I know it’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to write a sequel to my previous post but as you can see, I didn’t get around to it. I got such overwhelming positive feedback from you guys, it felt like anything after that wouldn’t be good enough. I just stopped trying at some point. But I promise, even if it kills me, I will write that sequel.
Unwillingness to post substandard work isn’t the only reason I haven’t posted. I have also been feeling a bit substandard, generally. Haha, that’s so sad and pathetic. And yes while the first reason counts as growth, I do remember the reason I started this blog wasn’t to amass a following, it was to vent. So today, I’m going to write for that same reason.
So here goes, a review of this past year, in some fashion.
For a year that generally seemed good, it sure did kick my ass; emotionally, mentally, educationally (whaaat?!) I mean, I graduated and I sort of figured out what I want from life and how I want to go about it. And that’s a big deal, I just never got around to celebrating it. Also, I stayed alive.
Anyway, here are the highlights.
At the beginning of the year I set out to read at least one book a week. That didn’t happen, because, I’m broke. But I did read a lot more than the previous years (Thank you Vushya.)
My favourite book this year was Khaled Hosseini’s, “A Thousand Splendid Suns.” As I’m getting older, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to stomach books written by men (especially, straight white men.) They never seem to do the female characters justice. They all portray this stereotypical woman; sexy and girly, smart and boyish, powerful but mean and unmarried. While women are and can be these things, I find it dangerous to box women into stereotypes. Because then it propagates the notion that a woman who isn’t these things, is fundamentally flawed. Women are multi-faceted human beings and I think it is important that they are portrayed as such, because then we can normalize women living to the full extent of their humanity and sexuality, and not have to be labeled weak, sluts, intimidating and not fit for marriage or just bitter hysterical bitches. I like that Khaled Hosseini in this book, in as much as female subjugation is a major theme in this book, doesn’t portray the women as damsels in distress who are finally saved by this man. They fight and they earn their happiness and liberation.
Aboyami Adebayo’s, “Stay With Me” comes a close second. I was a bit underwhelmed because I heard so much about it and I went in with really high expectations. I think it’s one of those books I’ll have to read more, than once to fully appreciate. I came out with this quote, “If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But even when it’s in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer love.” I came really close to ending an important relationship because stuff got overwhelming and this quote weirdly put things in perspective.
I think my all-time favourite quote however is in Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” She was talking about her brother when she said, “Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope of wholeness, is the unshaking need for an unshakable God. My pretty black brother was my kingdom come.” All the lonely children in me come out to weep every time I read this quote.
Owning my pain.
I had suppressed or just blocked out a lot of painful, traumatic experiences over the years and these last three months, my demons came out to play. They were seated on my chest and dancing on my throat. I was sleeping fifteen hours a day at some point just so I wouldn’t have to listen to my chest heave as soon as I opened my eyes. Sidebar: can we just take a moment to realise how lazy and uncool I am? I could have done heroine, but instead I chose sleep. The beauty (or cruelty) of life however, is that it goes on and as long as you’re alive, you eventually have to get out of bed and catch up. I honestly didn’t think it would be as hard because I’ve been really down before and I dealt with it. You however don’t feel the same kind of pain twice and yeah, my ass got thoroughly kicked. But now that I’m slowly getting out of it (or maybe just not fighting being in it), I’m beginning to appreciate the importance of unpacking your trauma, of laying it out on the table and examining every crevice. Oi had to admit to myself that I wasn’t oaky and consciously take steps towards healing. Some things are a matter of waiting it out and others require standing up for yourself and confronting the people that hurt you. It requires that you stop apologizing for your emotions and keep reiterating, even if it’s just to yourself, that you’re not a bitter, unforgiving person. Sometimes things take time and you can’t rush through your emotions. Sometimes you need to scream and kick and through it all, not forget that you are deserving of a space free of judgement and fear to do that. If somebody wants to be in your life after they hurt you, they have to be willing to let you go through the motions. They have to own up to their shit, and sometimes just sit there and let you speak your truth as uncomfortable as that may be for them. Because really, a relationship that can’t survive brutal honesty and mind-bending introspection isn’t a relationship you want to invest yourself in.
Take a leap of faith.
So I decided to pursue writing professionally and dear God I’m scared. But really, it’s the only thing I feel good about in my life right now. I’m prepared to make a few mistakes but all in all, I feel I’ll live a more fulfilling life this way than if I chose a different career path.
That said, my friend and I are working on a project that we’re super excited and proud of. We’ll be done in the next couple weeks or so. I’ll probably do a blog post to inform you of the details and availability of this project once it’s complete. So please spread the word and say tuned? (Does that phrase apply to blog posts?)
Also, I’ll be a lot more consistent in posting next year. I’ll be doing a post every week. I’m excited about that too.
I cannot thank you guys enough for believing in me and taking time out of your days to read my somewhat censored and scanty ramblings. Thank you guys so much. I promise to be a better host next year, and do everything in my power to make visiting this space a worthwhile experience.
I started this blog to just get stuff off my chest. And now it’s blossomed into a career and I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated that before this moment. I went from being the girl that went for walks at one am in the morning because I was too sad too sleep to being someone that thinks, “hey you’re awesome. Hey you’re beautiful” when I look in the mirror and actually believe it. It’s all because of this blog. So thank you guys. I hope in my own sad, angry and intense way, I made somebody’s life a little better.