i know it’s a little late, but here’s my reflection for 2019.
for me, 2019 was a amalgam of good and bad. many times, it felt like my world was shattering and there was nothing i could do but watch as it tore itself apart. however, amidst the heartbreak, new opportunities kept presenting themselves. in 2019, i learned difficult lessons, met many people, and altered my perspective of life. i said that “2018 became a year of second-guessing, reflection, and realization” and in retrospect, 2019 was much the same.
i learned that people don’t always say what they mean and actions can be betraying. sometimes, truth is presented to us by the people we least expect, and it is up to us to accept it.
i learned that some days, you need people who will tell you to move forward and offer you their support so you can continue.
i learned that to save yourself, you have to walk away from the fire. decisions aren’t easy to make, especially when you’ve invested years of time and dreams.
i learned that language is more than a series of conveyed meaning.
i learned that you can question and argue, devoting time and passion into a cause, but even the indignation of a community may not be enough to overturn the decision of someone in the power to benefit themselves. consequently, you may discover that you lost what you never knew was at risk.
i learned (again) that when the sky turns to night and everyone disappears, we must remember the person left standing, even if we’re the only one.
i learned that happiness is running through a conifer forest to escape a looming thunderstorm, the scent of redwood and rain. it is a picture of flowers in a vase, gilded frames on muted walls; stepping barefoot on smooth river rocks in cold water above a 542 foot plunge. it is freshly baked croissants tinged pink with rose. it is sitting on the concrete bank by an amphitheater.
i learned that the decisions we make in the past aren’t necessarily the decisions we make in the future. it’s okay to reverse previous decisions and return to what is most important to you.
i learned that yellow and lilac are the colors of beauty, and beauty can be found in many, many, many ways.
i learned that in a cruel world, kindness is a sword that cuts through the hearts of statues. bad experiences can propel you to meet people who will change the way you think.
finally, i learned that it’s okay to not know who you are or what kind of person you want to be. we are all a patchwork of memories that present themselves in unconventional ways. sometimes, the moments that bear meaning are subtle—a shift in sunlight lighting in an empty classroom, a monotone hydroponics video projected on a wall—and other times, they are thrown at you with an excitement the world has not yet managed to steal.
maybe you’ll never get what you want. but why not try?
i ended 2019 finding pieces of me in torn paper on a decorated door. i started 2020 discovering fragments of my being wrapped around a dymo-embossed stapler on a cheaply made faux-wood table.