2020 was the best year of my life

2021 is the tailwinds of all that I sowed.

And it’s threatening to surpass 2020 all together. Hear me out.

It’s not that it wasn’t a difficult year for me. I was scared and displaced. I was tested and uprooted. There were times when I was relentlessly angry and I didn’t know when that anger would subside (an unusual feeling for me and I’m glad that it’s over). I was homeless for a minute. My entire life dissipated at my feet, and thank god for that.

The first six months of 2020 were some of the worst of my life. I woke up every morning to a voice that screamed my heart into frenzied, beating submission. It told me to get out, get out. I have to get out of here. I’ll never forget the frantic horror of that reality, I’ll never be more grateful for a near miss. I, like everyone else, found themselves in the middle of “unprecedented times” with choices to make.

And it’s those choices that made the latter half of 2020 near bliss. If you’ve read my book, you’ve noticed some themes. I’m a firm believer that when a person knows exactly what they have to do, there’s little on this green earth that can make it impossible for them to have it. So much of what we want is not all that hard to obtain, you just have to want it a lot. You have to sweat a little for it. You have to shed a few tears and suffer a few falls and you have to decide that a couple of bumps and bruises are little consequence in the grand scheme of your grand plans.

This time last year, June of 2020, I had made a lot of choices and yet the best and biggest were before me. I was rebuilding my life in the scariest time I’ve been alive to see but what scared me the most was not claiming the life I almost didn’t get to have. I don’t know how to explain it, but if you know you know. There might come a time in your life when you feel backed into a corner. You might think of all the things that you haven’t done, that you said you would, that you think can never happen now. And you’ll wish with all your might that you had the courage to claim them. To scrap your life and start over. And I hope you do.

In August, I promised myself that I would finally finish writing a book, and I did on September 20th. And then again on December 20th. I wrote every single day. I learned so much of myself, and so much of you. I stopped being angry, I sat with my pain like an old friend. And we parted ways quite amicably, she and I, to exist somewhere else all together.

On December 2nd, I filed with the court to claim the name I’d wanted for 15 years. More than half my life. It was an adjustment I chafed against due to the fear of social pleasantries and societal microscopes. By December 3rd, the order was signed and the person I’d been was erased all together. The person who woke up in a panic every morning, who settled for little favors of little consequence. The person who suffered so intensely in a vacuum of her own sentencing, gone.

In the last 6 months of the year, I built something so spectacular out of the devastation of what 2020 brought that I knew nothing of grief. Suddenly all of the things I feared were behind me. It wasn’t so much the milestones themselves but the surpassing of doubts. It became quite clear to me that so much of what we want is not all that hard to have, you just have to want it a lot.

In 2021, I am a person that did not exist this time last year. There was no trace, no inkling of this woman that I am on Earth at all. Forged in the pressure of 2020’s unyielding heat. I had choices to make. I had to sweat for them. I shed a few tears, I suffered a few falls. And it was the best damned time of my life.

Now I am a woman that I hope to be worthy of the love I have. The love of my friends who dropped everything for me in the heat of summer and the uncertainty of a pandemic and put my life back together with me. The family that finds it within themselves to find me again, in whatever variation I arrive as. The partner who I’ve waited perhaps quite impatiently for, who will receive my love and devotion in such a veracity I’ve not yet been prepared to give. To all of these people, I can promise to show up as the truest and fullest form of myself. To myself, I can promise to never again settle for half a life.

So 2020 was the best year to date, for me. Not because it was in totality enjoyable and pleasant, but because it yielded something so tremendous the world had to fall to pieces for it to be. There’s no amount of gratitude I can bestow upon the feet of yesteryear, not yet the words to sum my praise for 2021.

And if you have some choices to make, some risks to weigh, something lovely and steady and rhythmic upon your heart, I know of only one proper course of action. Run, with all the brevity of your years and the temporariness of your being, at exactly what you want.

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