Where does one start? I know I’ve been so busy with life that I haven’t been able to devote time to just reading or writing for leisure. But I found myself there today.
And I found myself vomiting all the things I needed to get out about my life and the many changes that have happened to me. Some good, some sad.
And starting with the sad.
Last March, I lost my really good friend, Julia. It was sudden. She was only 40 and left behind a wonderful 3 year old daughter and a loving husband. I’ve been coping as best as one does when losing a close friend. I’ve talked about her, talk to her and have done things to honor her – however small. Writing this is as much about her as it is a coping strategy for me.
It’s been so hard to be an outwardly productive and optimistic person during this past year. I think I was able to do it – but I can’t help think that with this terrible year coming to end, the future might be just as terrifying – simply because of all the unknown paths our lives can take. It’s such a strange intersection in my life where I’m feeling vulnerable, yet hopeful, authentic and strong, but afraid.
Is it grief? Rearing it’s ugly head once again? It feels different. Sometimes I’m in my car, waiting for the red light to turn green and I find myself just missing her. And I’m close to tears as I try to understand the lack of her presence. Sometimes, I’m happy and smiling at my daughters thinking of her and our friendship. Other times, I’m sullen, with the shower water raining down on me as I think about the shared vacations she always wanted to plan for our families. I don’t know.
How can such a bright light like hers be diminished so quietly and quickly?
This is made even harder to comprehend when good things seemingly happen after a tragedy.
Pouring all my grief into work has always been the way I coped with death. This year, I didn’t know I was coping that way again. I thought I was just getting by like everyone else. But I took a minute to take stock and realized that I worked really really hard. I worked hard at making sure my daughters were feeling fulfilled and loved; I made sure my husband knew he had my support with work and school, and I worked really really hard at, well – work. I made sure this year I was learning more about the people I see everyday, that I was serving as an example and really listening. I worked hard at building and cultivating relationships both inside and outside my institution. I even got published. All these wonderful things made me feel proud but confused.
It’s with this very real vulnerability that I leave 2019 with a firm goodbye. I’m ready for change. I think it’s time to be more authentic then we let people see. It’s ok to be scared – I am very much ruminating in it. But my hope for you dear readers and for myself is that we embrace 2020 with fortitude.
With that, I leave you with this song (surprisingly not metal) by Imagine Dragons that resonates with me. I’m saying goodbye to 2019 and to being a Bad Liar.
I hope you do too.
“Oh, hush, my dear, it’s been a difficult year
And terrors don’t prey on
Trust me, darling, trust me darling
So look me in the eyes
Tell me what you see
Tearing at the seams
I wish I could escape
I don’t wanna fake it
Wish I could erase it
Make your heart believe
But I’m a bad liar, bad liar
Now you know“