A LOVE LETTER TO 2020
Well...THAT didn’t go quite as expected!
2020 was...a lot of things. “Predictable” was not among them.
As is true for so many other people (read: everyone else on Earth), the events of 2020 sidelined my best laid plans. Among them: poetry performances, school talks, and a cross-Canada literary event with some of the country’s biggest names in literature. To lose that momentum and those opportunities, along with the income they promised, was a devastating blow to say the least.
And, as a proclaimed non-conformist, who also suffers from claustrophobia, adapting to day-to-day existence within the rigidity of the Covid regulations was no easy feat. But I did adapt. Because that’s what I’ve learned to do. I’ve learned it’s better to surrender to that which I cannot control than to fight it. The resulting outcome is always far better when I do. And, after all, this isn’t just about me. It’s about all of us. If 2020 has shown us anything with pristine clarity, it’s the countless ways in which we are--all 7 Billion of us--intimately, intricately, inextricably connected. The micro IS the macro, and vice versa. It is our duty to care for one another. If we don’t, who will?
Sure...I have questions. There are pieces that don’t add up in my head and heart. Like anyone...I have fears about how things will continue to unfold. But I’ve also learned that fear, while essential for survival, can be irrational. And staying in a state of it is more harmful than facing and accepting whatever is its cause. Because I accepted fairly early on that the pandemic and it’s ever-changing variables will play out as they will, whether I comply with its demands or not, I found it relatively easy to just get on with my life and choose to focus on the blessings 2020 bestowed upon me despite it, and in many ways directly because of it.
Here it is one year to the day since my last blog post and I’m only now feeling equipped to come back to it. In part because there was a period of many months I couldn’t access my creativity sufficiently enough to form ideas worth sharing. In larger part because 2020 had me focusing on other things. Things that seemed--and, I believe, are--far more important than keeping my web content up-to-date. Things like my health--physical, mental, and spiritual, my family relationships, my enduring friendships, clearing away all that was no longer serving my higher purpose and inviting in new things that are. I came to know myself over the course of this past year in ways I never have before. I drew healthy boundaries and established habits that will serve me long into the future. I created a warm and beautiful home for myself and my son that is our haven, even in a world gone mad. I came out of my hermit hole of safety inside my head and allowed myself to connect with other creatives I’d previously been intimidated by. I found ways to send tender love into communities of people who were suffering in ways I was not, and that was one of the most beautiful blessings of all. I was reminded daily what a privilege it is to have a warm bed, a roof over my head, a fridge full of food, family and friends who love me and will protect me from harm, access to nature, books to read, technology to connect me, art, and music, and wonder to keep my heart steadily beating full of hope and the knowledge that this too shall pass. The wisdom of experience: priceless.
I won’t claim that “2021 will BE THE YEAR!”, because I believe 2021 will be, as every other year before it, a moment-by-moment evolutionary process. One choice after another leading to consequences leading to choices...and so on. Rarely does life change on a dime. More often it happens through a series of barely-detectable shifts until, one day, you realize you’re not the person you once were, and the dreams you’ve been steadily building toward have become reality. And upon that new reality you build new dreams.
I’m not making declarations or resolutions or screaming my intentions from the mountaintops. My plan is to simply keep my eye on the road ahead, keep putting one foot in front of the other, and keep my mind open to whatever new surprises may come my way.
Sure...I’ve got a road map and a loose plan. But what this year has also shown us is that sometimes getting lost can, in the end, turn out to be the very best way to get found.
Here’s to the detours, friends, the unexpected twists and turns, the knock-downs and the get-back-ups, the getting lost on the roads less travelled. Here’s to the old friends, new friends, and adventures we will find along the way. May your every step be filled with wonder. And may every road, ultimately, lead you home to your own heart.
See you on the other side…