This wonderful post from April Stace echoes many of my own thoughts and feelings about the state of the world we live in. It also features otters, which are among my favourite creatures in the world… so I felt compelled to share it.
The darkest point of the year is when we start preparing for the sun.
This is the simple truth, embedded in many earth-based forms of spirituality and religion (which most modern world religion retain, at least in their practices.) It is when the earth seems frozen that we start to think about planting seeds; it is when light and warmth are scarce that we celebrate the light and warmth in our homes, our communities, our families, our spirits.
There have been years, a decade or more, in my life when I have felt the coming of winter darkness as a threat. I have entered the season with great trepidation, anti-depressants in hand, always feeling that the autumn was just a time of watching the life be drained from flora and fauna, watching a death descend that might just get me this year as well.
Yesterday I mentioned that I was not at all sorry to see the end of the year.
Still, I admit to feeling uncomfortable with the number of “new year, new me” posts on social media in the past 24 hours.
New year? Undoubtedly. New beginnings? Sure.
But I am not a “new me”. I am the same old me: the one who survived the trauma, grew stronger through it, and resolved to keep going. I am the me who worked hard for every one of my achievements: nobody else was ever going to do it for me. I am the me who stood tall in the face of false friends and two-faced people, and then walked away and slammed the door on them for good. I am the me who refused to be intimidated by those who don’t understand me… the me who will not be ashamed of who and what I am. I am the me who embraces creativity, individuality, and difference… and encourages others to do the same. I am the me who encourages young people to choose kindness and reject hate.
Those are all good things. Powerful things. Brave things. I have earned them, and I will own them.
I’m not perfect. I still have things to learn and growth to accomplish. But those who would prefer a different, more comfortable, easier-to-live-with me? They can go and boil their heads, because that’s not going to happen.
Like any year, 2019 had some great moments and some wonderful memorable have been made.
Among my favourite memories are performing in Monty Python’s Spamalot! with the amazing Camperdown Theatre Company, weekend escapes camping by the beach with our closest friends, my bestie and I kidnapping each other and running away for a day or two at a time, and my own production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor TM Dreamcoat. I had three new books published, and am very proud of each of them.
I am incredibly thankful for good friends, for those who believe in me, and for the encouragement I have received from both friends and strangers. I am blessed to be loved as fully and enthusiastically as I am.
The past year has also left some scars that, while they may fade with time, will never truly heal. I do not wish to dwell on those, especially here. Even so, I will say in no uncertain terms — and not for the first time — that cancer, chronic illness, liars, backstabbers, and two-faced people can all improve the world by disappearing and not coming back.
Here’s to closing the door on what has passed, and welcoming new beginnings and opportunities in the year ahead!