i know who i am…

We’re nearly halfway through December, and this month so far has been an exercise in contemplating the things I’ve learned in 2022. When I think about where I was a year ago, to where I am today, I am grateful despite all of it. And for the first time in probably forever (literally cannot think of another instance of this…) I am actually looking forward to January.

Why do I usually not look forward to January? Because for a minimum of 5 Januaries in a row, I was in surgery, then surgery again, then the ER for the first time in my life for myself, then really really really sick and feeling like my heart was giving out, then dealing with horrific levels of heavy duty antibiotics to do a massive reset on my gut. So just health wise, I always dread January, but now this coming January. Even a first time diagnosed sinus infection isn’t making me dread January this time. This time though? I feel that January is going to be a S P I C Y start to 2023!! I feel prepared, and even, dare I say, excited(?!) about what January is bringing….hell, what the whole year is going to bring!

I know I’ve been saying this lately, but I know who I am. However, the true impact of those words is astounding to me.






And even in the just past two weeks, a few more things have come into focus and even more has fallen into place. The conversation of the week has been do I even know if I’m happy or have I just been placating everyone in my life? Which, okay, HUGE over simplification. But there is a very valid personal question there though. Are there things I need in life that I am not getting or have never asked for because of previous social conditioning?

I don’t have an answer, and I’ve honestly really appreciated the difficult and intense conversations that question, among several others, have brought up with my nesting partner. During my therapy session today, my therapist made a comment about how she noticed that I wasn’t activated or seemed stressed about these deep and not so easily answered conversations and questions. And she’s right. I have been doing some really serious questioning and careful thinking lately and I am seeing the literal paying off of the work I’ve been doing, specifically this year, and also all of the past decade combined too.

The relational aspect of how I am asking this question is both interesting and telling, I think. Every single relationship I’ve had in 2022 has given me so much to learn. There is not a single relationship this past year that fell apart, of any kind, that I can say I did everything right or well. Did I do the best I could with the knowledge I had and the ability I had in those moments? Absofuckinglutely. Would I do *some* things differently? Yes. Would I do some things the same, yep, definitely. As I finished a cord cutting ritual last week with the full moon, I couldn’t help but sit there in awe as I watched flames erupt and finish cutting the connection cords with gusto. I have always been clear that when I’m done, I’m done, and I watched as my fire spell mirrored me and my actions.

There are some times I have felt whispers of regret when I walk away from something or someone in finality. But I have done this more times than I can count now. I walked away from my parents, the very people who brought me into this world, and the very same people who fucked me over more times than I can count. The very people who made me first say the words “never again.” And I have held my word, my word is solid when this kind of situation is in play. When my boundaries have been violated, when promises and commitments I’ve made with another have been broken, and there is no acknowledgement of the actions the other people took to break those words, then I’m done.

I had several really deep depression swings this year. It was roughly a year ago today when I sought help from my doctor and went back on anti-depressants. Those saved my mental state, and I’ve only had to go up in my dosage once, which is frankly quite amazing. I am grateful for how much awareness of myself I have cultivated. That awareness helped me realize quickly when I needed just a little bit more help from my medications. It’s wild to me that I have come this far, and I have been able to sit with some really hard things this month and not feel destabilized or activated. I am half dreading the work of going through my book to edit it, but also? I will have to read through the very hard work I’ve done through my 20s specifically. That’s daunting, but only because *I* went through all of it.

One of the things I am certainly walking out of the year with is how I’ve learned to move slowly when it comes to big situations, or big things that require careful thought and consideration. As my nesting partner knows right now, I’m taking a really intentional and slow time thinking through what it is I actually want for myself from this thing called life. Do you know how weird it feels that at 31 years old, I’m actually seriously asking myself this question? Or does it just go to show the social conditioning I was forced through during my formative years, and how hard and long I’ve worked to break free of that conditioning? I was told…actually let’s be honest, I didn’t have a choice, I was force fed this ideology. I was conditioned to believe that my only value in this life was bearing children and keeping house for a spouse one day. I was told many times that I would never go to college, and the only skills I needed to have were housekeeping/cooking skills and that’s all I needed to be successful in the life I was supposed to have.

I didn’t fully grasp the concept of breaking through that conditioning until after I already had my first kid. By the time I was 2000 miles away from the church and ex-families who helped keep me in check, the very idea of being anything other than a stay at home mom was scary and overwhelming. Now, today, with an almost 6 and 8 1/2 year old, who are both in school full time, I am finally feeling ready to see what my body and mind could handle outside of the house. The work I’ve completed this year has given me enough spoons to finally move outside of the internal landscape that I have been carefully and slowly chipping away at for the past decade, and holy fuck, I am excited to move outwards!!!

Sitting in front of my medium the other day and hearing them say that I have outgrown someone was like being able to take a full breath for the first time in awhile. I truly hate that, I hate seeing someone get stuck in their place, while I keep going. It’s one of the saddest things I’ve experienced and it is something I know I will continue to experience. Which is why when I find myself in a beautiful connection, I actively choose to stay in that moment, doing my best to be present, because I never know when that moment is going to be gone, never to be seen again. Maybe it’s being realistic, maybe it’s being cynical, but when someone good comes into my life, I don’t expect them to stay. I guess then that way when someone does stay, and they do show themselves to be responsible, and capable of showing up, then I’m happily surprised and excited. Although, that isn’t to say that someone moving on, and us going our separate ways is immature, or that that person is any less. It’s specifically when someone specifically teenager drama things like suddenly blocking on social media, or guilt tripping and manipulating.

Regardless, I am ready for this year to end, ready for next year to start, and still actively participating in the current present, even enjoying it and living fully. I’m keeping fingers crossed my family isn’t about go back through another big round of sickness, and also am happily excited about the potential for even more snow before the month ends.

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