Ever since Mani’s passing, the year has shifted. October marks the beginning, leaving January like a second shot in the dark. October shakes me awake – January gives context to the chaos. Sometimes January is a pop of firecrackers in the alley. Sometimes it’s a gunshot. With that in mind..
2018, you crafty, horrid bitch.
2018 was salt in every wound. 2018 held my head under water and laughed. I’m still clearing my lungs. But this isn’t a story about everything 2018 took.
This year, I was terrified. For the first time, I stood and I screamed – screamed and screamed and screamed. When my throat went numb. I beat my fists bloody. I reset every bone with my teeth. I kept my promises and risked everything. I dug deeper, demanded better, fought harder. It nearly cost every bit of me. I didn’t realize I had survived until one morning in early December – I found with a shock that I hadn’t cried myself awake.
I don’t know how to hold so many big feelings at once. This year and all the misery it brought – yet it also holds my best day to date. June 9th. My siblings and I are stronger than ever. There are people who choose me every fucking time, every day, and they believe in me. They’re in this for the long haul. And I’ll be with them.
So 2019, come to me gently. I’m never naive enough to ask for kindness, but never too prideful to ask for mercy. Even if the sky falls around me again, I know my hands can carry enough. I’m going to be okay.
And you will, too.