2019 // no + yes

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2018 is gone, and 2019 is here to stay for the next 350 days! Looking back on how my year went, I have so much to be grateful for: connections I’ve made with you all, fests I’ve tabled at, work I’ve accomplished. However, when I reflect on my year, there are things I’d like to work on, as well. There are situations in which I need to put my foot down, but also situations in which I need to leap into with more confidence, and I think we could all benefit from a little of both.

Let’s be honest, I entertained quite a bit of bullshit this year, and I think many of us have.  I’ve let people with questionable morals remain in my life out of courtesy. I’ve cursed their racist tendencies in my head, and never confronting them because that’s not a “polite” thing to do. I’ve devoted far too much energy to seeing what the fuck they’re complaining about now (immigrants and the war on xmas, usually). Not this year. I’m cutting out the toxic people who do not feel that people of color have the same rights as those who shout “’murica” and donate money to a stupid fucking gofundme border wall (that’s totally a scam, btw. Look it up.). 2019 is the year of no talking to racists, no cordial “hellos” to nationalists, and no pretending like I think it’s okay to be a shitty person. I’m done. Rant over.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ve also put myself through a lot of bullshit this year.

I’ve taken on a lot of hours at work when I physically could not function (I entered a dissociative state more times than I’d like to admit). I agreed to plenty of deadlines that put stress on my mind. And then I took on more hours of work because why the hell not? And because of all of this, I was mistakenly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis because there was so much inflammation in my body. A few blood tests, many doctor’s appointments, and an MRI later, I found out that what was causing joint pain was the fact that my mind couldn’t stop racing and I wasn’t staying asleep at night. On the bright side, I figured this out before I aged out of my parents’ health insurance plan, ayyyyy.

So, um, this will have to change.

This year, I will not overwhelm myself by saying “yes” until I end up in fetal position, weighed down by the consequences of my bad decisions. I will have to say “no” to putting others first, like I’ve done for so long. I cannot put myself in harm’s way because I feel obligated to help. I do realize the benefits of lending a hand, but I need to put myself and my body first because if I don’t, I won’t be able to help at all. Because I’ll be dead. Or crying. Probably the latter. And, I think a lot of us are guilty of this—guilty of not caring enough for ourselves and having little to nothing to give to others because of this. But, it’s something that’s so necessary and can lead to us being even more present for our loved ones. Let’s put it this way: no one wants to be saved by a firefighter that’s pulled an all-nighter and is chugging a cold brew while working on an essay due at midnight, while they try to pull you out of a burning building. Especially if both you and said firefighter have the cheapest catastrophic insurance plans that cover literally nothing because neither of y’all can afford anything else. Let’s take care of ourselves this year.

Now, there is so much I have to be grateful for. I wrote scripts. I made zines. I was acknowledged for both. I saved money. I donated money to causes I care about. I spent money on things I wanted. I meditated. I felt like I had a purpose for the first time. I got a flu shot even though I was scared. I took walks when I wanted to run, but my body felt like it was eating itself. I ate good food.

I want to do more of this in 2019. I want to say “yes” to things that enrich my life. Yes to things that benefit my body and mind, even when that means I have to take a break. Yes to taking more deep breaths. Yes to sleep. Yes to friends. Yes to cats. Yes to tea. Yes to reading. Yes to talking to my spirit guides. Yes to happiness. Yes to joy. And yes to so much more. I think we can all try to do a li’l of this.

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