I haven't written a blog post since this day last year.
In between, I have started at least five different posts, but was never able to finish any of them. Between exhaustion, defeat, heartbreak, profound disappointment, and good old writer's block, it was difficult for me to convey exactly what went on this year.
On the macro level, I have marveled from afar at man's increasingly open inhumanity to man, as they hide behind the anonymity of the internet to utter things they would never dare say to anyone's face for fear of retaliation. Or at least some wouldn't say out loud. Hatred now has many and varied soapboxes from which to shout, and uses them all as often, and as loudly as possible. Insults and broad characterizations have replaced any kind of meaningful dialogue about differences, and we are further from any kind of understanding and moving towards the grey areas that unite us than ever before. Social media has become a metaphorical slaughterhouse, where even the most innocent of comments can be targeted for a political bloodbath for any reason, or no reason at all.
There are glimmers of hope, and those working towards getting help to those that need it. I find that I have to focus on those to keep from losing all faith in humanity. That, and baby, puppy, and kitten videos to cleanse my social media palate.
As the circle moves closer in, I found people moving on in different ways: changing jobs, either by choice or force; changing states: spiritually, emotionally, and sometimes physically; generally preparing for what would come next in life.
Here we get into the micro level: 2021 began a year of profound changes for my family and myself. We are all preparing in some way for the next phase in our lives. My older sister is preparing to become a 1st time grandmother. My younger sisters both have toddlers, and are preparing for the K-12 marathon. My son continued on his mission to create the life that he knows he is capable of, numerous hiccups aside. My daughter started her Senior Year of high school in person, after a year and a half of distance learning, and suddenly returned to the kind of student she was at the beginning of her academic career. She knows that this is the beginning of the end of her childhood, and there will be no more free do-overs. Everything she does from now on goes straight toward her adult life: she got her first job, she is applying for colleges, yet still remaining flexible about how she would like the next part of her life to play out.
This is a profound change for me as well. I turned 50 last month, and next month will become the parent of two adult children. The everyday, day to day, hands on supervisory (Ok. Micro-Management. Who are we kidding,) part of my job will end, and my role will become more advisory: I only step in when specifically asked, and then only to the extent specifically needed at that time.
After nearly 30 years in the same role, this will be quite the transition for me. As I will also now have to figure out who I am outside of my identity as "Damani and Ashley's mom".
All of us are in some stage or another of transition. My family, Our government, The World at large.
I can't say anything profound right now. But it is my sincerest hope that we are transitioning into the greatest possible version of ourselves; the loving, caring people we portray ourselves as, and show the very best of what we can be to the world.
See you on the other side.