I’m sitting at the coffee shop for the first time in months, writing. I used to come here all the time and fall into my computer. It was the first thing I wanted to do every morning. I’d try to get whatever chores or errands that needed completion finished as soon as possible just so I could get to the coffee shop without a time frame. Some days I’d be here for an hour and other days, seven or eight might pass. I wrote the entirety of my first novel at a coffee shop. For that matter, I wrote a fair amount of my third at one too.
That was a year ago.
I came across the date recently and was utterly floored by it. It’s been a year since I finished my third novel. By this point in time, I should have another one finished or near finished.
But I don’t.
I’ve wrestled with this. Argued with myself and others. My life has done a few spins in the last year but I like to think I’ve come out on top. Even if there are some days in which I only whisper it to myself. I have to forgive myself. I had to give myself time to heal. Time to process. Just time.
Today is my grandfather’s birthday. I can’t believe it’s been nearly three full months since his passing. He was taken suddenly and it’s days like today that take me by surprise. I want to send him a silly video wishing him a happy birthday and I can’t. I start to tear up just thinking about it. There are moments losing him feels as fresh today as it felt in December.
It’s been four months since starting a new job. It has been one of the most challenging and rewarding positions I’ve ever held. I don’t know that next year will hold up to this new standard. I still feel undecided about taking on teaching full time but this year makes me want to consider it again. Truly consider it.
It’s been five months since coming to peace with the sudden passing of an old high school friend. Something I’d been working on for a year and a half to this point. Blaming myself for not reaching out. Holding onto the buckets of regret I carried for not just visiting when I had the opportunity. For not telling him how much he’s loved. You don’t know how much time you have with people and it’s a lesson I’ll never forget. I got a semi-colin tattooed in honor of him. I want others to know I’m a safe person to talk to if they are considering suicide.
It’s been six months since I had my heart broken. It was the first time I let someone into my heart in years. She was filled with cobwebs and had a few black spots. I was clearly in need of a hard lesson about self, self-love, what I want in a partner, the things I’m willing to put up with, and the things I’m not. I regret nothing. Now my heart has blood flow again, I’ve dusted the cobwebs, and while she might have a few scars, she’s ready for something real. We both deserve it. We are worthy of love, just the way we are. I couldn’t say that a year ago.
Seven months ago my best friend moved away (two months ago he moved back). He’s got a big ego, so don’t tell him, but life wasn’t the same after he left. We all need friends in our lives and I’m lucky to have this punk. When I feel small and unworthy, he’s the first person to remind me I’m not. He might be the first person to tell me regularly how beautiful I am. It’s uncomfortable and it makes me want to throw shit at him, but I know he means it and that I deserve to hear it. I haven’t had a best friend like this since 2013. Only I was the one who moved away then. It’s easy to think we can get by in life without needing people. But I’ve only been reminded in this past year, I’m wrong. We can survive alone, but it’s only survival. It’s not living. We all need people in our lives we can depend on. People who push us to be better humans, who remind us of the good when we’re swimming in bad, and who push us to go out and meet other humans. I’m lucky enough to have a few of these people in my life.
It’s been ten months since I wanted to quit teaching indefinitely. Last year was rough. I used to come home crying from work every single day. I wanted to quit. There was a severe lack of support from the administration and I wasn’t equipped with the tools to teach the severity of behavior problems in my classroom. It took all the energy I had. My give a shit cup was empty for months.
Life spun out of control sometime last year and never seemed to stop spinning. There have been thirty other things thrown my way. The loss of pets, friendships, things that don’t mater and those that do. I’ve gained too. So much change and growth I don’t feel like the same person I was this time last year. I feel like I’ve finally gotten the reigns and am navigating the stars again.
I’m taking pictures again too.
Crazy this world we live in. I don’t always like it, but I’m thankful for it.