Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self–preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.Audre Lorde
Like, I'm glad this dumpster fire of a year is coming to an end, but I know that 2021 has the potential to become garbage, too. I'd like to believe that most of the madness and sadness are behind us. So, even though I'm flipping off 2020 and can't wait to put it behind me, I am also trying to remain optimistic because it's all I've got. I won't miss the following:
The feeling that I will never travel again
I'll be honest. I freaked the FUCK out when the first lockdown happened in California. I had to cancel a trip to Scottsdale for MLB's Spring Training, and constant border closures made it clear I wasn't going to see family in Mexico anytime soon. Now, it's another Tuesday where I can stay inside in sweatpants, with a messy hair bun, no makeup on, eat pizza while getting work done.
I taught myself how to cook more cuisines. I traveled through food and learned more about the culture attached to it. Of course, it isn't the same as actually being in the country and experiencing it, but it was a decent placeholder.
It taught me to travel in other ways, too. Mostly in my backyard and city, but you get the picture. I guess I learned to appreciate my surroundings more and blaze new trails without going to another city, state, or country.
The stress of maintaining my language learning regimen
I had bigger things pressing, like my health. So I'll be the first one to admit that I did the LEAST this year with my language learning because, frankly, I needed the break. Someone might say that watching films (or Holland's Drag Race) and playing with Duolingo still counts, but I'm talking about grammar drills, conversational scripts, or even learning a new language. I did the least, and I was okay with it. My language learning journey is different than someone else's, and I'm not chasing accolades. I'm confident in what I know and what I don't know, and I'm in no hurry to learn 20 languages just because someone else decided that was right for them. More power to you, but I'm going to eat cheese and then take a nap.
Mindlessly scrolling and getting frustrated by everyone doing everything while I was shoving chips into my mouth and laying on the couch
It seemed like this last year; everyone was doing something. Baking sourdough bread, working out and losing weight, or learning a new skill. Well, that wasn't the case for me, or I at least didn't feel the need to tell the world about it. I stopped posting to IG in August. The last post was a chicken pesto pizza that almost failed. I figured everyone is dealing with the pandemic differently, and while some of you found comfort posting to stay connected, I dreaded it, so I stopped. WHY? I didn't want to, and that's the tea. Besides, why would you do anything you hate doing, anyway? I had to process things at my own pace without prying eyes, trying to figure out my next move. I ain't mad at cha for doing you, but don't rush me either cuz I'm doing me.
The things I am grateful for and key takeaways
What am I grateful for? The usual suspects: husband, dog, family, and friends. I'm also thankful for having the time. That's it. Having the time to myself, for having the time to do whatever I needed to do, feels complete and human again. I'm grateful that I could slow down to take care of the essential things in life. What will 2021 bring for me? I have no idea; I'm not Miss Cleo. And yes, I told you my age once again. I know that I'll continue to focus more on myself, my home, and my relationships. It's been quite the learning experience. It has tested each one of us but has also taught us how strong we indeed are. I want to take the positive and keep that energy going. Be a realist when necessary, but remain connected to self. I could ever go back to the way things were. It's discovering a new sense of freedom in a year that felt anything but that. I'm happy with myself as a perfect imperfection, and I'd like to keep it that way.