This year has been a year of abruptness. Moments of predictability punctuated with poignant dips – most filled with loss and incredible sadness. And yet the year of the dragon closes without the fiery intensity that I had hoped for, but with a quiet glow that will easily warm the morning of 2013.
I honestly cannot recall much of what happened in the early parts of the year. It was the predictable cadence I speak of that probably filled my now forgotten days. Though I do so recall the incredible sun on that new spring day when my brother called, his voice that usual calmness tinged with urgency, to tell me that she had gone into the hospital – that she was very sick – that this time it was different.
I hesitated, I won’t lie, before I packed my bags and raced home because everybody thought there would be little time left – she was terribly sick.
The next 24 hours, I can hardly forget, I spent in a holding room with my entire family, all the uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters, and parents. None of that night made sense. And I think I said some things that, though I don’t fully recall, perhaps was the most honest thing I’ve ever said to my family in my life. And yet, that brilliantly honest moment were words not to advocate for my grandma’s death, but rather the remaining life she would so strongly hold on to. I told them they needed to let her live the most comfortable life she would of wanted. But I never wish I had to say any of those words at all.
So I lost a dear woman. I lost a close friend. But I also lost a bit of myself somewhere along the way, when you learn that you are flawed, or a little broken. And it’s taken me a while to see the broken and the flawed as not pieces that are lost, but pieces that merely need to be found and figured out.
The summer and fall of 2012 was rather difficult for me. I fell into a lull. The cadence of my daily life became a barely noticeable hum. But then we talked about getting a dog, and that gave me that lever I needed to push myself up again. And when I thought some things were going well, it was taken from me once more. And without the context to truly understand why this broke me (and I won’t go into it anyways), to be quite frank, at that moment, this felt like the clincher in my life. I felt truly and utterly resigned.
But if nothing at all, I am resilient. And so somewhere I picked myself up and told myself it was not a sign, and decided that if the plans I had ahead of me were curtailed, I’d stake out another one.
I turned 31 a few days ago. I thought I’d have different things in my life when I turned 31. I do have though the products of what I’ve been through this year and what I’ve lost. And that is, wherever I find myself in life, I’ve always found a way to live in it. This isn’t some greater strength that I possess over others, but rather seemingly a human truth that we all share.
And so, hug your closest – life is precipitous. But, I assure you, you have the shoes for any path.