Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Year in Review

As the hours tick by and we're getting closer to the new year, I wonder what I'm supposed to say about the old one. Looking back over the last 12 months, I feel like not a lot has changed, but really so much has.
What am I supposed to write about anyway? Am I supposed to write about feeling truly invincible for the first time, being around my people, drinking fizzy drinks by the pool in Vegas, looking at this city lit up with so many lights? Do I write about the struggles I overcame, the battles I won, the wars I made it through?
Or do I write about the slamming doors, the screaming fights, and everything I still - 12 months later - cannot handle? Do I write about the tears I cried, so many I thought there was nothing left? Do I write about how I let my heart break open on the back of an old grocery list while I was babysitting one night, and in that night I wrote the most truest sentence I know: I want to be enough for myself.

January began with good intentions. It was the month where I was going to stitch everything back together. The year 2012 began with longing, and anger, and watching chick flicks on TV. The month didn't end with quite as much ambition and inspiration as it started with, though.

In February things got better. It was a month filled with late night poetry, a month of doing big, bold things. February was a month for living.

March was for decisions, for choices, for loving without thinking and living in the moment. It was watching too many episodes of Grey's Anatomy and buying fancy shoes and letting go.

 April was a spontaneous month full of teenage angst. I went for a month without washing my hair, and I laid on the deck, wrapped up in a blanket, missing Spencer. We moved into our new place and I camped out on the floor and I cried because everything was changing.

May was for loving, for remembering to breathe, for making new friends and figuring things out with some old ones. I wrote stories with happy endings and some stories with not so happy endings. I lived in metaphors and I was optimistic and I began to understand light, but May was also the month when I was being prepared for the darkness.

In June I finished my grade 10 year. I got sick, and complained about being sick. I wallowed in my misery and threw a pity party and rained on my own parade. I was asked the most important question, about life, and what life was for me, and I decided I wanted to live, really live, whatever that meant.

I spent a week and a bit of July down in Calgary, and then in Edmonton. I missed friends and let myself be consumed by teenage emotions. I ran my first 5K, I went to the zoo, I watched music being made, and I learned what it is to live. And then the vigil began and the world crumbled underneath my feet and I knew it was only a matter of time before disaster struck.

August was for lounging by the pool, being surrounded by my people, and feeling invincible. I wrote the most powerful sentence on the back of that grocery list, I started eating Gluten Free, I wrote so many words it felt like I'd cried for a really long time, and I crossed something off my bucket list.

September was when everything crashed and burned. For me, September was burning red, just like the leaves on the trees. It was the month I got diagnosed, the month when everything I had worked so hard for was handed to me and all of a sudden I didn't want it anymore. It hurt more then I thought it ever would, and I had to learn to live all over again.

October was filled with more grieving, more confusion, more isolation and anger and frustration. I threw a highlighter against the wall and made this big orange mark. In October, I also began to learn who my friends were, who the people were who were going to fight for me and drag me up to the surface and teach me how to breathe again.

In November I turned 16. The Glycosade trial happened in November. My heart broke in a hospital bed, in a doctor's office, in a hotel room, at the CFR. My friend Taylor died in November, and I held the people I love closest to me. Friends stayed up with me until the wee hours of the morning, making me laugh, making me cry and reminding me I am loved.  I got my act together long enough to write a whole novel, and even if it was mostly crap at least I accomplished something.

December was full of truth like twinkling Christmas lights. I spent nights writing poetry, and discovering friendships that have become so important to me. Friends spoke truth into my life, leaving me to examine what it is I really believe. I got angry, and my heart broke all over again. I wrote so much I didn't understand what I was saying anymore. It left me battling big questions, questions I still don't have all the answers to, but I really wish I did.

2012 was not at all what I expected. Looking back over the year, I guess it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. The broken things, the sad things, the heart breaking awful things, they were all there, but in smaller pieces. Love was the biggest piece of all, overshadowing everything. It shone through in a late night conversation with a friend, an apology after a screaming match, someone looking into my eyes across the table at Subway and speaking truth into my life. It glistened loudly in the words, "I love you," in excited laughter shared between new friends, in first love and friends that end up surprising you.

In 2013, I hope to answer some of those unanswered questions. I hope to create, to embrace, to become. I hope I learn how to live, and I hope I love a lot. I hope to gain some understanding, and to learn how to let go. I hope to unwrinkle this page, and I hope I still recognize the person I see there.

Happy New Year!

This was my song for this year. I think it totally describes the year I've had. Take a listen, if you want. :)

1 comment:

Jillian said...

Regina Spektor is the best. My heart breaks for your November. Happy new year, love. May it be full of poetry and stars.