2015 was the worst year of my life. My father died, unexpectedly. It was the 19th of May, 4 days after my birthday. I was abroad. I remember waking up intending to call him, I received a call from my brother instead. The rest of year went by in a blur of rage, mostly, guilt and confusion. I fought depression, despair, the weight of everyone’s expectations… I was so angry.
The thing about anger is, it blocks out everything. An angry person cannot be hopeful.
Fast forward 12 days into 2016. Unable to sleep, I sat up in bed. I didn’t want to watch tv so I decided to write (depending on how I’m feeling, stories come to me. Some make better movie scripts than others) and then it dawned on me that I was happy. That 2 years ago I was praying for the things that are now the norm for me. That somehow, in spite of all my screw ups, I had found my way to contentment and peace of mind. So I started to pray. Praying has been hard for me since my dad’s passing so whenever I get the urge, I embrace it. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t find the words to express everything I was feeling. I prayed with every cell in my body, thanked Him with every fibre of my being because I finally understood. No anger. No confusion. Just gratitude.
What had changed?
I am not a “New year, New me” person, but there is something about ritual. It’s the repetition I think, it serves as reinforcement. And at the beginning of every year, we all partake in a universal ritual, even without meaning to – we plan. Earlier in the day, I had a number of conversations with friends. We talked about what we were doing this year, about projects and executions. We talked timelines. We made plans. That’s hope. Somehow, without meaning to, I had found my way back to hope. And I didn’t have to do anything or lift a finger. Grace. As shitty as my year had been, looking back I can see all the ways it could have been so much worse. I remember the weight of the despair I carried around with me, the dark cloud surrounding me, preventing me from seeing ahead.
I didn’t plan on doing a post this year. If I had been asked earlier, I definitely would have said ‘NO’. There is a reason Toxic sent me that DM yesterday and not last week. I entered this year thinking ‘Fuck it! I was hella hopeful in 2015 and what did I get?’ but it’s so much nicer to have a reason to get out of bed in the mornings. A few days ago my mother told me I looked happy. This was hilarious to me because my account balance does not support that statement. Grace isn’t governed by any laws though. I hadn’t been able to pray because I never knew what to say; I felt undeserving. But that’s the whole point of Grace. Immediately I understood that, I was free.
If it’s hard to Hope, reach for Grace.
I don’t have a list this year, I don’t need one. I know that whatever this year holds I will find my place and my purpose.
I confess Grace into my 2016 and yours. May all our expectations be exceeded this year, Happy New Year!
Now I’m really glad I reached out to Shirley. There were folk who hadn’t signed up this year who I had to guess hadn’t because they’d somehow missed the call when it was sent out. Who would have known that that would work out for the best here? Who could have possibly known?