There’s a lot to be said about 2021. Personally, if I were to list the most difficult years I’ve ever lived through, it would easily make the Top 3 . Similar melancholy sentiments were echoed all over social media on New Years Day.
My Facebook timeline alone is nothing but trauma dump after trauma dump sprinkled among cheery reminders of the silver linings that exist around the crap we’ve all had to deal with.
Who knew so many people were still active on Facebook, I mean, Meta!
These lighthearted posts are pleasant and well-meaning but tend to get rather annoying after a while. Maybe it’s because they’re reminiscent of the toxic positivity we’ve been inundated with as the government continues to gaslight us into doubting our own suffering.
Let’s call it what it is. Collectively, we’ve all been experiencing trauma on a daily basis for the entire year. The global pandemic forced us into a myriad of emotional phases; social anxiety, confusion, anger, horror, paranoia, isolation, and grief.
Unfortunately, these weren’t the worst symptoms.
Everyone has experienced 2021 differently and has their own opinion about what has been going on in the world for the past two years. Politics aside, I’m relatively certain we can at least all agree that these circumstances were anything but ideal.
This constant state of chaos has been looming over me throughout the year as I attempted to keep my head above water. However, I’ve had plenty of other things to focus on, as we all have. We have to live life. We have responsibilities. We have to pull up our bootstraps and get back to work!
Almost every day of 2021 felt like my apartment, my parent’s house, and even my own hair was on fire and I was being forced to decide how to extinguish the flames in the most efficient way possible.
There was the additional ongoing trauma from a ridiculous lawsuit I’m facing at the hands of men who are working relentlessly to silence me and expunge my artistic expression. Most of the year I’ve spent counting down the days until I have to deliver my truth before the judge, jury, and my perpetrator.
I also experienced persistent phases of unemployment and financial stress. Then the medical and mental health issues that I’m forced to just sit with until my financial situation changes. And living with the constant anxiety of not knowing if or when this will happen.
All this aside, the travesty that was 2021 has undeniably been necessary to my professional, emotional, and spiritual development. Yup, here comes that silver lining! I won’t be offended if you stop reading here.
Although my circumstances completely sucked, I’m proud of myself for making the best of them.
In fact, I’m proud of myself for accomplishing anything this year.
I was reintroduced to my passion for writing in 2020, but the following January is when I made the decision to start blogging and publishing my work. This inkling of self-belief led me down a path I never could have imagined would amount to all it has.
What’s even more thrilling is that I’m now more confident than ever that this year has only been the beginning for me. All the small wins are adding up, and they will begin to multiply if I keep at it.
The tail end of 2020 is when I met my sweet boyfriend, Eric. You’d think it’d be the worst possible time to start a relationship, but I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to spend the last year with someone so supportive and accepting.
The joy I feel in his presence has helped me through the roughest times 2021 had to offer. The changes, learning, and growing we continue to endure together have made us stronger both individually and as a couple.
Another bright side of this horrible year is that there have been many lessons learned and self-corrections made along the way. My self-talk has transformed from a meek voice completely void of self-esteem to one that roars at me to stop holding myself back because there is no limit to what I can achieve.
As I’m achieving, I must be mindful of my surroundings. I must not forget to experience life. Considering the uncertainty of our circumstances, we never know how much time we have on this earth.
With these newfound passions of 2021, I need to find my balance, my groove. This is my main goal for 2022.
These traumas were real. They were events that occurred, but they do not define me or my life. One tough pill to swallow has been the fact that, although I have every right to scream my truths from the rooftop, it doesn’t always mean I should camp out up there.
It’s true that trauma has altered my mind, and I’ve gained the confidence to finally share my experiences despite these changes. But I’m often triggered to the point where I can’t stop expressing my every thought on certain matters.
I frequently press publish without worrying about what others will think. I have every right to, but not everything in my mind has to be announced.
Spreading awareness about sexual violence is always going to be a priority, but angry tweets and ranting on social media are not always productive or healthy expressions.
What I’m absolutely not about to tell you is that this year “made me stronger.” However, it did lead me to the realization that I really am that bitch, for lack of a more eloquent term. I should never have doubted that in the first place.
With the trial date approaching, I’m certain I have what it takes to keep fighting until the truth is believed and justice is served.
The strength needed to survive this year, and everything else I’ve survived, has been within me all along. Just as it’s been within you too.
Congratulations on surviving. Think about everything that was working against you. Give yourself all the credit, and a round of applause, no matter how little you think you accomplished. You did great!
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