Finally it is the new year, we made it through 2020. Not everyone did. And not that 2020 is officially in the rear view mirror, I think of everything that I learned during the long, strange journey of the last 12 months. Here it is, my 2020 hindsight:
Get Moving: When the year started, I was faced with the sudden task of having to move 3 weeks before my lease was over after my plans to move to with an ex full through. Panicked, I went the safe route and found a house about 5 miles away. Except I didn’t want to live in Atlanta anymore, or even Georgia for that matter. I love Georgia, but it was time for a new start. And so I did move – 1,000 miles away. I packed up about half of my things, gave away the rest, and left. It was the best thing I ever did. So if you don’t like where you are now, move, you are not a tree, Change location, change jobs, change your relationship…just put one foot in front of the other.
Plant the Garden: When I got to the new house, it had a huge yard. I thought about planting flowers (which I still might do), but then Covid hit and it made more sense to plant a vegetable garden instead. And it was glorious. Planting a garden got me outside, helped me exercise, gave me something constructive to do and it was a lot of fun. I got to rent a huge truck and a tiller. I got dirty and created something that produced and gave back. It taught me patience, care, hard work and the importance of watering every morning. IT made me slow down. So roll up your sleeves and plant that garden or some fruit trees.
Get me to the Church: 2020 was the year I went back to church. I grew up in church, but the previous year I was traveling too much to have a schedule of church. Before that I was so busy with funerals and family drama after my parents died that when faced with the choice of sleep or church, I chose sleep. But 202 was the year I started back, and prayed a lot more too. I also made the decision and started the process to convert to a different denomination. And I am thoroughly enjoying the study of the history of the Bible and those who wrote it. Indeed, it is fascinating and means so much more to study as an adult.
You cannot help an alcoholic: This started in 2019, but came to completion in 2020. I previously had a whirlwind romance complete with fabulous trips like drinking champagne on an oceanside balcony at midnight in the Cayman Islands. We seemed to always be going someplace wonderful, but the travel hid the truth of a horrible raging alcoholic. He spun out of control before getting sober for 2.5 months. He made the excuse that as soon as he got back to Texas with his family, friends and support system, he would be OK. But instead, he dove into the deep end of the bottle again. I tried to help him many times, but he would never admit he had a problem, He lost his high paying job after many mistakes including an inappropriate after hours call to his bosses wife and a payroll mistake that resulted in the doctors at his hospital he worked at not getting paid.
Take Risks: When I decided to move to Texas on my own, I moved into a house I had only seen online. I signed the lease and paid the deposits sigh unseen. It is one of the best risks I have ever taken. I loved the house and it was perfect. I took the risk to move 1,00 milers away from my remaining family and support system to stat a new life. I took a risk on a new project and took a risk on making a new life where I did not know many people. I took a risk on saying YES. And I will never look back. The risks are worth it, trust me.
Everything you want is on the other side of fear: The precipice of me moving to Texas on my own was a simple question. A dear friend asked me one thing when I told him I didn’t think I could move on my own: What are you afraid of? I stuttered, because the reason sounded so silly when I said it out loud. And indeed it was. He reminded me to always know who I am and that I am a badass and can do whatever I want. He was right. So when you have doubts, always ask yourself what it is that you are so afraid of.
Believe in Love: It is never a mistake to love someone, and never a mistake to tell them. So believe in love with all of your heart and soul, from the tip of your head to the bottom of your toes. It’s worth it.
Make Home Home: No matter where you are, or where you want to be, make it home. Because it matters, even of you are only there for a short period of time. Home is such a sacred sanctuary. Home is where you are protected from the everything that is out there in the world. Home is Safe. And we all need a safe place, where we can take off our armor and relax. So do what you need to do to make where you are your home. Hang the pictures, unpack the nik naks, and make some memories. Don’t just exist in the space, fill it completely with everything that is you.
There are more things I learned, but those lessons are not for this space.
Life is short, Learn every day, and make life amazing