2019 was a challenging year that threw many adult situations at me but ultimately forced me to choose my life path and reflect on my own part in it. It has only been recently that I’ve felt my head come above water from the waves of 2019. I lost my grandfather, my best friend and I had a falling out, and a friend from college passed away, all in a 6-month span. While the falling out and the death of my grandfather did hit me hard, the death of a friend I had once been very close with in college hit me harder than any of those. She, like I do, battled chronic illness. While after college we fell out of touch, for no particular reason other than life got the best of us, I always admired her perseverance and positive outlook on a situation that to others would be crippling. Her death in late December, not even a month ago, caused me to reflect on my own attitude about life and how I’ve perceived myself, my situations, and my own illness.
The start of the new year is often a time to start over, a time of reflection, and a time of change and inspiration. I know my friend would not want people to be sad about her death. Rather, she’d want people to be their own advocate, embrace their circumstances, and be grateful and happy to be healthy. I don’t know what 2020 holds, and 2019 was an extremely difficult year. However, my friend’s attitude was life is what you make it.
I often find myself writing in hard times or when wanting to reflect on life. Both seem to be happening simultaneously. I love the people who are there for me, but I often find myself spending a lot of time alone and I want to find my tribe. Sometimes in life situations, people, or both knock you down and you have to either pick yourself back up or let it become you. While positivity is something I naturally embrace, in times of hardship it’s hard to see the light. Someone who I once highly respected and called a good friend has been absolutely cruel to me. I am not saying I didn’t do absolutely anything but I have done what was asked of me and I am still being made the monster and it’s a hard situation to find yourself in when the person who you once admired apparently hates you and you don’t really understand why. I wanted to start 2020 off positively and I am making a conscious choice to not let toxic people, painful situations, and hurtful words into my life anymore. As Nina Simone eloquently said, “You’ve got to learn to leave the table when respect is no longer being served.”