Tonight is the night, y’all. Midnight is going to strike and 2018 is DONE. I am elated, really I am. Mostly what I feel though, is tired. I am so, so tired.
For me 2018 was a year of a mild traumatic brain injury that it took me the bulk of the year to heal from, and heal is a weird word because I still get symptoms if I get sleepy or overwhelmed. My memory is not what it used to be. I am so, so, so much better than I was throughout spring and summer. I am so lucky that my brain injury was only what it was. I am still someone coping with a brain injury.
2018 was a year where I had my heart broken platonically, where some of the people closest to me were traumatized and went through really trying life experiences and transitions. This is a year that is even ending in injury and illness for some of the people closest to me.
This only scratches the surface. One of my business lives almost fell apart. There are stories that are awful that I am deeply embedded in but are not mine to tell. It is a year that I took a step backward financially (thanks to said brain injury) for the first time since I started full-time self-employment. I am ending the year back under the poverty line and that hurts given how hard I’ve worked through it all.
I am sure that I have learned lessons. I am sure that there are things I have gained. I am so grateful for the things and relationships I do have and that is always true. Normally though, at the end of the year, I do this great program and I revel in my success and reframe my failures. I think about what I learned and where I want to go. I write it all down, and I blog a lot of it. This year though, every time I’ve looked at that great journaling program and written down more goals beyond “produce plays, sell books” I have panicked. I’m not ready. I still need to take things slow. I still need to recalibrate. I am not done healing.
I am not done resting. Not even close. This is the hardest part for me. My last two years of college I slept maybe four hours a night. I had a full load of classes, directed and stage managed plays, celebrated Sabbats with the few other Pagans on campus, and pulled a struggling GPA from my previous school into a 3.7 GPA. I had two jobs and an additional one in the summer too. While sick. I graduated a decade ago and until my brain injury I kept that schedule except added in extra hours of sleep and doctor’s appointments instead of classes. Basically the only thing that changed was I slept more and I called that rest, and a reasonable schedule, and healthy. Maybe it was then. It’s not now. Some people thrive on being busy. I don’t. I write better, read better, create better when I am not running from place to place to place. It took a brain injury to teach me that. I’m sure that’s the lesson. I don’t care. I’m still bitter when I should be grateful.
This is not a normal mindset for me, and it’s been really hard to deal with myself in this process. In my life I have dealt with multiple sexual assaults, Lifetime movie worthy toxic friendships, and the trauma I endured in my upbringing with nothing but hope and love and gratitude in my heart for the things I did have. I have been oppressed because of my gender, my weight, my sexual identity, my health, and poverty and that only made me more determined to create safer spaces and try to make change for others going through the same thing. These things, for all of the horrors that they were (and I would not wish any of them on anyone) did not crush my spirit. My heart remained at the center of everything I did for my entire life. Until now.
My heart is not in anything I have done this year. I don’t know why. I’m not really even interested in finding out why, except to say that I want it back. In spite of my aversion to Unraveling My Year, I did still pull some tarot cards for next year. When I asked what my Word of the Year should be, I pulled the Ace of Vessels. Then, I started sobbing. For the first time in months I let myself mourn. The cards were promising my Double Pisces, Cancer rising butt that I would find me again in 2019, and that made it safe to cry and feel now. I am so sad that I worked so hard and this year made me feel like all of it was for nothing. I am so sad, and I am so tired.
Yet even as I type that I am preparing for a rehearsal process for a dream show and a book release in 2019. Obviously there were gains. I want to be there for them, not only in body but in mind, spirit, and HEART too. 33 is a coming of age year for a lot of people as they settle into what being in their 30’s means. I wasn’t here, wasn’t in myself and yet I can feel that I have changed in positive ways too. I hope to be present and accounted for for any changes or growth that 34 brings. I hope to love again and laugh again and mean it this time. I hope that that Ace of Vessels comes true. I hope that not only do I find myself again, but I find my heart along the way.