In 2016, change came. I lost two 20+ year relationships. One to death, and one to… well, I’m still not sure. I don’t want to belabor the point, so I’ll just say - it was a tough year and I was sure I’d just drop dead from heartbreak. I did not.
In 2017, I gave myself wide berth to find my new normal. I spent a lot of time alone, mentally combing through my relationships and activities, figuring out which served me and which didn’t. I challenged myself to “vibrate higher” mentally (ok, yeah, some days that was literally me saying to myself “Don’t be a bitch, Nicole.”).
I was very, very patient with myself, which highlighted how impatient I HAD been with myself. Since childhood I’ve always been driven to succeed at whatever task that I undertook. Long ago I figured out that competing with other people caused me to behave in ways that I didn’t like, so I learned to compete with myself and my own abilities. My goal was always to be better that day than I had been a month or a year prior.
I allowed myself to drift a bit, teeth-gnashing notwithstanding. I didn’t set any goals other than “self-care.” I didn’t have “systems” for doing this or that anymore. I instinctively eschewed productivity advice from various online sources that I had previously found helpful. Not only did I not have the energy to put into making breakthroughs, I also didn’t have the energy to give a shit. I tried, but in the interest of self-care, I eventually had to open my hands and let go. I allowed myself to be afraid that the little sandcastles that I had painstakingly built for myself would be washed away. Water washed over them AND me… and it didn’t wash us away - just softened our edges a bit.
People have always called me “strong.” How I feel about that depends on the day and whatever operational definition of “strong” we’re using. There’s no delusion here: I ain’t no punk or nuthin, but I’m not invincible either. What I AM, though, is adaptable: What doesn’t bend, breaks.
And here I am, looking around my living room, taking stock of how I feel in this moment, and thinking “Okay, so this is 2018.” I don’t generally get into making a list of resolutions because that stresses me out, but today I’d like to make one resolution. An overarching, principle to guide my hands, feet, brain, and mouth as I move through this year:
“i’m gonna do exactly what i want to
& i wont be sorry for none of it
letta sorry soothe yr soul/ i’m gonna soothe mine”
--lady in blue from “for colored girls…” by Ntozake Shange
I’m a grown-ass woman, and free as fuck.
My resolution for 2018 is to carry this knowledge with me every second of every day.
Happy New Year!🎉