Hello Mama Shim Sham and everyone else!
I decided to switch the order of my posts for this week to give me more time to make my video. I have some ideas for how I want to end out this year and I want to take some more time to get it done.
Instead I want to talk today about where I’m at, what I’ve done, and how I want to move forward. We have all had a hell of a year, and everyone’s experience has been incredibly difficult to varying degrees. All of our experiences have been collective as well as painfully individual – and some have suffered a great deal more than others. Many of us focused on survival mode this year – and that made it difficult to take stock in the day to day and moment to moment.
We have had to set new boundaries that may have felt threatening to others and even threatening to OURSELVES – a difficult dichotomy to deal with. Just today, I had a moment with my partner which forced me to walk away from a conversation regarding activities in the winter. I don’t feel safe out and about right now – I’m asthmatic with upper respiratory issues. My doctor has made it clear which activities are unsafe for me. We are still in the middle of a pandemic which continues to make life difficult the world over – and there is no clear end in sight. I have had to set boundaries which make me feel rigid and cold – and I have had to deal with that. It puts me at odds with others who have set different boundaries. My partner and I don’t always agree right away about what is safe and what isn’t. But we continue forward and we work together.
We all need to work together.
This world needs all of us to take better care of one another. We need to be better at chronic empathy – and take others into account more when we make decisions. Things will not get better if we just ‘wait for it to happen.’ I was reminded yesterday by a friend that the ‘oft forgotten step to manifesting and magic’ is the ACTION step. We need to DO things in order to change things.
That doesn’t make it more desirable. Or easy.
The same is true of our own personal journeys. I have been through a YEAR. My life has been upended at a pivotal time. I graduated from Grad school at a time where I can’t put my degree to use. I am being expected to begin paying my student loans back (a considerable amount given my family history, level of inherited wealth, and personal income level) beginning in February with no end in sight of this current chapter of our very (at times) stupid timeline we are living through.
And yet, I still managed to accomplish.
I completed this Master’s program with a 4.0, while having my entire thesis project postponed, changed, and creating months of extra work to a program which was to end in April.
I made it through.
I have recorded over 3 hours of music this year – with over 2 hours of this original music. That is an accomplishment that I would not have thought possible even 2 years ago.
I am teaching professionally. I am performing professionally. I am finally involving myself in the performance arts scene in the Twin Cities. Things are actually looking up in certain ways I would have never been able to imagine.
These are reasons to CELEBRATE.
I need to take stock of these and the significantly smaller (but no less important) ways I have made positive changes in my life this year. I am reconnecting to my spiritual side in meaningful ways that felt lost forever. Stolen by the church and religion I grew up with that not only rejected me, but showed it’s true face while I was in my most vulnerable years of coming up and coming out.
I found strength to reconnect and take that back.
I found new layers to my identity.
I found the courage to come out and to live more authentically.
I found new skills and new loves, new passions.
I sat and watched more TV and learned about new genres that I never knew were there for me to learn from and enjoy.
I walked around my neighborhood more than I have EVER done in the 3 years I have lived in this apartment – and now have a better sense of where I live and thrive. That is HUGE.
There are a number of ways I have grown and suffered, and learned and developed. I need to take stock of it.
And I hope you all will too. We have all been through a lot. And we aren’t done yet. This is a time to develop a new world and to forge new connections. And that takes major changes to our daily lives. And that’s scary.
But we need to start by recognizing our own beautiful lives and see how we have changed and developed during all of this. Connect to ourselves and see how we can connect to others.
There are a lot of reasons to despair. But there are still reasons to celebrate – and I believe we should do both. As much as possible. There are so many ways to be human – so many walks of life. I hope to experience more, and I hope we all will as we turn the page on this calendar year and continue into the next. This story isn’t over.
And hopefully we will all do our part to pen a new storyline for the future.
❤ and a Happy New Year from Kay Jay