This has been a year of loss. January dawned with a full slate of cool activities here in Bakersfield for me and some opportunities reaching beyond. It felt like I was back: showing up in the media, in public speaking, in gigs, in so many activities that enriched me.
It felt like the fogginess of 2017 was lifting, all that struggle and fear about getting everything perfectly together and helping Emma readjust and all of that was behind me and this would finally be my shot to be back to who I used to be, just a better revised version.
December 2017 had a couple glitches – one notable one I believe is almost a year old to the day from now but I lived through that, primarily unknown to others around me as it was too horrible to share the “what happened” so, as is often my practice, I didn’t.
I just realized it was also my second round of chemo. I tend to edit those episodes out as somehow irrelevant. Interesting. It was only on my forehead so I changed my hairstyle so as not to alarm people with what happens to skin when it is subjected to chemo lotion and moved along into January, 2018 with a well rehearsed smile on my face.
I was the featured poet at an Open Mic early in January and I was startled at the numerous not-so-great amidst that great and then things started to slide. Once again, I’m opting not to share details which I trust you will respect.
One after another, organizations I have respected, raised money for, spoken up passionately about, caused harm or damage to the people I love. I am not even thinking of myself here, I am thinking of my loved ones. Again, because these are organizations I have long supported and still believe in, I remained silent.
So what ended was my naivete. What ended was my belief that just because organizations seemed to share my values and my causes, they may also be tainted by fear and won’t do what’s in alignment with what they purport because of mismanagement or other reasons but worst of all, when a client raises her hand to say “Hey, what about?” they care more about covering themselves than following up with the client.
What am I letting go of this year?
I am letting go of expectations.
I am reminded it is individuals who make the biggest difference. Individuals are less likely to hide behind the type of fear that sits atop board rooms and bureaucracies. I saw this when I worked for local government and in 2018, I saw it very strongly with organizations with mission statements directly in opposition with how I witnessed them carry out their work in practice.
Again, I don’t expect organizations and institutions to be the ones to come forward boldly and in a satisfying manner. I don’t expect individuals to, either.
I do continue to have high expectations for myself, however.
I am late with this posting.
I wrote and rewrote and wrote again.
I am glad now to mark it complete.
I will do my best to not discuss these matters further and do not desire to open these chapters up, again. I am simply choosing more consciously and will continue to steward my time as I move forward, with love.