It was one of the most challenging years that I’ve known. The difficulty penetrated slowly, and every time it seemed that it was over or dissipating, something new showed up. This year played on all my nerve endings. All of the invisible strings of patience. I couldn’t even put into words how difficult it was because it was so difficult. All I could do was focus inward and go on doing whatever was necessary for this time to pass. And how hard it was not to know when this darkness would end. How hard it was to understand that the darkness dissipates slowly, and the light comes in softly after the deepening dark. I needed to feel the darkness before the light comes.
When your children suffer…
This year I learned that teenagers need to be believed even when they don’t give you any reason to believe them. I learned that you can’t control what they do and that you just need to love them with everything they bring to the table. Even if what they bring with them is shit. Pure shit.
I learned that behind the destructive work of our kids is a lot of struggle. Fears. Insecurity, and a lot of loneliness.
I learned that waging war against them only antagonizes them while we are the ones who need to keep them close. Closest.
I learned that on their journey, our job is to support them. To hold them when they need us to and leave the adult paradigms at the side of the road until everything passes.
I learned to listen beyond the yelling and cursing.
I learned to pray. To believe. To know that after every bad moment comes a good one.
This year I learned an elusive and unstable mental health. That things can get out of hand in speedy moments. I learned that you need to pay close attention and react quickly so that sadness doesn’t become an abyss. Conversations about death don’t become a desire to hurt yourself.
I learned to lean on professionals. To ask for help. To learn. To read. To believe in medication. In the people who went through what we’re going through.
This year I felt alone a lot. I felt that what I knew and thought about the people in my life is different than what reality showed me. I wallowed in the deep pain of disappointment, anger, longing, and my perceptions.
This year mostly taught me about who sees me. About the people I can lean on. Where can I feel at home.
And even when I didn’t believe I would, I found the road again. My people. I found the way to get to where things are right. With the good people, and only the good ones. I learned to let go and put aside the things that aren’t good. The things that hurt. After years of finding it hard to see, I chose to see that which stands in front of me. I learned to see where I give in order to receive, and where I receive unconditionally. I learned to love small moments of grace, and I especially learned the difference between being alone and being lonely.
This year I learned how to believe again. To believe in God, in the universe, in the power of creation to make miracles happen, to bring the light when there’s deep darkness all around. It might sound trite and out of touch, but knowing that I have faith that’s stronger than anything and that everything is going to ok, helped me fall asleep at night after difficult days, and helped me get up in the mornings with a renewed light in my eyes. This year I returned to praying and to give thanks for this wondrous gift that is always here for me to lean on. There’s power in prayer that’s hard to put into words. Specifically for me, who grew up far from prayer or a relationship with it, the connection to it caused wonders in me.
I’m on the path
This year I promise to put the fears aside, hug them goodbye, and go on my way. They’ll come back every once in a while and put shadows on the light. They’ll flood me with inner shaking and anxiety, but I’m no longer afraid of them. I’m moving. I listen to the good voices and where they tell me to go. This year I’m captaining the ship of my life. It’s taking us to better places, well-lit and warm. This year I’m going on a journey with the people I choose, with the work that I love, and with my amazing family that remains the steadiest and safest thing that I’ve known, despite all of the hardships. It’s the thing that most fills me up. My reason of reasons. This year I’m not waiting.