Last year I ended things by asking 2020 to be gentler with all of us. I read that this morning and I laughed. And laughed. And laughed. I laughed until my sides hurt. I laughed until tears streamed down my cheeks. I laughed until I started coughing. I stopped laughing because many of my family members are sick right now, but I'm not. A lot of my friends are out of work right now, but I'm not. A lot of people are struggling to make ends meet, but I'm not. There's a lot that I have to be grateful for right now. At the same time, I know that it is unhealthy to force myself into an optimistic mindset just because of my fortunate circumstances. And because this blog is based in truth, I have to tell you that I'm tired. No, I'm weary.
I mark my life with music. If there's a song in my playlist, there's probably a strong memory associated with it. With the rise of streaming services such as Spotify, I have enough data to serve soundtrack to my years going back to 2016. There's always a theme (and that theme is usually "Power ballad me to work, Glass Animals"), but this year was different. 2019 was hard as I came to terms with parts of myself I didn't even know were there. It was hard as my family struggled to keep itself together. It was hard as I said goodbye to things that I loved. It was hard as I realized that this was a year of healing stasis, not action.
Another year has come and gone, and I have to admit that 2018 was amazing. With 2017 being such a roller coaster, the consistent joy of this past year was a relief. I found myself in this position of, for the first time in years, feeling utterly safe and comfortable--which led to this bizarre experience of being able to flourish (sort of like a house plant that's been replanted in more enriching soil).
We start the year with the best of intentions. But how could we not when we prime ourselves to fall in love with a new year? We throw parties for them. We toast to their good health. We dress up. We make them feel special. For the moment, 2018 is the most beautiful thing to grace your presence since you treated yourself to Chipotle last week. But much like your relationship with that burrito bowl, it's hard to know how long the love will last.
The end of the year is upon us (thank God), and I must admit that it has been the strangest 12 months of my life. I mean, outside of the current political fiasco/hellish nightmare that is our country right now, 2017 was a changeable creature. To go from a pile of dust to a kick-ass, globe trotting, career gal in such a small amount of time is astounding. I'm proud of myself. For the first time in my life I can say, without a doubt, that I am proud of who I am.
It's Saturday morning here in the Merlin house. My sisters are watching cartoons, my dog is playing with the family's German shepherd, and I'm drinking a cup of coffee I didn't have to pay for. Living here is easy and familiar.
Last night I signed up for a boxing class membership--well, it's a little more than that with all the kickboxing and MMA classes available, too. For the sake of argument, though, I'll just call it boxing.
For most of my life I've written every day. Summers always slump in productivity because I allow myself to bingewatch too much t.v. and eat can upon can of Pringles without feeling too guilty. It's a habit I intend on breaking this summer. Somehow.
I've been here two full days now. My whole life burnt down to the studs and, almost surprisingly, I'm still here. I did not cease to exist. Am I happy?
Tomorrow morning my father is going to rescue his 23-year-old daughter, something I'm not sure either of us saw ever happening.