Some years are for rebuilding–that’s what I’ve always heard coaches say. This last year epitomized that sentiment. I rebuilt my life starting from the ground up like so many others starting with the basics, like being in the same room with people again. I grew used to hugging people after spending over a year without physical contact beyond some trees I’d grip tightly. I went from complete isolation in the first half of the year to meeting all of my half siblings from my birth mom’s family in the latter half. There was little time to ease in and a lot of throwing myself out of the hypothetical nest, repeatedly. I still feel the repercussions of it all.
I collided with some astounding people too. People that I don’t know how I ever did life without. Their stories feel like my stories. Somehow connection won out. It always does, even when/especially when I least expect it. I’m still in disbelief.
I spent nearly 6 months living between 3-20 minutes from a dear childhood friend. We embraced “treat Tuesday”, impromptu hikes, serendipitous hangs, long homemade dinners, and trips to see other friends. We did life together and I slowly felt pieces of my soul come back together as we did. As I began to take things for granted, I noticed myself doing so and felt such relief to have the chance to take something like a quick “I love you” at the end of the night for granted. What a gift!
I went to the hometowns of multiple friends, new and old. I created new rituals and lived in new places. I tried new things in work and life. I took too many photos as I always do. I was honest, so honest, in the moments that were the hardest. I also returned to some of my most known places. I had hours and hours of conversations with my 94 year old grandma, where I learned about her and me by proxy.
I haven’t processed this year and I’m still rebuilding. I’m not in a rush though. I have been forced to slow down and expand my life all at once. My definition of family and community has changed drastically year over year. My capacity to create boundaries and to hold space for others has evolved with it. I feel refined yet limping emotionally, with some parts of me feeling so powerful and other parts threatening to fall apart in an instant. I clutch my heart reflexively now and lie down on the floor at a whim.
I’m rediscovering old aspects of myself that are somehow not lost–like the part of me that would sign a 6 month lease without thinking much about it. I’m talking myself into 2022. It reminds me of when I’m cooking with great ingredients. How can I make something that tastes bad when I am working with garlic and butter?! That’s how life feels right now because, despite it all, some key building parts of my life are still here and the number of incredible people I feel lucky to know has only grown.
I must remind myself that this is how resiliency is built. These are our emotional sprints, rest included. Here’s to 2022.