2017 was a total bitch.
(And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.)
For me, this year was particularly brutal. And littered with other B words as well. Breakups. Bar bannings. Bed-Bugs. Black eyes. Bail bonds.
Like I said …. brutal.
I follow numerology (lightly) and 2017 was a 9 year for me. It’s the final year of a 9 year cycle and it’s theme is about endings and closings and ridding yourself of anything that might hinder the next 9 year cycle. It can be easy, if you’re willing to let things go and accept the lessons you’ve been given over the past 9 years.
Or it can be difficult, if you’re like me and stubborn AF.
I stupidly chose the latter, refusing to let go and fighting these lessons and this year with a vengeance. And the 9 year fought back. Hard.
I mentioned this in an earlier post but March of this year was just plain BAD. I was broken. Heart-broken. And because of this heart break, I ended up banned from a bar for … well, behaving badly. (Or rather, for hanging out with people who behaved badly. But still, I take ownership of my part in it.)
35 and BANNED from a bar. I have to laugh at it now. It seems ridiculous to me. I’ve never in my life been ‘that’ girl. The rebel without a cause. The drunk chaos creator. I’ve always been the shy, happy go-lucky wallflower. Yeah I’d get a little wild with some vodka in me but I was never a rabble rouser. I’ve always been more of a background character. Needless to say, it was a shocking experience.
In that same month, I was also dealing with bed-bugs. I literally lost a large percentage of my belongings. Had to just throw them out. Then I went to New Orleans with a group of friends for what should’ve been a crazy fun time. Sigh. Should’ve been.
Long story short, the group ended up in a drunken altercation one night and my good friend (the source of the altercation) found herself in jail with a black eye. This was ALL in the same month. Her boyfriend and I had to work some magic to get her bailed out as we were from out of state and most bail bondsmen wouldn’t take it … or only would if we offered them our kidney and first born. But finally we found a compassionate and reasonable bail-bondswoman and we were able to get my friend out … though our friendship ended abruptly after.
In one month, my whole world was flipped upside down. Lost a friend. Lost my belongings. Lost love and a place that had been important to me. Lost my entire sense of self. Who was I? I no longer knew … but it was clear that something was forcefully directing me down a very different path. I can honestly say I’ve spent the last 9 months processing and recovering. It …was brutal.
But I’m lucky. This year wasn’t just about the bad and the brutal. It wasn’t just about heartbreak and loss and bail bondswomen. It was also about being brave. It was also about beauty.
After that horrendous month, I booked a flight to Bali. Solo. I went to a place where the temperature was perfect, the people were kind and the views were so spectacular they took your breath away. I went on adventure after adventure. By myself. And it was empowering on so many levels.
Being brave … well that’s a core belief of mine. Facing your fears and doing the scary thing anyway. Because it will set you free. It’s so important to me I literally have it tattooed on my body. ‘Be brave enough’. It’s a shortened quote from my favorite author Cheryl Strayed. The original quote says ‘Be brave enough to break your own heart’.
I was. I did.
Being brave (I learned) isn’t just about adventures and excitement and solo trips … it’s about the less fun, far more scary emotional stuff. Being brave is about facing your demons. And raising your hand to say you need help, even when it’s embarrassing to admit it.
Being brave is about finally being able to accept the hard truths of the lessons given .. even if that truth is YOU were the cause of your own destruction.
Being brave is about choosing with all your might to see the beauty in really difficult times. And the truest beauty is in how we choose to rebuild ourselves after being burnt to ash.
This year I was brave enough to feel loss deeply … I learned why people sing sad songs. I felt life and it’s hardships on a deeper, richer, soul level. I sought out mental and emotional help. I dated … a lot .. and had blossoming relationships end, over and over again. But those failed relationships have taught me more about myself than I could’ve learned on my own. Even if they broke me at the time.
This year I saw that the truest beauty is in acceptance. I struggle with acceptance. But this year was ALL about acceptance. Accepting that my past is what it is, and until I learn to love and accept and forgive myself and my messy past, no one else can. Accepting that even if I DO find a way to make peace with my past and love myself, the relationship I want STILL might not be in the cards for me. And that has to be ok. Acceptance for me was the hardest lesson .. but also the most beautiful.
Banned, broken, bedbugs, bail bonds.
Bali, brave, beautiful.
And now, as we enter 2018… beginnings.
2017 was brutal and a total bitch, but it is worthy of a tribute … for all the moments, the breathtaking and the bad … and all the B’s in between.