It Doesn't Hurt To Reflect... Right?
Well… shit. 2018 is about over, folks, and I’m sitting here thinking about what to or what not to write. I felt like this year was broken up into two years. The first half of the year was its own thing, it was two seasons merged into one while the last half of the year quickly went cold and suddenly the months were strung together.
I’ve endured a bit of suffering this year when it began with my Papa Chepe suddenly getting gravely sick and his health deteriorated within months of his first sign of ill health. It was hard not being able to fly out when I wanted and be there for him and hold him and give him a kiss and tell him how much I love him and cherish him and he’ll always be in my heart. I wasn’t able to go to him because of my work and because my mom and I felt it was best that I wasn’t there while she was taking care of him. I will always regret that I didn’t get the chance to visit him from 2014 to before he died. I sent him a video, though and showed him how much he means to me and how I know God will always take care of him (even though his body began to fail).
Aside from feeling huge loss this year, I’ve felt love. Huge love given to me by the people who’ve stayed close to me throughout the months this year. These are the relationships I’ve cherished while I’ve struggled with my depression this year. And I’ve SERIOUSLY been depressed this year. It was hard some days, even weeks, where I’d be crying so much and feel useless. I made my therapist scared a few weeks ago when I was crying uncontrollably and grew dark towards the end of one of our sessions. I couldn’t help it. She asked me if I would self-harm myself and while I informed that I have had suicidal thoughts in the past, I wasn’t going to act on it.
I’ve probably struggled with various degrees of depression since I was a young teen. It’s always manifesting into something else, more tolerable in managing than it was before or it’ll somehow be more difficult to pull myself through. Sometimes I’ll feel like I’m drowning in my sadness and I can’t handle it, but I always strive to remind myself that it’s momentary. The sadness and pain I feel is a part of me but it isn’t who I am. It shapes who I am as a person, but it also doesn’t change who I am at heart. Sadness, disappointment, loss, pain, and all of those other experiences we unfortunately have to go through suck, but I want to fight through it… It’s just hard reminding myself of that bravery in the moment of my pain.
I wish I could tell you everything I’ve experienced this year. So many lessons to talk about. Not everyone knows every single detail (well, God does - and maybe my therapist), but each person in my life, each physical ailment I’ve endured, has had an effect on me. Who I am this year is very much so different from who I was last year. I was someone who was unsure of what she wanted and even though I am still, without a doubt, unsure of what I want I am more sure of what I don’t want in my life. I think knowing what you don’t want in your life when you were so unsure of what you wanted before is a huge leap. I’m scared as hell, but I feel good about everything I’ve accomplished.
I was feeling sad a few weeks ago for a while (it really did last for a while) and right now it’s the first time I feel very clear and level headed. I’m terrified, I won’t lie, about the pain I might feel next year, I’m nervous about how I’ll handle some situations in my personal life and professionally, but as long as I have what keeps me grounded available to me… I think I’ll be okay. I’m determined to paint more next year, do more drawings, take some time each month to create something for me. The last painting I finished (featured above) I gave to one of my good friend because I hope they understand the struggle I went through when they examine the colors and such. I hope they see me for who I am. I want to pour more of myself in my art… I’m going to try.
It’s been a hard year… full of unwanted lessons and heartache, but full of joy and realizations and truths. I might not feel this way all the time, but I feel blessed. I hope to be a better version of me in the upcoming weeks and see growth in the upcoming months and in the next year I hope I stay true to that desire of wanting to be who I am and allowing it to happen naturally.
Thank you for sticking with me. See you again, dear friends.