good riddance, 2018

I’ve been anxiously waiting for this year to be over for the past few months. When I look back, it’s amazing how much has happened this year and how much of a different place I was in January than I am now. If I tried really hard, I’m sure I could somehow spin a positive note to this end of the year. But why should I? The truth is, I don’t want to and I don’t need to. The end of this year really sucked and it is what it is.

By the end of 2017, I had learned a lot of great lessons and gained this gung-ho, “I can accomplish anything I want!” perspective. I was apprehensive about 2018; I thought it was going to be boring and less adventurous. And in a way, it was. But I was also ready, and I tackled the new year head-on. I finished my thesis and got my degree, I started freelancing and reached full-time hours, and Will and I bought bought and renovated a freakin’ house. So yeah, I accomplished a lot. Then we found out I was pregnant, and we were so excited and ready to start a new family.

But then the year packed itself with events that were 100% out of my control. A friend of mine passed away after battling brain cancer over the last few years. A family member discovered she had stage 4 lung cancer. One of my closest friends lost her best friend in a tragic accident, then had her heart broken as her relationship with a long-time boyfriend ended. We couldn’t find Steven’s heartbeat, and I had to deliver a stillborn child – our firstborn, and our parents’ first grandchild. Six weeks later, we found out everything had been normal; there were no answers as to what may have happened. And, of course, I naturally became surrounded by pregnant women everywhere I went.

It was just blow after blow after blow and all these events made this year seem so long and fruitless. As I contemplated doing the same end-of-year exercise as I did last December, I realized that when it comes to the things I had control over, I really did my best and I did it all. Honestly, there wouldn’t be much that I would actually change. I am capable and I am strong! But…who cares about how much money I make or how many clients I have or if I got my degree or whether or not my new house is in tip-top shape? Who cares about any of that stuff when it’s all worth giving up if it meant I could hear my baby’s cry just one time.

To 2018 – I get it now. I understand that so many things are out of my control. I understand that shit is gonna happen and there is nothing I can do but to deal with it. The lesson is learned and I’m not making any more assumptions anymore. But to 2019 – I hope you are more forgiving and merciful. I hope you teach me how to be less angry at my circumstances. Show me how to better harmonize grief and gratitude, and help me recognize the bigger picture. And please, if you would, give my heart a little break.

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