This is a for shit year.

Can I get an Amen on that?

I try to be as open and honest on this platform as I am in my real life. One, it’s just my nature. Two, I’m hoping that me being vulnerable will help others risk doing the same. We’ve been operating at a superficial level for so long now that being our true selves seems unconventional.

The brutal thing is, being closed is killing us. Literally. There is an epidemic of loneliness in our country, with anxiety, depression and suicide at an all-time high.

My greatest fear with my books and posts is that you’ll read more into what I’m saying. You’ll feel I’m somehow stronger, living a better life, have it easier than you. When the reality is, I’m struggling, just like many of you. Digging for strength, just like you.

I want you to see me in all my blemishes.

For then you’ll know that you, too, can push past your fears despite whatever agonizing circumstance comes your way. That you, too, can throw your glamour high and reach for the bigger, more carefree life that’s waiting for anyone who is willing to examine themselves.

The seeds of my shit year were actually planted in 2016 with my sister’s needless death. Next, a close friend from childhood passed. After that, my brother. Amidst the ruins, the family I had raised the exact opposite of how I was raised began complaining worse than as if they’d been raised by my mother, and how dare they.

But that’s not all.

In 2019, Funk’s magazine closed shop and he had to start his own business for the first time in his life. Which meant, I had to start a new business. I was not happy about taking another detour for my husband and our marriage suffered because of it.

Still, not enough.

Last December my mother died. The day after her funeral, a family member tried having me arrested for being inside her home. Thank god, the cop summoned had a good laugh over it since it was clear there was nothing to “loot”. Said the same thing happened to him the week before with his crazy family. Next, was thinking I might’ve killed my mother because of contradictory information given two hours before her death. Then Covid hit. After which, a terrible election, with the country damn near at war with each other. And just the other day, my mother-in-law died from Covid, alone in a hospital room, gasping for breathe. What horror for her, and for her children who have to carry that image.

But I think we’ve finally entered the turning point.

Many of us have suffered this year. Have been forced to give our insides a long look. And while introspection can be scary, being kind and un-judgmental while we go about removing dead skin is what makes us healthy and vibrant.

Here’s to you for evolving past this mess of a year. For not allowing yourself to become apathetic, inert and blameful. I hope you’ll join me in wishing everyone you encounter an early Happy New Year! —because Lord knows, we’ve got to call that down.

The photo: Me and Funk, after wading through the muck and finding happier grounding.

P.S. Don’t Cry For Me Argentina! I’m just putting myself out here, hoping my words will resonate with anyone who needs encouragement to rise above their heartaches too.

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