masks

Last night I found myself scrolling through old blog posts. I was searching for a specific picture that I knew was buried down in the feed. As my finger glided over my phone screen, I landed on the image of me sitting in the van. I stopped.

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When Katie snapped the picture of me on the porch at Innsbrook, it felt like the first image taken of me where I wore no masks. I realized last night that the picture of me in the van was the same. I wasn’t hiding in that photo. I was all me: shrouded in grief. Real. Raw. Sad.

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Me in the van, April 2019.
Me at Innsbrook, June 2020.

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They don’t look like the same person to me. I don’t know that they are the same person.

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I’m glad for the change. I’m glad for the transformation. I’m glad for the lightness I can see in the girl with her hair down, standing in nature, looking back at someone who cares for me.

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In 2019 my Word of the year was Process. What a process that year was. 2018 into 2019, I was surrounded by loss, the loss of a church, friends, family members who passed away, changing and shifting continually, medical news continued to stay the same, progress felt out of reach.

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2020 dawned with Permission as the Word of my year. I think looking at how I ended 2020, the thing I gave myself permission the most on was letting myself be myself. I wonder if the pandemic made that feel easier, safer. Behind closed doors, you can be whatever you like. In the end, I think it is more than that, and I see that in the picture. There is something different in living life, surrounded by people who encourage you to be who you were created to be. Who aren’t passive in your endeavors but active participates.

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I want to see more pictures of me unmasked, smiling, flourishing in life. I want to step into this year actively showing up to my work, my endeavors, my passions. I need them. I need this year. I’m ready to embrace the life I have and learn more about myself, better myself, let go of guilt and regret, and make the best life I can for myself, my boys, my partner.