It has been quite a while since I’ve visited my blog, and I’ve missed it. To me, it is like an old sweater—warm, no frills—waiting to be used when I need it. Now, it is sweater weather and nearly the end of the year, so what better time is there to put on the old thing?
This has been a year of friction and unpredictable circumstances. On top of external forces, our college-aged daughter has been living at home more than away, our dog has developed a bone tumor, and my husband and I are preparing our youngest daughter for college. We are both dreading and anticipating the quiet remainder of our lives as empty-nesters. We hope to travel as much as possible.
It has been a year of witnessing human behavior when faced with fear, discomfort, and loss. It has been an eye-opening experience to witness the spectrum of emotions toward mortality. Letting go is hard, especially when losing a loved one feels like an attack. And yet, it is supposed to be hard. We are adapted to do hard things.
My goal for the upcoming year is to do the next hardest thing on my writing journey. Querying my work-in-progress will be the first step in taking a bold leap into publishing. Whereas this step sounds routine and mundane, the act of placing a work of creativity from my hands into the hands of others is not one I take lightly. It requires a commitment of letting go, of losing control, of losing the story I’ve held inside for nearly fifty years. It requires trusting that my truth matters more to a collection of others than it does to me. It is an act of selflessness to allow strangers inside my world, to risk being put on the chopping block, to set myself up for criticism and the harshest judgment of humanity: shame.
So here we are, back to the source of this year’s vitriol. Will people ever evolve from relying on shame to relying on compassion? Will we outgrow criticism and practice empathy? My answers are yes, and yes, as long as we allow all voices to be heard. Silencing is an act of dominance, a misperception of strength in the patriarchal belief system to which our values are assigned at birth.
This is my story. This is the story for many. We are lost voices looking for a break in the wall. It is there, we are here, looking for each other.
I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and the brightest light of hope in the new year.