So… Let’s Talk About 2018, Shall We?

*YouTuber voice* Hi guys!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I hadn’t planned for it to go so long between posts, but as you can clearly see if you’re even a semi-regular visitor to this URL, things haven’t exactly gone as planned for ya girl this year at all. 🤷🏾‍♀️

I’ve been thinking hard about what I should write as we wrap up 2018 and move into the new year. I keep reflecting on the end of last year, officially the worst year of my life, and how hopeful I was to put it behind me as much as possible and make 2018 the total opposite. I even set my fingers on this same keyboard I’m typing on now to lay out some non-resolutions for the year on January 1st. Which turned out to be the last day I saw my sister, Karen, alive. I don’t think I’ve actually really processed that yet. I’m still mostly numb after the events of the past 18 months. I did start to make good on non-resolution #1, which was therapy, therapy and more therapy, but I’ve only gone to one session. The counsellor gave me an assignment to write down positive things about myself and I just…couldn’t find anything? Have you ever been so deep inside a hole that all you can see is the darkness? Nothing? Yeah. So I’m still on the run from that. I really want to face and defeat the monsters, but I also really don’t want to deal with all the emotional upheaval that’ll bring. Sigh…

That was a bust, but I did make good on two of my non-resolutions. Well, good-ish. I social butterflied like it was nobody’s business this year, y’all. For one, I went to Carib to watch Black Panther. By myself, like the total baddie that I am. The anticipation of that movie was the one thing that kept me sane during the time of preparing for my sister’s funeral. And it was epic! It was at the end of February, after the dressing up in African garb wave had passed, but I made it. Tickets were still sold out, though, and I actually bought mine from a girl selling one of hers outside the theatre in the afternoon. I was 80% sure it was bootleg, but it was a chance I was willing to take. I was looking around the whole time I was inside the theatre later that night, certain security was gonna come haul me out. 😌

On top of that, I went to not one, but TWO whole shows at the Little Theatre! TWO!! Misty Copeland was here in August and I luh me some her so there was no way I was missing that. Even though I almost did cuz tickets were sold out and I legit had a meltdown, but my God is good and He made a way. She was only on the stage for five minutes or so, but those were five EPIC minutes, dude! For the other show, I went to see The Company Dance Theatre in action and they were amazing, too. See? Total party animal.

Release the social butterfly!

For two, I did manage to make a dent in my unread Kindle content. Not so much the physical books, but baby steps. Actually, I feel like all I did this year was read. Getting lost in fictional worlds was another of my coping mechanisms, and believe me, I ‘coped.’ It mightn’t have been healthy, but as I said, baby steps. I’ll work on actually working on my issues next year.

And 2018 wasn’t only bad news. I had a few moments of light and celebration peppering the enshrouding darkness. I started a new full-time job in June. I won another silver medal in the JCDC Creative Writing Competition. And the pièce de résistance? I made the short list in the Small Axe Literary Competition!!!! ME!!!!! That news came a day after my birthday on the 19th and it was the best present ever! 💃🏽 This is a HUGE deal. I feel like I won, tbh. I haven’t even begun to write that book I was so bold to promise y’all for this year, but this accomplishment has inspired me to work on finding/developing my creative voice and produce more.

So, that’s that. My 2018 in review. Overall, it really wasn’t a bad year, when you weigh the good vs the bad. But starting the way it did? After the hell of 2017? Completely threw me off balance and made it hard to enjoy it. Hell, it was hard getting through most days. But I survived. For whatever reason, I’m still above ground (well, I’ll be that—once I crawl out of the pits).

My goal for 2019 is not to tie myself to any resolutions but to simply work on healing, becoming/being whole again. To gather all the various pieces of myself that have shattered and drifted away on the winds and tides of despair and put Tracey back together again. She might not look anything like she used to, but that’s ok. She’ll be stronger, more resilient, braver. That’s all I’m looking forward to for the upcoming year.

If you’re reading this, I wish you a 2019 that is better than 2018 was, even if you had a pretty great year. Work on what needs to be worked on and gwaan do yu ting. I wish you joy, peace, and strength for the rough times. ✌️

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