. Actually, near the end of one year, I vowed to learn the “Single Ladies” dance, but I didn’t end up accomplishing that one. I try to set goals for myself throughout each passing year- sometimes I meet them, sometimes I exceed them, sometimes I do nothing at all.

With just a little over a week left of 2017, I’ve spent most of my time thinking about how badly I wanted this year to end. Trust me, I know that the passing of minutes, hours, and days won’t actually change a single thing about what has happened. I can hope with all that is in me that the next inevitable 12 months will give me space to be stronger, that unfortunate coincidences won’t strike in a way that hurts (as they so often did this year), and I’ll become a “better me”.

I’ve chosen to open up to a select few about what went on this year, and while this blog has -for the better part of 4 years- been a source of solace, truth, and therapy for me, there are things that I still can’t bring myself to type. Each person who knows my story has said, in their own way, that they wouldn’t have handled the year as well as I did, that they don’t know what they would have done if they were me.

It’s interesting, to me, that these people have seen such bravery and strength in me, as I sincerely felt like every last bit of gusto was stripped from my body at the beginning of this year. All this time, it seemed like things were being taken from me, making me smaller- but somehow everyone else saw me building.

Sometimes I can’t believe that nearly 365 days have passed since I chose to walk away from my marriage. In the months that followed, it felt like my life crumbled into a million pieces, fragments so tiny there was no way I’d ever be able to put them back together. So I didn’t. I didn’t try to salvage the parts of my old life, no matter how much I missed them. I didn’t try to find the “old me”, the “happy me”. I closed up shop and added another layer onto my hardened frame.

I lost my job, I lost my car, I lost friends, I lost family members. That was the language I chose to work with this year: “lost”, “taken”. The truth is, after a certain point, I start giving everything away. I sacrificed my belongings and my visions of myself to the universe like a shaken pedestrian who had just been encountered by an armed burglar. Just take whatever you need. Just let me live.

I knew that if I could become stripped this raw, feel this completely alone and lost, and still see myself standing at the end of the year, I would be ok.

So here it is. I have 9 days left. I don’t have a lot of money, I still don’t have a car, I don’t have a husband, I don’t have a close friend of 5 years, I don’t have my childhood pet, I don’t have in-laws. There is more to this list, there always is.

But I’m still here.

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