I feel obligated to be here.
When all the words have dried up, I do my best to return at least once a year. For review.
But I feel like I just wrote last year's words.
And I sit here at Starbucks, eyes welling with tears as I read them--the old words.
Desperately wanting to reach out to 28 year old Anna and whisper lots of things and help bolster her, steady her, for what would come next.
I thought I had been through hell then. I thought, and though it wasn't untrue, it wasn't over.
Tears are hot under my eyes. 29 year old Anna is afraid to hope it's over. Afraid to hope that the storm has died down.
If I look at the pattern of my writing for the last few years, I can now see the waves. One after the other. Ready to crest and crash and push me under and try and steal my breath. Ready to take away my footing. Thank God we can only see this in hindsight. Thank God we only know how hard it will be looking back.
A hard life is not a bad life.
When I left my job last year I knew it would be hard. I didn't expect anything easy.
But did I know it would be one of the most traumatic years of my life?
I knew I would have to work hard and I knew I was taking a risk and I knew we'd get where we needed to be. But I had no idea the turns we'd take. No idea how the waves would crash one after the other.
Naively I had believed it wouldn't get worse ever again. I believed we'd summited. Not that I believed we would never face hard times, I just believed maybe for a while we'd seen the worst of it.
Maybe we are allowed to believe this so we will continue to move forward. So we will relax. So we will breathe. Because if we knew what laid ahead we'd just give up. Throw in the towel. Maybe not in a literal sense. But all aspiration would cease. And we'd take the path of least resistance and least challenge and we'd coast. Maybe we are allowed to believe in calm so we don't leave the path.